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Nowadays, we all have a tendency to self-diagnose to a certain degree. Between listening to the opinions of our friends and family, our own observations, and the almost overwhelming amount of information available to us online; it’s become commonplace for people to turn to their own immediate resources and try to solve their own problems.

Many times, it might even solve what it had intended to. But what about when self-diagnosis isn’t so harmless after all? What if self-diagnosis is actually doing more harm than good? What are the possible dangers of self-diagnosing when it comes to addiction?

The first problem with diagnosing one’s self is that it implies that you fully understand all of the subtleties and nuances of a particular diagnosis. Medical professionals go to school for years and have countless hours of practical experience understanding the full scope of each particular diagnosis. The internet is fantastic for finding information, but knowing how to properly decode that information and apply it to you personally… that takes a little more expertise.

Another factor to consider is the fact that you can know and see yourself, but sometimes you may need a mirror to see yourself more clearly. A medical professional specializing in addiction is that mirror. They aren’t there to judge you, only to show you things you might not be able to see clearly on your own.

The third factor to consider when it comes to self-diagnosing addiction is also the trickiest. And that is whether or not you may be in a state of denial. No one likes to admit when they have a problem, or when their problem may be getting out of hand. This can make it easy to create excuses, or shift away responsibility. But that is when a professional medical opinion is needed the most. Think of a professional diagnosis as being the first step you take on your road to recovery. It might be a difficult journey, but to get to where you want to be, you first need to know exactly where you are.

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