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The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

Updated on January 27, 2012

I know it's tempting, when you feel like something's wrong with you, to go online, diagnose yourself and cure yourself once and for all... but you can run into some problems doing that!

You're not a doctor and sometimes you just pick and choose symptoms, say, "hey that's me!" and are content that you found your supposed problem.

But chances are that you found it on your first try, because you didn't want to dig too deep, you thought it was this problem to begin with and the other options are too scary... but diagnose yourself wrong and you're in for a world of hurt!

Why You Shouldn't Self-Diagnose

I know the internet makes it easy to access information on diseases, and there's nothing wrong with doing some research, if you feel like there is a problem. But when you find out that maybe it's a certain disease or sickness, don't stop there and try to treat yourself, because you might be completely wrong! Heck, doctors aren't even supposed to diagnose themselves, and that's what they get paid to do for others!

If it's a minor problem, then sure you might be able to self-diagnose yourself safely, which is why we have access to things like cough syrup and so on. But if you feel like it's a major problem, then take these concerns to your doctor, even if you already diagnosed yourself. In fact, tell them what you think it is and they will be sure to let you know, after they check up on you. But when you diagnose yourself, you might go with a lesser option, feel like you can treat it yourself and your health never improves (or gets worse). You have to find the root of the cause, not just look at the symptoms, and the best way to do that is through an outside party, who is trained in diagnosing patients.

Someone on the outside, a doctor, can see things you overlook... and doctors even have staff that helps them solve medical issues. Two minds are better than one, right? Well, what if you have a whole medical team? You're a lot less likely to be treated incorrectly and you're more than likely to catch problems before they become fatal. And if you don't like the diagnosis your receive from a doctor then go get a second, or even third, opinion just to be sure! They might be wrong, but if they are right you'll just have to learn to accept the diagnosis.

Living with an Illness

But it doesn't have to be all "doom and gloom"; many issues are curable and, if not, you can find a way to live happily with an illness. You don't have to let an illness keep you down or keep you from living the life you want, so don't be afraid of a doctor's diagnosis and let that scare you into diagnosing yourself.

In fact, I just recently bumped into a man named John Russell, who has gone through cancer treatment and is living with Tourette's syndrome. His cancer is now in remission and he aims to help others deal with living with an illness. John's even come up with a 10 step process that he's used to help him cope and live happily with his illness, and he wants to share that process with others.

He'll be releasing a book, that only costs $10, on March 1st, 2012 that outlines the whole process, but he wants to help out even more than just that. John aims to give half of the profits to various charities, to help people in all kinds of areas. I think it's a two-fold, noble cause and if you want to stay up to date on his efforts then you can check out his site here: And if you're anxious to meet the man behind the book, then watch the video below.

Meet John Russell

Are YOU Ready to Let a Doctor Diagnose You?

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    • aykianink profile image

      aykianink 5 years ago

      I had a friend that mentioned he had ADHD. I remember his wife and son agreeing with him. I looked him in the eye, and I said, "I SAW YOU BUILD YOUR OWN HOUSE, MAN." I asked him which DOCTOR had told him he had ADHD, and of course, none had. His family wasn't helping...

    • profile image

      Starmom41 5 years ago

      This is a good hub, & very important info- I hope u don't mind I shared it on Twitter.

      Individuals thinking they can self-diagnose, or diagnose someone else, are putting themselves or others in as much danger as people who think they're "experts" because they "read a book."

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

      This is an article everyone should read. Looking information up about one's conditions is only a first step and should never be the final one. I hope all is well with you and your family. Good health and happiness to you. Smile!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      There is a phenomenon called First Year Medical student's disease. it exists for a reason.

    • Sue B. profile image

      Sue B. 5 years ago

      I agree- self-diagnosing can do more harm than good. We aren't trained professionals that may be able to analyze all symptoms. I think we need to balance the information we receive from the internet versus the information we seek from professionals. While it is great to educate yourself, the information you receive not only could be incorrect but could convince you that your symptoms are different than they are and you could either under or over report certain symptoms to your health professional.