In 1952, the creation of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) revolutionized how we viewed and treated psychological issues. For the first time, we had a classification system that allowed us to better understand and diagnose mental disorders. DSM V is the most recent version of this diagnostic tool. As the accessibility to this classification system increased, e.g., online library access, websites and online forums, and platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, where individuals share their mental illnesses and their symptoms, the phenomena of “self-diagnosis” started happening.

While we must attend to ourselves and the physical and psychological changes that occur, we must be wary when we review information about psychological issues. The DSM-V is a clinician’s tool to help discern which possible disorder a client might have. However, before the diagnosis, there are many steps that need to be taken, particularly a clinical interview. With this, the clinician can untangle the symptoms and make sure that they cannot be explained by a physical disorder. Unfortunately, it’s one of the reasons why self-diagnosing leads to mistakes and stress. There are many subtle nuances that the clinician is trained to pick up on, and they have the expertise to properly assess which treatment is best for you. Younger people are visiting these websites in order to find answers to why they are feeling a certain way, but it creates similar stress and mistakes as using the DSM-V without fully understanding how diagnosing works.

What is the best solution? – It’s best to make an appointment and share your concerns with a clinician who can properly identify the issue and walk you through a course of action that can help you. There is no shame in feeling a certain way but hiding it and going through it alone can be a burden, specially for teenagers. If you have been experiencing changes in your mood or your behavior, contact a therapist and talk about it.

Our therapists in West Island and Brossard are trained to help you go over patterns of behaviors and symptoms. They can also help you manage the stressful symptoms better. If needed, they can refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis. Certain conditions such as ADHD and Learning Disability requires a trained psychologist who can administer standardized assessments.


Partially written by: Mihaela Z

Edited by: Reyhane Namdari