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To be sick of armchair diagnoses..

(23 Posts)
hopelesslyromantic93 Tue 09-Apr-19 13:03:53

I've seen it increasingly on here recently, posters stating that because people have done awful things, they must have a mental illness or personality disorder of some kind.
1. How can anyone on a forum with very limited details give the diagnosis of mental illness or PDs to someone they have never encountered.
2. I highly doubt most people on here actually have any professional skills and have a very limited understanding of what a lot of Mental illnesses/PDS entail.

I think it's fantastic that mental health is becoming more prominent and talked about, but it really doesn't help the stigma if anytime someone does anything negative they are immediately seen as having Borderline personality disorder or Narcissistic personality disorder for example. It always seems to get thrown out there straight away.

CupcakeDrama Tue 09-Apr-19 13:13:22

I agree.

Biker47 Tue 09-Apr-19 13:53:09

Some people are just cunts, nothing more, nothing less. Wish people on here would acknowledge that, rather than trying to associate every and all "mental health" problem; with being a cunt.

Lamkin Tue 09-Apr-19 13:59:21

I agree. Pisses me off.
Mental health is not an excuse for shit behaviour.

x2boys Tue 09-Apr-19 14:01:02

I agree ,and I was a nurse , and used to work with people with diagnosed personality ,disorders ,even if certain behaviours make me think possibly personality issues ,it's dangerous to say things like to 'random strangers, I also have the many threads where p people describe someone they don't like as a Narcissist or worse Narc,it totally minimises somebody with an actual diagnosis.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Tue 09-Apr-19 14:04:20

YANBU. There is so much nonsense spouted on here about Mental Health, it's very frustrating.

I also find it interesting that everyone on MN has an SIL or an Ex boyfriend with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and yet I worked in Mental Health for 10 years and only met one person with that diagnosis hmm

hopelesslyromantic93 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:10:26

I think its because with a lot of PDs for example, they are made up of traits which most people do have to some extent. But the actual disorder itself is having all or most of those traits to the extreme. As far as I understand it anyway. So as soon as anyone gets wind that someone has acted in a narcissistic way, that's it they are diagnosed with a full blown personality disorder.

GunpowderGelatine Tue 09-Apr-19 14:10:40

YANBU. Sometimes, people are just dickheads.

It also pisses me off when people don't recognise bouts of depression are something that's natural in all of us and don't always need intervention. I'm not talking about people with long term mental health issues but, for example, when someone has a grumpy teenager and posters push for a MH diagnosis or CBT. Why not just accept that this is a hormonal teenager and random grumpiness is absolutely normal?

Topseyt Tue 09-Apr-19 14:11:30

I totally agree.

People seem to think that they know the person and their entire situation from just a few lines written in a post on here. No, you don't. You really, really don't.

Very few of us on here are experts in the required fields, and even those who are must be wary of giving a definitive response via an internet forum. The OP may not even be who or what they claim to be.

Babdoc Tue 09-Apr-19 14:12:42

I don’t find that posters are trying to make diagnoses- they’re usually just suggesting possibilities to consider.
And they often serve a useful function in persuading people to see their GP and get help, particularly with depression or anxiety.
Where posters make factual errors of medical information, they are usually corrected pretty quickly by other posters who have the necessary specialist knowledge.
One of the great strengths of Mumsnet is the huge resource of skilled professional members in all fields, including medicine, law, psychiatry, social work etc, who can give useful advice, as well as the comfort and support from unqualified but kind souls who respond. Please don’t deter members from trying to help each other!

reallybadidea Tue 09-Apr-19 14:15:17

I totally agree. And of course we only have the poster's viewpoint account and half the time that's probably bullshit an exaggeration

hopelesslyromantic93 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:19:00

@babdoc I do agree in some circumstances that people are genuinely trying to help, so I see your point. But I really don't think it is helpful for people with no actual idea to throw out random personality disorders as soon as a person does something 'bad'. Its rife in the post about the OPs sister faking a pregnancy.

downcasteyes Tue 09-Apr-19 14:23:13

I agree, but I think it's partly because we lack any other more sophisticated language for describing the multiple and complicated ways in which families are dysfunctional. To put it another way, I think being stuck in a family with people who cannot behave in a loving or caring way can have impacts on your psychology that fall outside of the rubric of traditional MH issues, and yet are really significant. I would point to the frequent unhealthy relationships between mothers and sons on here as a kind of paradigm, also the use of scapegoating and gaslighting to maintain an unhealthy family dynamic. These things lead to a series of emotional hurts and psychological issues that are not pathological, but are still patterned.

