Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Negative attitudes toward people with mental illnesses leads these individuals to utilize non-traditional avenues of support-seeking, including online venues. Within these venues, particularly the website Tumblr, the practice of self-diagnosing is common. At present, self-diagnosing is understudied, making it difficult to determine if self-diagnosed individuals face public stigma. Thus, one question about this phenomenon is as follows: are people who present themselves online as self-diagnosed stigmatized compared to those who present themselves as professionally diagnosed? The proposed thesis will address this question. Participants will view one of three Tumblr blogs (professionally diagnosed, self-diagnosed, and no diagnosis). It is hypothesized that participants will express differential desires to distance themselves from individuals who claim to have been self-diagnosed as compared to individuals who say they have been professionally diagnosed.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

self-diagnosis, tumblr, stigma, public stigma

Degree Awarded

Master of Science




College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Thesis Advisor

Sean Rife

Committee Chair

Sean Rife

Committee Member

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Member

Marie Karlsson

Committee Member

Angie Trzepacz

Document Type