A diagnosis is where something is identified. For example, someone getting diagnosed with a mental health issue, an illness or a disability. Having a diagnosis has many benefits to a person but there are also negatives to a diagnosis. 

When should a diagnosis not be used? 

As an excuse to not try something 

It is ok if you do not complete a task or an activity but you can’t tell that you can’t do something without trying!

For others to use your diagnosis as an excuse to exclude you

Having a diagnosis does not make you any less the same as others. A diagnosis main roles are to help you understand what’s going on and to give you support when needed. You still can take part in activities that other people do and if you are being excluded, make sure to talk to someone that can help you make that change.

To define your identity around your diagnosis 

A diagnosis should be something that should help you. It’s something that comes alongside your identity. I’m not saying that your diagnosis can’t be a part of your identity but there is so much more to you than your diagnosis. 

Why aren’t you defined by your diagnosis?

Who you are is your personality, what you like, dislike, hobbies, what you may wear and so on. Yes, a diagnosis may be a part of you but it is not the defining factor, as you’re more than that.

If you want a diagnosis and believe that you will be empowered by that, then go ahead! But if you don’t care as much about or disagree with diagnosis then that’s completely fine too!

A young persons perspective on a diagnosis 

Some of the positives of a diagnosis is that it acknowledges what an individual is going through, and can allow them to understand why they are feeling the way they are, and that they are not alone.

When I got my diagnosis it helped me to know why I had certain feelings towards stuff that the majority of people don’t.

Adding to that, it enables people to research about the diagnosis to further understand it and ways to help people cope.

The diagnosis can also be shared with family, friends, teachers etc if the individual wants to, which will help them to recognise what the they are going through and the difficulties they may have, this can result in other people being more supportive and empathetic.

Furthermore, people can get specific support and therapies from mental health services to help them learn coping strategies.

However, the negatives of a diagnosis is that labels can restrict expectations. People may have a negative preconceived views towards the illness and the label of the person may be seen instead of the individual. All of these can then lead to a negative self view, resulting in the person’s self esteem lowering.