Recently I have seen a trend among young people where they are self-diagnosing themselves with Borderline Personality Disorder. Anyone who does not believe is self-diagnosis is labeled at, "ableist." Ableism is discrimination in favor of able bodied people (including the brain). I disagree with both self-diagnosing and that I am ableist because of this belief.
One thing these young people do not seem to understand is the difference between self-advocating and self-diagnosing. They believe that a person who does not believe in self-diagnosing is trying to invalidate them and say that they are lying or faking about something being wrong. This is not the case at all. I fully support young people researching and learning about various mental disorders and using that information to advocate for themselves when they are able to see a professional; or using it as a means of self-care. A lot of self-care for BPD can be used by people with other disorders or even by neurotypicals. No one, at least not me, is telling these young people that they are making things up or faking. Before I was officially diagnosed with BPD I did a lot of research, but I never diagnosed myself with it.
That is because I view a diagnosis as something that is official. It is something you can put on a medical record, it is something you can use if you took short term sick leave, and it is something that a Doctor would be able to see on your health records. A person cannot walk into a hospital and say, "I have diagnosed myself with BPD, please put it on my records." The line between educating and speculating and diagnosing seems to be blurred for many young people.
Before I was diagnosed with BPD I was first diagnosed with ADHD and then Bipolar. BPD shares similarities with these disorders as well as Schizophrenia, D.I.D., and other personality disorders. Because of the complexity of BPD it is often difficult to diagnose even for professionals. Though it doesn't seem to be the case for those advocating for self-diagnosis it seems that it could be really easy for someone to read the criteria for BPD and diagnose themselves based on that. Self-diagnosing any mental illness is dangerous least of all because so many symptoms in the DSM overlap. An article about BPD said the following regarding self-diagnosing the disorder;
Although it may seem easy to “self-diagnose,” it is important to know that a valid diagnosis of BPD involves a fairly extensive assessment. This should be done by a professional trained to make valid psychiatric diagnoses, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. All too often, I have seen people receive a diagnosis of BPD (sometimes in error) based on a clinician’s impressions after a very brief meeting.