I have elsewhere expressed some concerns about recent threads regarding self-diagnosis or ill-advised diagnosis of friends or relatives.

As I said in the previous note, I see a tendency to start by asking questions such as "Does my mother have {insert diagnosis here}" or stating, "I think someone I know has {insert diagnosis here}" or "I am {insert diagnosis here}, and then subsequent posts in the thread accept that as a valid and accurate diagnosis.

Be advised that in most jurisdictions, only certain designated professionals have the legal authority to diagnose and even then online diagnosis is not valid. In Canada, only physicians and licensed psychologists have that legal authority. There are good reasons for this: Diagnosis requires a sound knowledge of psychopathology, the etiology of mental disorders, and the practice of differential diagnosis.

The problem with self-diagnosis or other-diagnosis by individuals not trained in differential diagnosis is that it can become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. And the bottom line is it's dangerous and foolish.

All Psychlinks members are advise to proceed cautiously with unofficial diagnoses, whether regarding themselves or others.