Hobby Psychology: How Casual Diagnoses Can Impact Mental Health

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.29 - 2024 6:17 PM CET

Health
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Many people act with good intentions, yet the results can still be harmful.

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Playing armchair psychologist can be tempting, especially in a world where self-diagnosing and diagnosing others based on minimal information is becoming increasingly common.

Ullakarin Nyberg, a psychiatrist, warns of the pitfalls of this trend in a recent interview on Nyhetsmorgon.

She notes that it has become all too common for people to diagnose themselves or others with serious personality disorders like psychopathy or narcissism based merely on superficial observations.

"Personality syndrome is something you're born with. Recognizing individual traits alone is not sufficient," she clarifies.

This trend is problematic because true personality disorders are complex and require a professional diagnosis. Mislabeling can not only stigmatize individuals but also trivialize real mental health conditions.

The Medicalization of Normal Behaviors

Nyberg expresses concern over the increasing tendency to medicalize normal variations in human behavior. She criticizes this movement to pathologize what are essentially normal differences among individuals.

She argues for recognizing and accepting these variations without immediately categorizing them, which could lead to a healthier and more understanding society.

"It would be dull if everyone were the same. We must accept that everyone is different, and that's okay," Nyberg emphasizes, highlighting that every person falls somewhere on a spectrum from normal to unwell.

Nyberg stresses the critical distinction between recognizing traits and diagnosing disorders. She encourages those who are struggling to seek professional help.

Many individuals suffer in silence, and without proper diagnosis and support, they may struggle to manage their daily and professional lives effectively.

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