The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Get off the internet and stop self-diagnosing

Get off the internet and stop self-diagnosing
Illustration by Sophia Meytin

Every day after school, I look forward to catching up on all my messages and social media. I open Tik Tok to give my mind a little break before starting my homework; maybe I see some cute cat videos or a cool recipe I save for later.

However, recently I’ve seen an uneasy amount of videos of people describing their mental illness or showing signs of something and the comments diagnosing them. Are Tik Tok users certified psychiatrists? Why are they diagnosing strangers on the internet?

This influx of unsolicited diagnoses has encouraged self diagnosing behavior.

They notice they start losing focus and call it some combination of depression or ADHD, when in reality it can be any number of things: sleep-deprivation, stress, the weather or relationships.

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To prove a point, I googled ¨Why am I losing focus,¨ and the very first result by Healthline.com came up, telling me that, ¨being unable to concentrate can be the result of a chronic condition, including: alcohol use disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue syndrome¨ and so on.

I used to be someone who would Google my symptoms and freak out when ¨licensed professionals¨ on the internet told me my back pain is a sign of cancer and then when three years passed and I still didn’t have a cancer diagnosis, I realized I should probably stop Googling my symptoms.

It could go the other way, too. You might actually be sick and if you diagnose yourself wrong, you might begin to treat yourself incorrectly or ignore a different underlying problem. For example, say you convince yourself you have anxiety because you’re constantly nauseous and sweating, but you could have a physical nervous system problem, which is something only an educated professional can determine.

In some cases, maybe it is a sign of something more serious than a lack of sleep, but constantly self-diagnosing and telling others about the supposed illness you may have lessens its severity.

Mental illness has been intensely glamourized in shows such as Euphoria and become aestheticized, normalized and romanticized on Tik Tok. It gets views because people “relate”. And that’s exactly why it needs to stop. The more views it gets, the more younger audiences are exposed to it.

So please, for your well-being and everyone else´s, go see a doctor before you jump to conclusions.

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About the Contributor
Liann Keren
Liann Keren, Online A&E Editor
Liann is a senior and she is the Pitch's Online A&E editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading pop culture articles and doing yoga with candles.
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