Do You Pretend That You Are A Psychologist?
Dr. Google says that you are a Psychologist since you obtained your doctorate from Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or Reddit. Are you trained to identify signs of feigned symptoms and employ standardized assessment tools to differentiate genuine mental health conditions? If not, then STOP diagnosing other people! If you are not an expert, then you should stay away from incomplete and unreliable information based upon your judgments. Mental health conditions are complex, and symptoms can vary widely among individuals. Refrain from looking at another person and stereotyping them based upon your lack of expertise. For example,
Layman, or those untrained in psychology, believe that they can diagnose others based upon what they see or hypothesize to be true. Stop it! Even if you use online sources, the majority of those websites do not have articles based upon the expertise of qualified mental health professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating psychiatric conditions. Diagnosing requires a comprehensive assessment, and considering various factors and nuances that cannot be accurately captured by a simple online search. If you are a relying on Dr. Google, I suggest you learn how this may be harmful to you. Most of all, your assumptions are not valid about psychiatric conditions and your actions can result in the following:
Stereotypes of Individuals with Autism
Even if you have experience in diagnosing mental health conditions, or have a diagnosis yourself, you still may not be an expert in the field of psychology. On behalf of all experts in the field of psychology, STOP referring to people in stereotypical language just because you think you know what is going on with them. Our field is not simple to learn and your stereotypes about others' mental health conditions are annoying. For example, some members of The Grand Old Party (GOP) are stereotyping Ron DeSantis based upon their perception of his behaviors with phrases such as,
The above quotes were adapted from Politico, Editor, Michael Shaffer (06/02/2023):
Other stereotypes that I hear about from families:
What is the purpose of using stereotypes to describe autism? In the case of DeSantis, it is politically motivated; a reason to distrust him and to question his leadership ability, as opposed to viewing him an individual. We do not know if he has autism and it is none of our business. To be clear, autism is a developmental disorder that can affect how individuals behave, think, and interact with others. Since there are a variety of symptoms with their behaviors, this leads to stereotypes. Then again, just because a person seems different to you it does not mean that they are autistic or "on the spectrum"
Autism stereotypes are preconceived notions or generalizations about individuals on the autism spectrum that may not accurately reflect the diversity and complexity of the autism spectrum. These stereotypes can perpetuate misconceptions and misunderstandings about autism. It's important to recognize that every individual with autism is unique, and the spectrum encompasses a wide range of abilities, challenges, and characteristics.
Collectively, stereotypes about mental illness are pervasive in society and can contribute to stigma, discrimination, and misunderstandings. It's important to challenge these stereotypes to foster a more compassionate and inclusive understanding of mental health. Here are some common stereotypes about mental illness:
Stereotypes are insulting toward individuals diagnosed with them. Challenging these stereotypes involves promoting accurate information, raising awareness, and fostering empathy and understanding. You cannot assess the nuances and complexities of mental health conditions solely based on limited or secondhand information. You will misinterpret symptoms, misdiagnose, and miss important context relying on your instincts or Dr. Google.
In the case of the GOP, no, autism is not shameful and it should not be seen as a problem or something to be ashamed of. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals in different ways, impacting their social communication, behavior, and sensory processing. It is a natural variation of human diversity and should be accepted and respected, just like any other human characteristic. Autism is not a flaw or a defect; it is a part of someone's identity.
Promoting acceptance, understanding, and inclusion can help combat stigma surrounding autism and create a more compassionate and inclusive society. Rely on trained and licensed mental health professionals for proper diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. We all need to foster environments that recognizes and celebrates the strengths and contributions of individuals with autism, rather than viewing it as a problem or a source of shame. Everyone learns lessons on the playground that we carry with us through life. Apparently, some members of the GOP learned to be mean.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a joke.