Dec 12, 2022
Curt and Katie chat about the TikTok Mental Health and the self-diagnosis trend. We dig into what diagnosis is (and what is actually useful about diagnosis). We also explore the concerns with social media self-diagnosis as well as how we can support our clients with getting accurate assessment and treatment.
Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
We have both heard about TikTok diagnoses in our practices and wanted to talk about how therapists might navigate this new trend.
“The way I see diagnosis is that it's a construct… It's labeling folks that seem to fall together with similar symptoms. And the medical model says, that's a real thing. And then we can do treatments or prescribe medication for it... And so, to me, some of the self-diagnosis stuff is almost colluding with this medical model that’s saying, if you have a couple of these things over here, and a couple of those things over here, then you have this label, this label is a real thing. And that blows my mind, because I think a lot of folks in the self-diagnosis realm are trying to kind of push up against the establishment, but they're lending credence to this idea that diagnosis is a real, concrete thing versus a tool to help with treatment planning, and to understanding us better.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT
“The point of having a professional be able to properly evaluate is looking through that more nuanced clinical eye in order to look at where the threshold is that actually meets diagnostic [criteria] versus actually just having some characteristics in common with [the diagnosis]. Somebody can be nervous, does not mean that they have anxiety… What is pathologizing normal feelings?” – Curt Widhalm, LMFT
“What started the whole thing… clinicians under diagnosing, undervaluing client feedback, not asking all the right questions. And so, folks are feeling dissatisfied with what we're doing and heading to the interweb to understand better what it is that's going on.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT
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We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!
TikTok Mental Illness Diagnosis
Deconstructing TikTok Videos on Mental Health: Cross-sectional, Descriptive Content Analysis
Young People Are Using TikTok to Diagnose Themselves With Serious Mental Health Disorders. What's Behind This Trend?
TikTok and the Dangers of Self-Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders
Why "TikTok Diagnoses" Are on the Rise
Why the nature of TikTok could exacerbate a worrisome social media trend
Young Women Are Self-Diagnosing Personality Disorders, Thanks To TikTok
What's New in the DSM-5-TR: An interview with Dr. Michael B. First
Portrayals of Mental Health and Therapy in the Media: An interview with Danah Davis Williams, LMFT
Should Therapists Correct Their Clients?
It’s Not a Chemical Imbalance: An interview with Dr. Kristen Syme
Is Therapy an Opiate of the Masses?
Speaking Up for Mental Health Awareness: An interview with Metta World Peace
Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: www.curtwidhalm.com
Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: www.katievernoy.com
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