The Positives and Negatives of Mental Health Diagnosis

The Positives and Negatives of Mental Health Diagnosis

The Positives and Negatives of Mental Health Diagnosis

Receiving a mental health diagnosis can be a relief to many people who have been struggling for a while as they can finally name their distress. However, diagnosis isn’t the perfect solution and comes with many limitations; no scan can tell you the exact root of the problem. In this blog, you’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of mental health assessment.

The Advantages


1. Closure

Dealing with mental health problems can be isolating and receiving a diagnosis can make you feel less alone. Having a label gives you a better idea of who you are; you no longer have to look up every single symptom to learn more about your struggles. Similarly, it makes it easier to connect with others who face the same problems since there are many online groups and forums you can join that are dedicated to a specific diagnosis. Talking to like-minded people can increase your sense of belonging and help you understand why you might feel the way you do or engage in destructive behaviours.

2. More suitable treatment options

A diagnosis can give you the help you need as it often allows you to access special services. While a lot of mental health issues are treated with the most popular and effective therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, some patients might require more specialised treatment. For example, while talking therapies can help a person suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy is designed to enable people to recover from trauma and is likely to be more beneficial. 

The Disadvantages

1. It might reinforce the problem

While receiving a diagnosis can give you closure, it can also become your entire identity and make you feel like you aren’t more than your label. A diagnosis might reinforce the problem and make you subconsciously act according to the symptoms or even make you less motivated to change. For example, if you’re diagnosed with social anxiety you might think that ‘it is what it is’ and avoid stressful situations instead of trying to gradually decrease your anxiety. Additionally, there’s still stigma attached to mental health issues, which might make your struggles even more challenging than before.

2. Label might put focus on the symptoms instead of the causes

While it’s important to treat symptoms, it’s also important to consider what factors might be contributing to their severity. For example, if someone is depressed because they broke up with their partner, it’s worth exploring other factors such as sensitivity to rejection and low self-esteem instead of just focusing on lifting their mood without treating the cause.

If you’re struggling, don’t be ashamed to ask for professional help. My Family Psychologist can offer you a confidential chat from the comfort of your home

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