AITA for telling my brother he should not be claiming to have psychological conditions he has not been medically diagnosed with?

Not a doctor here but I self diagnosed my hEDS, MCAS and ADHD in my 30s. All now confirmed by a professional including some very skeptical physicians. I am now doing quite well on the appropriate treatments and because I know my body's limits but years of damage have been done to my body and my self esteem because doctor after doctor dismissed my symptoms, my pain and failed to look at me holistically rather than as a collection of organs.

All the signs were there from when I was a young child but time after time "medical professionals" told me nothing was wrong and time after time told me I should "just take" the antidepressants they were prescribing because this new one was different and would work.

So yes the diagnosis from a physician is important but often self diagnosis comes first. So what if it comes from people sharing their stories on social media. We live in an unprecedented time of knowledge sharing. And often it's precisely because patients can articulate what it FEELS like to have a condition rather than what it looks like to a doctor or third person that allows the connection to be made.

Nobody is going to convince me that a person who does not have more than 15 minutes to talk to me can possibly understand the lived experience in my body better than I can. I understand why we need confirmation and guidance from physicians. A diagnosis can be everything from affirming to life changing.

I just wish we actually got that or even just empathy and professionalism rather than the dismissive, gate keeping that most health care professions provide instead.

In short. YTA

Encourage your brother to get it confirmed but do not dismiss his experience of living on his body. Neurodivergent teens are particularly at risk of bad mental health outcomes from feeling misunderstood. You should do your best to support him to get a formal diagnosis without dismissing him or his valid feelings.

/r/AmItheAsshole Thread Parent