Self Diagnosis

A number of you have asked me for my thoughts on self-diagnosis. Here are some of the reasons I am fundamentally against it.


This brilliant book highlight the complex nature of the diagnosis of psychological problems. She points out that not only do physical illnesses have depression as part of the symptom profile. A number of the psychological/psychiatric illnesses can masquerade as physical illness.

For Instance:


Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety


The causes of anxiety disorders aren’t fully understood. Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor.

Medical causes

For some people, anxiety may be linked to an underlying health issue. In some cases, anxiety signs and symptoms are the first indicators of a medical illness. If your doctor suspects your anxiety may have a medical cause, he or she may order tests to look for signs of a problem.

Examples of medical problems that can be linked to anxiety include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism
  • Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from alcohol, anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) or other medications
  • Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rare tumors that produce certain “fight-or-flight” hormones

Sometimes anxiety can be a side effect of certain medications.


Causes of Depression

Learn more about what causes depression, including the genetic link, so you can seek treatment before depression robs you of your quality of life.

Medicines That Cause Depression

Be sure to read about medicines that can cause symptoms of depression. Then talk with your doctor about your concerns if you’re taking one of these medicines.

Depression, Thyroid, and Hormones

Learn about thyroid-related depression and about other hormone-related conditions such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause that are often associated with depression.

Depression Caused by Chronic Illness

Many people with chronic illness experience depression. Learn more about the symptoms of depression with chronic illnesses, available treatment options, and tips for coping with chronic illness and depression.

Depression and Chronic Pain

Discover more about chronic pain and depression, and learn how your doctor might treat your pain and depression symptoms.

Grief and Depression

Grief is a normal feeling after any type of major loss. Find out more about grief – the symptoms and causes – and what to do if grief is prolonged.

Alcohol and Depression

There’s a strong link between serious alcohol use and depression. The question is, does regular drinking lead to depression, or are depressed people more likely to drink too much? Both are possible.

So as you can see the overlap is phenomenal. Sleep apnea is another condition that can create depression. There are more, but this gives you an idea.  Often gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome are a direct result of anxiety. 

I realise that all of you cannot access medical help readily but please avoid self-diagnosis via Dr.Google.


Do you have a question about anxiety, social anxiety, depression, sex, relationships, mental health. Ask Gwendoline now.