Have you ever wondered if you or a loved one have a mental health diagnosis? You are not alone.

Scientists estimate that 1 in every 4 people are directly or indirectly affected by a mental health issue. Why is this just an estimate? Because not everyone with a mental health concern goes through the process of getting a formal diagnosis.

While there are pros and cons of obtaining a formal DSM-5 Diagnosis, the pros are often overlooked.

In the case of children’s diagnoses, did you know that many schools receive funding based on the number of formal diagnoses in their classrooms? So while a diagnosis may not directly benefit you, your child’s school may actually receive more funding to help serve their students with diagnoses. This funding may include funding salaries for additional staff members, hiring therapists, or provide special programing for their students.

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 5th edition is pretty universally known around the world and across medical professionals. Receiving a diagnosis through this manual may actually improve your health care experience. Your primary doctor, therapist, nutritionist, etc.. can all communicate clearly and effectively with a DSM diagnosis at a backbone to building treatment. That means less of you trying to explain to each provider your challenges and more understanding.

You may be entitled to a number of benefits or special services depending on your diagnosis. We all are aware that mental health can impact your work, finances, housing, family, and social life. Many areas may be able to provide you with additional services to help your life function better. The big kicker with most of these services, you must provide proof that you have a diagnosis.

A diagnosis can lead to a greater understanding. Fully diving into and understanding what a diagnosis is, can be empowering and educational. Unexplained behaviors can now clearly be explained as a symptom of a diagnosis. This can be a huge relief to an individual and a family as well as a huge eliminator of stress.

Placing troubling behavior on a diagnosis can provide a boost in self image and self esteem. Instead of “Why is Sally always the bad kid and act out at school?” A DSM diagnosis label can shift the conversation to “Sally’s ODD has been really challenging lately, let’s see what else we can do to help.” Sally’s behavior is attributed to her diagnosis and she is no longer living the label as a “bad kid” which could have a big impact of her self esteem and self image.

If you are receiving treatment for a concern, a mental health diagnosis can actually help your professionals provide you with better treatment. Once a diagnosis is made, your treatment can be built off of the framework of your diagnosis. For example, a treatment approach for one diagnosis may have scientifically proven more effective so your psychologist may want to start with this treatment instead of trying new things. Ultimately your diagnosis can provide your provider with a guide for the most effective way to try to help.

Receiving a diagnosis can be a big decision that can have lasting effects. Understanding what a DSM-5 diagnosis is and what the implications of receiving a diagnosis can be is the first step to making this decision. If you are unsure of what a diagnosis can do for you or you are interested in beginning the process of receiving a formal DSM-5 Diagnosis book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.

Related reading:

How do I know if my child has learning difficulties?
How do I choose a child psychologist?
General Practitioners Checklists

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