My thoughts on self-diagnosis // Mental health w/Kati Morton | Kati Morton

My thoughts on self-diagnosis // Mental health w/Kati Morton | Kati Morton

Hey everybody, happy Thursday! Now, today's video is something that someone asked a few weeks ago and, I'm going to be honest, I put it off because I have mixed feelings. I have mixed feelings, that's me mixing. And so here's the question and
then let's get to chatting. This would have been a good "Coffee and a Chat" but it's like the afternoon, and I've already had my coffee. But, the question is: Hey Kati, I was wondering about your stance on the increased prevalence of self-diagnosis. Ooh! So interesting! What should those who can't afford a therapist/ psychiatrist do and how should they go about seeking communities to seek advice from? Thank you. This is a loaded question for me because, unlike most professionals, I actually interact online and I recogise how shitty a lot of treatments are in different countries and in the states. Mental health… we're gunna change it guys, we're gunna y'know make the change. Be the change – right? But, for now, we're stuck in some not so desireable situations and it can be really difficult to get help. And I understand that it's not available to all, whether our parents aren't supporting it so it isn't financially it's not available. Or we're adults and we can't afford it. Because a lot of us are on a tight budget, I'm on a tight budget, and it can be hard to afford it. Insurances suck. Socialised medicine sucks, we wait forever. I totally get it there are a lot of scenarios where getting properly treated and diagnosed just isn't available. And so let's start with that. With that in mind, that for a lot of us it's not available, or something that we have access to, it's not something that we can get, or if we've gone to see someone they don't listen to us and they fall asleep or something horrible. I've heard some horrible stories you guys. Self-diagnosing is ok with caution. I want you to understand that I know how helpful it can be just to feel that you have a label to put on what you've been feeling. Does that make sense? We're "ok, so I'm not 'crazy', I just have anxiety. It's not that I'm like freaking out, I have anxiety and that's what it is." And it can be so helpful to just put that label on it and it almost, in a way, helps us understand our experience more or maybe validate it more. And I totally get that. And for that purpose, I think self-diagnosis is fine. If it just helps for you to better understand your experience, and try to hear from other people what they're going through and then think "Ok, well maybe that it what I have. Yeah, it does kinda sound like that." Knowing fair well that usually (I would assume) self-diagnoses are… there's a big margin of error. Because we aren't ever able, even as a professional, I'm not able to remove myself from my headspace and body and see myself the way my therapist the way my therapist would see me. You get that? Because even though I could think like a professional because I diagnose people all the time and I have a lot of clients and y'know we talk about diagnoses and how we came to this one and why and blah blah blah. But as the person being treated I can never come out of myself and see myself from the other view and be able to say – "I guess that isn't normal." Because I'm going to assume things that have been normal in my life, processes that I have are 'normal' because that's all I know. Unlike a therapist who can be unbiased and like remove ourselves and be able to say "well, you know, it's actually not that normal to wake up in a panic or to feel your heart racing with stress in social situations" or whatever we're looking at whether it's like social anxiety, OCD. Whatever we're trying to look at, we can't step out of our body and see that because to use that could be the norm. Right, that's our baseline. And it takes a professional to be able to recognise that and tell you and kinda reflect back and be like, y'know, "A lot of people don't experience that and I want you to understand that that's part of your anxiety". And that, for a lot of people is like the 'aha' lightbulb moment where they're like "oh my gosh, that's what it is, I'm not just going crazy. I have blank". So those are kinda my sides to it I see the benefit of being able to label it for yourself. And I also see the benefit of being able to receive some support online. Facebook is a great resource for that. There's a lot of groups and chats and things like that available for people with blank issue. Whether it's depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self harm, whatever. There's a lot of different groups based around diagnosis or struggles or whatever. And i would encourage you to look for groups like that based around the struggle. Like if there are groups, y'know depression, if we're feeling down whether or not we've been clinically depressed, to me, doesn't really matter. What matters is that you get the support for when you're feeling so low and so hopeless or lethargic or whatever it may be. I think that's what makes self-diagnosis ok for me maybe. Because then it not only gives us a label and makes us feel like "oh ok, that's kinda what I think I've been experiencing" and then we can reach out and get support. And I also want to, that's why there's so many topics – I'm sorry guys this isn't very structured because it's just like, there's so much. This is like the third time I've recorded this so I'm just gunnna push through. But there's also the side note that like it can be really helpful from a clinician's standpoint to have a client come in and "hey I've been feeling blank blank blank and I kinda looked up online and I think it might be part of my anxiety or it might be part of the depression or it sounds like it might be borderline personality." I've had people say something like that. So that can be kinda nice because then we can, as clinician and patient and client or whatever you want to call yourself, we can go through it together. "Ok well let's look at the diagnosis, what are we think this is so. Ok so this is how we diagnose it. Do you feel like you meet all those criteria?" And we can talk about it because, at the end of the day, it's your diagnosis and I want to make sure you fully understand it. And I want to make sure I'm taking into consideration all of your experiences and doing it justice and making sure I'm giving you the right one if any at all and..yeah. So that can be helpful too. I wouldn't shy away necessarily from looking into it. If you're struggling – try to figure out what it is! That can be helpful in and of itself and be motivating to some extent. So those are my thoughts. I know they're kinda jumbled. I see both sides the clinician in me is like "be careful, we don't really know, we're not really able to" then the online therapist where I do here and I understand how shitty treatments are I'm like "but it's ok, you can get support and you can reach out. And it helps to have a label and like kinda a name for what's going on and like I see both sides. But I think… to finish this. I would say that my overall thought about it is: if it helps you, good. Do it. It's fine. If you start feeling better, it gives you support – I'm fine with it! But in the end, I would encourage all of you to look into finding actual professional help. Even the workbooks that I have on my website for free, or my videos helpfully will be a guide for you to find someone who's a good fit for you. Because, in the end, I really want you all to get the help and support that you need and deserve. And that's really how I feel about it. Let me know how you feel about it! And if you are new, please subscribe! I put out videos twice a week, you don't want to miss them. And yeah gives this a thumbs up if you kinda like these chats. Sometimes I put these off because I'm all over the place as you can tell cos I'm like "ugh" I like things to be structured. And that might be my own thing, right? Ok, I love you all and I'll see you on Monday. Bye! Subtitles by the community


  1. I love have great insurance tbey covers 90 percent of my therapy sessions. Yet, I can't get any of the offices that accept it to return my phone calls. I'm gonna have to drive two hours and I don't have the time for that.

