Report: Self-Diagnosis Of Mental Illness May Not Be Far Off

Jun 13, 2018

A patient’s self-evaluation of mental health problems may be more accurate than previously thought according to new research out of Purdue University. 

Past studies indicate patient and therapist diagnoses of personality disorders do not align. But this new study found different results when patients and providers had the same diagnostic tool.

Lead author and Purdue professor Doug Samuels says patients and providers identified many of the same symptoms at the similar places on a personality assessment scale.

"Just in the same way we’d think about blood pressure, everybody has a blood pressure but when you get to certain levels that are too low or too high, it causes other health problems," says Samuels. 

Samuels says many doctors perceive patient self-diagnoses as biased. 

"Historically the agreement between clients and their therapists in terms of personality disorder diagnosis or ratings has been fairly minimal," Samuels says.

The study provided providers and patients used the exact same assessment guide to diagnosis mental disorders. Researchers found patients actually reported higher levels of disorder than the therapists.