BlackSatinDancer Tue 09-Apr-19 14:35:51

I agree with regard to serious MH issues. I've been surprised as a PP said about the number of people on MN who know people who are Narcissists. I take what posters say with a pinch of salt and presume they mean those people have narcissistic traits.

I'm also surprised when people say MH issues are not an excuse for bad behaviour. Actually, it sometimes is a reason for that behaviour. I think the problem is that most of us will know someone with mild or moderate depression and judge everyone by that. That kind of depression is not an excuse for bad behaviour.

Severe MH illnesses are way beyond that. Many people, thankfully, do not have experience of what severe MH illnesses are where sufferers often cannot help their behaviour.

I also get sick of people saying they have depression when they just feel a bit low. We all feel low and out of our depth at times but I feel it does a dis-service to those with very serious MH issues by dumbing their issues down.

Siameasy Tue 09-Apr-19 14:38:13

I think it may be a consequence of MH being talked about more ie people have heard of things. Also in public life it is used as an excuse so I think people are parroting and picking up that it’s not Pc to say “X is an arsehole” anymore, you have to try to be “understanding”

I don’t really see it as diagnosis and have only heard the term on here. I think they’re just expressing an opinion and trying to understand someone’s behaviour. It’s probably not the best idea especially for BPD which is stigmatised

FissionChips Tue 09-Apr-19 14:38:23


FiveLittlePigs Tue 09-Apr-19 14:39:28

Some people are just cunts, nothing more, nothing less

This. grin

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 09-Apr-19 14:45:21

Some people are just cunts, nothing more, nothing less. Wish people on here would acknowledge that, rather than trying to associate every and all "mental health" problem; with being a cunt

Yes x100!

Siameasy Tue 09-Apr-19 14:51:59

I’ve probably been guilty of it. Years ago I had a housemate who was one of those “when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid” types. It really got to me and I ended up reading that “Walking On Eggshells” book about PDs because of the gaslighting and lying. I also started to feel I was going mad and questioning myself.

BloodsportForAll Tue 09-Apr-19 14:55:01

@Siameasy flowers that's hard x

pigsDOfly Tue 09-Apr-19 15:10:40

Perhaps I'm clicking on different threads from the ones I used to read but a while ago it seemed as if every thread about someone being an arse would elicit an armchair 'diagnosis' of narcissism - it seemed to be the diagnosis of choice; haven't noticed it so much recently.

One of my DB had a very severe MH problem all his adult life and he was the kindest least unpleasant person you could wish to meet. No, MH is not a catch all reason for nasty behaviour.

Some people are just nasty, and some of those people might also have HM problems.

In a society that is hopefully, beginning to work towards removing the stigma of MH it isn't helpful, nor correct, for people to assume that someone being foul all the time means they are mentally unwell.

Siameasy Tue 09-Apr-19 17:02:20

Thanks bloodsport 😁
These “extreme” people are hard work and I think often we are driven by a need to understand why. I last saw her on the train about 7 years ago - I was so relieved she didn’t see me! OT but often I expect to read about her in the news.

YeOldeTrout Tue 09-Apr-19 18:55:00

mmm... what OP is talking about is obvious mere opinions to explain behaviour. There's a lot of projection, but I can shrug it off.

What bothers me is threads like this:

OP: I've got X & Y problems. Dr suggests treatment A or B. What do you think?
Poster: Your Dr. isn't well trained. They should give you treatment C.
OP: I asked my Dr. about C but (long list of reasons) why I shouldn't have C.
Poster: Those aren't valid reasons. Your Dr. is talking rubbish. You should have treatment C.
OP: Now I'm confused.
Poster: Yes, it's easily done. Doctors are so ignorant.

There is A LOT of that on MN. sad

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