receiving a mental health diagnosis
Mental Illness is something that holds too much stigma and is considered taboo in our society. We’ve come a long way- I believe. 1 in 4 are facing a mental health condition. Depression and anxiety are the most common among the numbers. If mental illness is so common why is there so much power held by stigma?
People feel alone inside their minds, despite the evidence they are not the only one.
Commonly misused terms. “She’s so bipolar.” “Everybody gets anxious.”
Imagine then, being the one who is diagnosed with a mental illness.
Maybe you have.
I was 17 when I was diagnosed with an anxiety and depression disorder.
At the time I felt comforted by the diagnosis. It was proof that I did not have as much control as I thought I did. There were reasons why I was feeling the way I did.
I quickly learned, though, it was something I had to hesitate to share.
People think you’re milking it.
Because sometimes people do.
People with the same mental health condition may experience different intensities in their symptoms, or experience different symptoms.
I wanted to talk about my diagnosis with the purpose of spreading awareness and helping others, but not everyone saw it that way. Some still don’t- and I have to be ok with that. Those who do are impacted in ways that allow them to feel safe in their skin, their minds. I have to be ok with that.
There are 2 ways to look at a diagnosis.
Ok- there are many ways, but 2 I want to touch on.
Therapists/Psychiatrists must diagnose you in order to bill and receive pay through insurance.
A diagnosis is not so much about the illness, but more about the treatment.
Recognizing a main concern to address with the goal of minimizing the effects of the condition.
Oops.. I lied.
A few more.
Mental health conditions are more often than not a sign that something is off with your health. A thyroid condition, a chemical imbalance in your brain. These things are treatable.
Your current emotional state, whatever that may be, is not a definition of who you are. Emotions are emotions. They don’t define us. They don’t hold that much power over what makes us..well, us.
I write this post after receiving a diagnosis this past week.
I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Though I was ready to argue a diagnosis, I did not argue this one. I knew it was true.
I am no war veteran.
I did not have a terrible childhood.
For many, these are often what comes to mind when PTSD is even mentioned.
I have a happy past, of happy memories.
But I also have traumas from my childhood and more recently that I have terribly struggled to move on from.
I have endured a lot by my age of 20 than most can say.
This diagnosis is not so much about the name. It is the start of something in my journey.
A new road to take, as I am starting a treatment I know I have needed- but have been too scared to ask for.
I am about to do hard work to recover from past traumas.
It is going to be hell. It is going to rip me apart and put me back together again.
I don’t feel ready, but will I ever be?
What I am ready for, is to heal.
I want to prevent needing another hospitalization.
I will accept a diagnosis if it will direct me to the treatment and therapies I need.
I am no different with this diagnosis of PTSD as I was before.
I am still me.
I have good days and bad days as we all do.
I want to be honest about this difficult part of my journey.
This past year I have heard a lot of names of various health conditions. Starting with endometriosis. Diagnoses, labels, go to your head. I have to separate various pieces of my “condition” and remind myself, hey, this doesn’t change who you are.
You are compassionate. You are wise. You are a good friend.
Recovering after my second hospitalization has been no walk in the park.
You know that if you caught my last post.
The healing is every day.
Now, I feel more confident that I won’t feel this way forever.
I will keep you updated through this journey the best that I can.
Somewhere out there is someone like me who just may stumble upon a post like this.
I write this post for others, but I am also talking straight to myself.
You are not alone, you will get through this.
Let go of what society, the movies, have told you and look at the mirror at yourself.
Who are you? Really.