what am i

Unlike most of the Madosphere, I don’t have an actual diagnosis. Well, that’s not true. I know one exists, but I haven’t been told what it is. My psychologist doesn’t feel it’s important that I know, because his focus is on making me “better”. When I was hospitalized, the psychiatrist told me that he feels I have a moderate case of OCD, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

But aside from that… I don’t know what it is that I’m fighting. And I don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t like being labelled in general, because then I feel like I have to live up to some sort of expectation. Not just in terms of mental health, but anything. I have a lot of hobbies, but I cringe when people refer to me as a knitter or a photographer or a writer.

I’m afraid of knowing what my diagnosis is because I don’t want to end up hiding behind whatever disorder it is that I have.
I’m afraid of the stigma that comes with having a mental health disorder.
I’m afraid of being being diagnosed with something “scary”.
I’m afraid of finding out that I don’t have any disorders and I’m just this messed up for no good reason.

But most of all…

I’m afraid of knowing and not knowing.

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~ by mydarkanxiety on Thursday.

4 Responses to “what am i”

  1. I understand this fear. But really, it’s just a name for something you already have. Not something you are. After diagnosis there does seem to be a period of over-identification with the illness – I am Bipolar, etc. After a while, it’s easier to see that you have an illness but it does not define you. Keep that in mind for if you ever find out what your diagnosis is.

    xxx

  2. I can understand how you feel. I don’t think there’s such a thing as ‘messed up for no good reason’. There is a reason for any mental distress. I think that some people are born with brains that are vulnerable to getting messed up, some people have crappy environments growing up, some have both. I’m not sure it matters. It doesn’t make a mental illness any more real to be able to say ‘neurotransmitter x deficiency is linked to this illness’ than the mental health conditions where we can’t.
    Diagnoses are just collections of dry symptoms on tick-box lists, that enable us to be put into neat little boxes, and ze professionalz like this, but real people are more complex than that.
    This may be why your psychologist doesn’t want you to know, because he’s absolutely right to treat you the person, and not the diagnosis. That said, if you’d like to know you have the right to. I can see why it’s a difficult decision.

  3. I found being diagnosed useful, initially. To some extent I still do, but since I got slapped with ‘borderline with narcissistic traits’ (my own fault really), I’ve found that people can be quite difficult over it in a way they aren’t with other diagnoses.

    Still, knowing there was a name for it helped me to make sense of a lot of my symptoms and, more importantly, connect with lots of wonderful people in exactly the same boat. But Karita is right; there’s an element of life narrative to be derived from it which is probably not helpful. I found that it wore off over time.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do – at the end of the day, as your psychologist says, dealing with your symptoms is the key issue in the equation.

    Take care

    Pan

  4. i can’t imagine not knowing my diagnosis. it must be very scary. no mastter what is & wether you ever find out, always know that how you feel is valid.

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