How does the diagnosis work?

How can i find out that i have a certain disease?

There are many different forms of physical and mental illnesses. The task of doctors, but also of psychologists, is to find out exactly whether a person is ill and, if so, which specific illness is present. After all, treatment can only be successful if it is known which complaints are present and by which disease they are caused.

First and foremost, however, you are the person who knows best about yourself. You may notice that you are currently feeling worse than "before", that you are unwell, worried or overwhelmed with your situation. If you feel the need to get help, you can always seek treatment at a medical or psychotherapeutic office. You don't need a referral for this step.

Once you have received an appointment, it is the responsibility of the person treating you to get to know you and your complaints so well at the beginning of the treatment that an illness can be ruled out or just recognized – sometimes several illnesses are present at the same time. This so-called "diagnosis" is at the beginning of every professional treatment.

What is done in diagnostics?

The most important thing is personal interview about your medical history – in Germany it´s called „Anamnese-Gespräch“ – between you and the person treating you. You will be asked questions in order to get to know your symptoms and circumstances better. Sometimes the forms with these questions are also given to you to take home so that you can answer them calmly and in writing.

Often there are also questionnaires about different aspects – for example, about anxiety or stress – that you fill out, so that the professionals can see from your answers whether your complaints fit with a disease and how pronounced they are. In some cases, psychological tests are also used, which you take on paper or on the computer. They are used, for example, to check your concentration or attention. However, this will be explained to you in detail beforehand.

In order to rule out other illnesses – such as those caused by physical or organic factors – physical examinations can also be carried out by doctors in medical practices or clinics. These include examinations of the blood to detect any deficiencies (vitamins, hormones) that may be present. If the doctor deems it necessary, imaging procedures, i.e. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT) are also used, in which certain areas of your body are examined more detailed in order to rule out inflammation or circulatory disorders, for example.

As you can see, there are various ways to find out for sure whether you have a disease and what you need. The people who examine you and make a diagnosis are professionally trained and, of course, treat all information confidentially. Their job is to make sure you get better soon. Therefore, you do not need to be afraid that they will judge you or that you will feel ashamed. In order for this diagnosis to be reliable and accurate, it is up to you to speak openly about how you are feeling. All the necessary steps will be explained to you by the professional.