On taking online mental health advice
There’s often some interesting mental health advice online.
Of course, everyone has an opinion and this is the internet where anyone can say anything.
Perhaps it’s wise to reflect on the qualifications of the advice-giver, in providing their opinion.
Not because qualifications equal credibility, but because they give accountability.
Health professions are regulated to ensure that practitioners are appropriately educated and trained, stay current with new research, and abide by a code of ethics.
If there is malpractice, health professionals can be disciplined, suspended, or even de-registered permanently.
An unqualified, unregistered individual is not accountable to anyone.
They can say almost anything without any real consequence.
This isn’t to elevate health professionals to an elite status. Doctors are subject to personal, financial, and professional bias like the rest of us. Some doctors just act like assholes. I’ve experienced it first hand as a patient, and I get why people might generally mistrust doctors.
Don’t automatically assume all doctors have the answers and everyone else is just “learning from Google”.
At the same time, don’t assume that all doctors are brainwashed by the pharmaceutical industry, and therefore only non-doctors are de-programmed enough to tell you the truth.
Question everything. Financial incentives. Vested interests. Personal conflicts. And don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.