“Wise and compassionate”: Alan Sokal’s Blurb for “Coming Out Atheist” »« Why You Really, Seriously, No Fooling, Should Not Give Unsolicited Amateur Medical Advice to People with Mental Illness (Or to Anyone, Really), Episode 563,305

Should You Give Amateur Medical Advice to People With Mental Illness? A Flowchart

And now, for those who learn better with visual aids, I offer: Should You Give Amateur Medical Advice to People With Mental Illness? A Flowchart. (This is my very first snarky flowchart: I’m proud of it out of all proportion, and hope to do more in the future.)

Should You Give Amateur Medical Advice to People With Mental Illness? Flowchart

Context:
On Being on Anti-Depressants Indefinitely, Very Likely for the Rest of My Life
“The drugs are hurting us more than they are helping us”: How Not to Talk to People With Mental Illness, Episode 563,304
Why You Really, Seriously, No Fooling, Should Not Give Unsolicited Amateur Medical Advice to People with Mental Illness (Or to Anyone, Really), Episide 563,305

Comments

  1. tychabrahe says

    May I suggest something?

    Please edit the graphic to provide a title and your name at the top, and maybe your blog address at the botto
    Then people can copy this graphic hither and yon without losing the association with you.

  2. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Perhaps an example of what WOULD be a “crucial piece of information” in the middle diamond? The first one comes to mind is that certain antidepressants can actually increase suicidality in a minority of users, particularly teenagers (I had a friend who came close to attempting because of this).

  3. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (…and therefore, one should be on guard for this effect and in close communication with one’s health care provider, not “antidepressants are bad.”)

  4. gecko says

    I think there is another exception where medical advice is warranted – in the case where the person knows they’re experiencing mental illness, but won’t do anything about it. They know that treatment is the best option but won’t pursue it.

    I bring this up because I was in this situation once myself, due to depression and social anxiety, and I don’t know why but I was just immobilized by both to such an extent that I couldn’t get treatment myself. It took a friend to call and bring me to my first appointment to get there.

    I know several people who are/were in similar scenarios and yes, I believe that repeatedly suggesting to them to get treatment and/or helping them to get treatment is in their best interest. At the time, they may not like it, but in the long run, it can really help. This is especially important in cases such as eating disorders, due to their ego-syntonic nature, the illness is such that the person may truly not want treatment, even though their life could be in danger without it.

  5. Greta Christina says

    I think there is another exception where medical advice is warranted – in the case where the person knows they’re experiencing mental illness, but won’t do anything about it. They know that treatment is the best option but won’t pursue it.

    gecko @ #6: Fair point. Especially when the advice given is “Get professional help.”

    If I revise this, what I might do would be to change “Do you think they may be experiencing symptoms of mental illness and are unaware of it?” to “Do you think they may be experiencing symptoms of mental illness and are unaware of it, unwilling to acknowledge it, or unwilling to take action on it?” That directs to “Give them the best advice you can. Suggest that they seek professional help.”

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