Self-Diagnosis in Psychiatry and the Distribution of Social Resources

Fellowes, Matthew (2023) Self-Diagnosis in Psychiatry and the Distribution of Social Resources. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 94. pp. 55-76. ISSN 1358-2461

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Abstract

I suggest that the diagnosis that an individual self-diagnoses with can be influenced by levels of public awareness. Accurate diagnosis requires consideration of multiple diagnoses. Sometimes, different diagnoses can overlap with one another and can only be differentiated in subtle and nuanced ways, but particular diagnoses vary considerably in levels of public awareness. As such, an individual may meet the diagnostic criteria for one diagnosis but self-diagnoses with a different diagnosis because it is better known. I then outline a potential negative consequence of this. Psychiatric diagnoses can grant access to what I call social resources, namely, political advocacy, campaigning for support, participating in scientific research, building diagnostic cultures, and opportunity for social interactions with people who have the same diagnosis. The strength of the social resources for a particular diagnosis can be made stronger when more people have that diagnosis. As such, inaccurate self-diagnosis can result in the social resources for one diagnosis being strengthened whilst not being strengthened in relation to another diagnosis in comparison to accurate diagnosis. This shows how inaccurate self-diagnosis can alter the distribution of social resources. We need to consider whether this is unfair to people who are diagnosed with less well-known conditions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? no - not funded ??
ID Code:
221438
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Jun 2024 15:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
26 Jun 2024 06:57