  2. Happened to me to. I unconcsciouly altered my behaviour to fit a diagnosis before. And it was ironically the only fact that prevented me from getting the diagnosis at all. I strongly support taking self-diagnosis seriously and work together with a mental health professional. However, I still totally encourage self-diagnosis as it is very often the first step why people even consider to consult with a mental health professional in the first place. So by stigmatizing self-diagnosis, we might actually counteract that people seek out help with a mental health professional at all (personal hypothesis, no scientific statement).

  3. It's good you are talking about it. I'm living in Norway. 9 years with different conselour and no help. My doctor said "don't care about diagnose" , but I said that at list I found some answers to my behaviour that get worst with time. I just waiting for appointment with my new psycholog and I hope this time I can get treatmen for real. Thank you so much. Johanna from Norway ❤❤❤💐💐💐

  4. just some thoughts that gave me shivers watching ur video
    your critique on selfdiagnosis in my eyes rather describes those who dont selfdiagnose, or even people that will never be diagnosed because they will not talk to a professional due to considering themselfs normal. also what are psychiatrists but professional talking partners. theyll be judged on how much help they provided or rather how much a persons problems improved and not necessarily on the truthfullness of their judgement and input. i always get fascinated by the philosophical part of this empiric science

  5. I have been to about 7 different doctors and they all also have said you technically have to self diagnose to get a diagnosis because they don't know what's bothering me unless I tell them. The danger is when you think you have "blank" and then self medicate. I'm in a community where if you don't have a diagnosis you cant prove then no one will take you seriously and that's devastating. It makes you feel isolated and crazy… I was basically forced by other people to go to therapy and it made me worse. I'm autistic and a professional at masking but I'm so good at it that it drains me for a whole week and so this cycle happened where i would go to therapy and then have no social energy for a week and so on… i finally went to a psychiatrist and told him "hey I think I'm autistic or specifically an aspie. We did the test and I am. He said I don't need what I don't want as long as I have a good support system which I do! People need to stop pressuring people to do a treatment just because the internet says so but we also need to stop listening and listen to a professional.

  6. Actually love that video! All my respect to you! I definitely will subscribe. I been self diagnosing since my teenage years and i agree with what you say. And sincerely the warning you give is the best… do but with caution.
    I learned it the hard way but now i know that while doing that kind of work someone never know in advance what he can find.

  7. for many years i thought i was the problem and the internet opened my eyes about the fact that i have depression, and although i felt very hesitant to state that out loud to anybody irl it made a difference to relate to the experiences of others but admittedly an oficial diagnosis from a profesional helped that much more to narrow down my precise experience which is actually one of a life with a personality disorder, and i don't think i could have reached that insight by my own means.
    tldr; i agree but may self-diagnosis be the beginning of a journey not the be-all-end-all

  8. I feel like I know what’s wrong with me but I don’t think I could ever tell my family or my therapist because what if I’m wrong. I don’t like being the center of attention and I don’t want anyone to think that that’s what I’m after.

  9. I wasn't self diagnosed but my "Friends" called me self diagnosed. I'm not I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, But they say I'm self diagnosed with Anciety and depression. I never said I was depressed, I said I have persistent Depressive thoughts. I see a Therapist but They verbally berated me because my parents refuse to put me on Meds. Therefore I'm not depressed or anxious. I cant tell them because I get anxious about them yelling at me. Help.

  10. I think it's one thing to diagnose oneself with, say, depression or anxiety, and another to go into more specific diagnoses, especially because many of them overlap and many can be confused with one another.

  11. Is it ok if I self diagnose myself with anerexia? I eat about 300 cals a day, I am terrified of gaining weight and I obsess over food and losing weight. Do I need to see a docter to know I have a problem?

  12. Take a look at how hard it is for ones with DID when there is a great hardship to find a therapist that even acknowledge it

  13. The secret to self-diagnosis is empricial data with theorotical data (after stumbling on axis I and axis II data).

  14. Okay when your someone who can't get support because you don't have an official diagnosis and people act like your symptoms aren't real until you get an official diagnosis. I've been waiting for years to get help and haven't been able to but you can't just wait around for someone to save you. I spent months pouring over research and videos to diagnosis myself and come up with my own treatment plan to find ways to cope and heal.

  15. Everyone I've talked to puts a different label on me. ALL i know is my medication works somewhat. But I've tried confiding my problems to multiple "therapists" only to be patronized or muffled snickering at. I guess because I'm a white adult woman who shouldn't by "societies standards" have problems (?). Not sure. Lot's of shitty treatment out there that are people that just want some steady money coming in. Not many people actually care. Imo.

  16. I can easily afford to get diagnosed professionally (and I always do) but I still self diagnose because I feel a severe need to have a name for what I’m feeling, to the point where I’ll get really stressed unless I have the label

  17. There is, of course, the duck test. If it looks and quacks like a duck, it's probably at least in the duck family.

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