Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fear of Diagnosis


I’ve noticed one particular issue a lot lately. One that stops people from getting the help they need. It’s the fear of being diagnosed with a particular label.

People have told me they’re afraid of the diagnosis. Or they feel like they will lose who they are.   I think this is really sad, because most people are already scared or feeling lost as it is.  The last thing you need is to add more stress on top of what you are already feeling.

The thing I tell people to keep in mind is this:

Remember that a diagnosis doesn't change who you are. It's just a word. You are still the same person now, that you were pre-diagnosis. The label is simply a categorical designation to give you a starting point in order to figure out treatment options.

You’re still the same person. People are also worried about what others might think of the bright shiny new label. To that there is one thing to keep in mind. It’s your own business, and no one else’s. You do not have to tell anyone that you do not choose to discuss it with.

I’m pro-diagnosis if you’re at a place where you want to take control of your life and begin to make changes. It’s a stepping stone. A starting point. It helps you choose a direction for treatment. Otherwise a diagnosis, is just another word. It categorizes a problem you are dealing with but it doesn’t define you. 

11 comments:

  1. It is so sad, the stigma attached to names. Personally, if there is something wrong with me, I would like to know what it is so that I may work on getting better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TO ALL WITH ANY MENTAL DIAGNOSIS: The more I talk to people the more people tell me about the mental illness they have or have in their family. It's seeming to me, mental illness is the norm. Stigmas now are just residual from that crazy Freudian times when people were locked up. This too will change.

      Delete
  2. As soon as my doctor used the new label on me, I freaked out and have been in denial ever since. That was years ago. I just wasn't ready to accept my diagnosis until now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ::hugs:: So many people have this issue. It actually makes me a little upset because it's really difficult to work through the things we deal with when we aren't able to gain the awareness of what the problem is.

      Delete
    2. hi: Diagnosis: Just to help doctor figure out treatment plan. As Juliet said, "a rose by any name smells as sweet." Labels and names are meaningless :)

      Delete
    3. Love your name! I am neurotic nyer!

      Delete
  3. I'm really struggling to accept my recent diagnosis, I totally agree with you, it should be a relief after years of desparation, to gain understanding that actually i'm not a bad person, that i'm ill, and this is hopefully the starting point of my recovery, but it feels like a curse and i'm so tired of fighting I don't know if I have anything left to propel myself into recovery.

    Thanks for the encouragement xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go gently. Tip toe toward the water. One day at a time. Nothing to fight. Release yourself from force. It will come. Slowly. It took a long time to get here. and btw, FORGET the diagnosis. Just move toward healing. Reading this blog, and joining others to support you is a HUGE step.

      Delete
  4. I feel the complete opposite. When I was diagnosed with bpd I felt so much relief. It was like it was answer to my prayers. I actually knew that these problems were not just specific to me, but that others have struggled with this as well. I saw there was hope and I didn't have to be lost anymore. Also, I just was diagnosed with ADD and I feel the same about it as well. Both of these diagnoses have given me hope and that I know that I am not alone. I think it would be worse if I had some extremely rare condition that no one knew any treatment to help me. These are just my thoughts. Hope it helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel very much the same about my diagnosis!

      I was very lucky that I received my diagnosis at a point where I was able to accept it. For me it's opened up new doors and has enabled me to not only find out more about myself but to also have a better understanding of why I do certain things - it offers me a chance to reassess my conventional methods for dealing with problems and come up with better solutions or, in the least, better coping mechanisms.

      For me, the most important part of the diagnosis is the forward working strategies that it brings. It isn't just about possible treatment, but is also about a change in attitude as well. For example, I personally don't take medication but have self-coping strategies instead. Having my diagnosis means that I can understand quicker with my reactions what is happening and why it is happening and react to it in a better manner than before. It doesn't mean that I don't still have the incredibly low points and the insane overload of emotion at times; it just means that I can understand what and why I'm going through it and allow myself to get out of that point instead of staying wrapped up within it, making myself feel tons worse. Means that I recover from it a lot faster nowadays, too.

      But I also understand why some people are scared of the labels - you're told you're suffering from something many people find abhorent, something that is seen as unmanageable and incurable, and... People just see the negatives of it, which is quite normal considering how much people with BPD beat themselves up about so many different things - it's just an extra thing to beat yourself over the head with, something else you've done wrong. This is probably why it is best if a diagnosis isn't given until someone can handle it.

      I also know therapists that don't give diagnoses, because of the negative reaction from patients. I personally think that it is better that people have it, as if you are ever to find yourself in this world it starts with understanding.

      Delete
    2. I knew I was Borderline for years before I got my diagnosis. I was never afraid of it either. I was relieved that someone else could see what was wrong with me because I was so tired of living the way I was living. I wanted to heal so much and having the right diagnosis is exactly what that is good for.

      I also find hope in the knowledge that there are others out there with this, and because there is a solid diagnosis it means that there has been significant energy put towards research and therapeutic techniques.

      Delete

Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...