Is a diagnosis absolutely necessary? Why and why not?

  • [Conversation starter] Is a diagnosis absolutely necessary? Why and why not?

  • Thanks for your input @ho-shuhuang. Yes a diagnosis certainly is like a double-edged sword! A diagnosis is something that can serve as a useful starting point, and we reckon that shouldn't be the final goal or determining factor in our daily living. In many ways, stigma happens when people misuse the "label" and see it as a be all and end all, instead of seeing that there is life beyond the definitions of a disorder.

  • It depends on what you think - does it matter to you? A diagnosis is useful if you feel medication could be helpful, if you need specialist care for your condition or special concessions at work or in school, or simply haven't a clue as to why you're feeling the way you do and don't know how to get better. The role of an official diagnosis in the first three areas is self-evident. But the last one is less so. I've heard several times now that as much as a mental health condition isn't a nice "label" to have, it's helped individuals make sense of their situation and consequently take steps to get better. Identifying it makes the condition tangible. It can then be addressed specifically. Without a diagnosis, a mental health condition can feel like a jumble of confusing emotions. In that regard a label's helpful.

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