Forgot to add there ARE certain things you can’t self diagnosed, just like with medical problems.
DID, schizophrenia, etc etc.
But things like depression, Gender Identity Disorder, and even forms of bipolar disorder can be diagnosed.
This is really… what.
You can’t self diagnose with DID or schizophrenia. But you can self diagnose with bipolar disorder. Why? What’s the difference?
If you can look at a description of your experiences and say, “wow, that really describes me better than anything else I’ve ever seen”, then you can self-diagnose. That’s all that a psychiatrist is doing: looking at your symptoms and checking them against the DSM, or other descriptions of symptoms that they learned in school. That’s why the DSM exists, so that psychiatrists can “look up” what disorder you are likely to have. You can do it too. Yes, psychiatrists have training, but a lot of that training is aimed at understanding what is going on in YOUR brain when they are not inside it, and the rest is things like, getting you to talk about it, getting you to be aware of parts of your self, etc., and working out what is going on when you are not aware enough to understand your self. If you are aware enough to know what is going on in your brain, then, it’s not hard to realise… “hey, I have the experience of having multiple people in my head, who talk to me, sometimes take control of the body, etc… what does that sound like…”
Yes, there are some people who don’t have the ability to realise they are mentally ill. But those are not usually the people self-diagnosing, for obvious reasons.
^^^^^^^^^^THIS MANY TIMES OVER.
If you go through the DSM criteria (or whatever your country uses) and can check off the required number of criteria for a specific disorder or mental illness (keeping in mind that many of them need to interfere with your daily life to be considered a problem), then chances are you have that! You’re going to need a doctor or psychiatrist to confirm if you ever want or need to go on medication, but diagnostic appointments with such people are often costly, hard to get, and spent mostly on getting the other person a good insight into what goes on in your head.
There are some people who would go through the criteria and think they’re ill with whatever particular illness because they want attention for it or because of hypochondria, but those are different issues.