Self-Diagnosis And Fools For Patients

An aspect of social media that has struck me as of late is the manner in which the Internet fuels a certain personality type. I hesitate to call them "Munchhausen syndrome" cases, as that is not quite accurate, although there are certainly a number of common characteristics.

The adoption of DSM-style clinical language by the lay public has lead to a number of problems. Chiefly, the devaluation of these terms resulting from over — and often outright inappropriate — use. From 2015 until early November 2020, the term "gaslighting" was used to describe every form of lying undertaken by Donald Trump and members of his administration.

Now everyone has "imposter syndrome," because Normal people, of course, would never feel any sort of anxiety. You're not just fussy about some esoteric, minor things, you're "totally OCD."

I don't find the Internet to be any more effective for finding support from other human beings, it's just another venue. When I was initially trying to cope with my skin problems, what I found online were a lot of forums where users would do little more than lament their problems or work themselves up, brooding over the worst outcomes. Misery might like company, but I'm quite happy to find my own way, by myself.

There are a number of longer rants encapsulated in the rambling above. I'm not lacking in empathy for people with mental health issues, in fact I think the problems I've highlighted harm them a lot more than me — I can handle bad posts, I've been doing it for decades.

Published: February 22nd, 2021.