It’s not for me to say, but I get peeved when people self-diagnose themselves. It gets even more annoying when they’re proud of their own ‘diagnoses’.

There is a reason why we have doctors. We can ‘guesstimate’ what might we might have. But we ultimately have to put it in the hands of the professionals, who will be the ones who can treat and help us.

There is a reason why my RA diagnosis came 16 years late. There is a reason why my psychological diagnoses came 1.5 years and 2 months late.

When i was younger, I already thought that I had juvenile RA. But it was left undiagnosed for a long while. It felt good not to have a label on me. It felt good not to have the burden of medications and bloodwork. It didn’t feel good however, to go without a proper diagnosis and have my pain untreated.

Even when I was properly diagnosed, I didn’t speak of having JRA until my rheumy used the term on me.

My psychiatric diagnoses came late not because I was in denial. It came late because I knew I had problems, yet refused to have it diagnosed for the fear of labels. There was nothing to be proud of. It was even to an extent, shameful to have them on me. But it was also because of my refusal to seek help that led to even bigger issues which only became more complicated. It is also the reason why recovery is so difficult.

There also lies common misconceptions about psychiatric diagnoses. They are not that simple actually, and are quite unlike physical illnesses. What they really do is to overwhelm and consume you wholly, until it becomes your only truth and reality. It is something that you’ll never wish upon yourself. Because once it befalls on you, it’ll take months and even years to break free from its shackles. It’s not even surprising if one doesn’t ever recover. It is that bad. And trust me. You’ll never want a psychiatric illness.

There is nothing to hide really. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I lament about stigmatization in mental health. But I myself am hiding my diagnoses for the fear of stigma. I want to come out of the closet, like how I did with my RA. I want to be able to talk freely about it, and raise awareness about them because they are a neglected aspect of the society.

We cannot diagnose ourselves. But we surely can get ourselves diagnosed if we are willing to seek professional help. We can be helped only if we let others help us. And there isn’t a point in diagnosing yourself because you might be terribly wrong, and you are unable to even help yourself.

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