DISCLAIMER: Everything I’m about to say is entire my own opinion and all the views stated are mine alone.
I see a lot of people shaming others for ‘self-diagnosing’ or talking about their ‘un-diagnosed’ condition. Of course, it is always better to get checked out by a professional if you feel you have some kind of mental or physical illness, but otherwise, the only person who can determine how you’re feeling is yourself. If you’re feeling a certain way and think it has a connection to a mental illness, trust your instinct.
I’ll use myself as an example, as I have all of the most common symptoms of depression in teenagers. I don’t claim to have it, because I haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor, but it’s easier to describe how I’m feeling as ‘depression’ than try and talk it through with someone and have them not understand what I’m talking about. People also ask less questions if you can answer a question with one word or term, rather than if you take forever to try and get across what you mean. However, many diagnosed sufferers of different illnesses see it as an insult to claim to have an illness you aren’t diagnosed with, which is both perfectly understandable yet a little far-fetched (in my opinion) at the same time.
If, for instance, you had an inkling you had a certain physical illness because you have all of the symptoms, you’d go to the doctor. The fact that you have this illness isn’t affected by the doctor’s conformation that you have it. It’s exactly the same with mental illnesses, as people with a feeling they have the illness are often correct. So why on earth are people shaming and turning against people that are suffering, whether diagnosed or not?
People have different reasons for not being diagnosed or not seeking medical attention. I, for example, haven’t yet spoken to my parents about my theories regarding my mental health because I know they will worry as soon as they hear the word ‘depression’ spoken in the same sentence as my name. Others feel they can’t trust their doctor, or don’t want to talk to their parents or guardians for whatever reason. In my opinion, everyone that is suffering somehow deserves help, whether a doctor has confirmed their suspicions or not.
If you are struggling, it’s always best to consult an adult that you trust, or confide in friends that can offer you some emotional support. If you can’t do this but need some help or support, please don’t hesitate at all to email Emily on the address on the homepage, or contact asking to speak to any one of us on our Facebook page.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.