This is one of the reasons I am supportive of informed self diagnosis.The financial cost of getting diagnosed puts diagnosis out of reach for a lot of people, but it is by no means the only barrier.
In my personal experience I have found both medical professionals’ and psychiatrists’ offices to be some of the least accessible spaces to navigate.
Miscommunication with psychiatrists can have severe consequences too. I got a little taste of that being misdiagnosed as a teenager. It took a long time to correct the misunderstanding and during that time I was coerced into being on medication that was clearly having harmful side-effects. It was a contributing factor to why I didn’t get an accurate diagnosis until I was 24. I still have some things I can’t talk with a psychiatrist about because I don’t have the ability to explain them in a way that a stranger will understand, and because I am afraid that being misunderstood will result in inappropriate treatment.
Seeking a formal diagnosis usually means revealing weaker areas of functioning and talking about stigmatized things like meltdowns. It is easy for miscommunication and misinterpretation to occur. This is compounded when someone has communication difficulties and the psychologist does nothing to accommodate that.
These are some of the reasons I would never want to pressure a person into seeking a formal diagnosis if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Everyone needs to weigh the risks and benefits in their own situation when making healthcare decisions. Just because someone chooses not to seek a formal diagnosis, doesn’t mean that they don’t need support.
Making sure that people can access support and make informed decisions is far more important to me than policing the few hypothetical people who might claim a diagnosis “for attention”. (As much as I am told that this is happening, I have yet to actually encounter anyone who I even remotely suspect of doing this). For me the label is a tool for working towards a more accessible world where people’s needs are being met. This goal is more important than the label itself. If someone suspects they have autism, and that allows them to make adjustments to their life that benefit them then that is a good thing.
^All of this
what is your opinion on self diagnosis for people who have funds to get diagnosed professionally, but not enough communication skills to actually actively work with a psychiatrist and talk about their symptoms?
Autistic Person: *Flaps when they're happy*
Autistic Person: *Hisses and pulls away when they're upset*
Autistic Person: *Points and jumps when they need something *
Autistic Person: *Rocks and stomps when they're upset*
Autistic Person: *Verbally stims when they're anxious *
Autistic Person: *Pets other to show love and affection*
Autistic Person: *Has a thousand unique stims and vocalizations for different contexts that convey different meanings*
Allistic Person: "See, they don't communicate at all!" <p>when you think about it, we're really masters of non-verbal communication</p>
current mood: aggressively cute
ME ALL THE TIME