In a previous post I mentioned how reviewing the notes from a past psychiatrist made me realize that labels just aren’t that important. Who cares what diagnosis is on paper as long as I get better?

Again I question myself. Why do I care so much about the diagnosis?

Identity?

Certainly my basic reason for having the labels is that then I know myself. I have no idea who I am, though I’m discovering bits and pieces. Having correct diagnoses helps me figure out how my brain works. But I’ve discovered something. Identity is not the only thing causing me to cling to diagnoses.

Validity.

There it is! What a relief to hear my therapist say “I think you may have…” Finally something that explains my thoughts and feelings. Something that connects me to other people. I am not a freak, a weirdo. I am not alone. And I’m not imagining things. See if I don’t have bipolar or bpd or some other disorder, than I’m just crazy. Or worse, I’m a drama queen who overexaggerates her problems even though they are just like what everyone else experiences. It just means I’m a loser. That I’m a baby. That I’m a bad person. If I have these disorders, then they are illnesses that I can work to get better. My concerns are legitimate.

And that is why having a diagnosis is so important to me. That is why I pray for a doctor to finally tell me, yep we’re pretty sure you have bpd. Because if I don’t, I’m just a messed up person with a defunct personality. And I’m a hypochondriac. If I have bpd, well, it can be explained and it can be treated. I’m not a bad person, I’m just sick.

My current therapist isn’t sure I have a personality disorder. Most family and friends think I don’t. I’m pretty sure I do.

Please, don’t tell me I’m a bad person.

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Comments
  1. nondelusionalpsychosis says:

    You are not a bad person!!! You are struggling, trying to figure out who you are. I’m in the same boat…. trying to figure out if my dx is correct. You will be alright!

  2. Lil says:

    I agree, for me it was such a relief to have the BPD confirmed, rather than just yet another label to maybe/maybe not explain my feelings and behaviour. Over the years I’d had a lot of labels thrown my way, and none seemed to describe how I felt, until I got the Borderline diagnosis. While I don’t think diagnosis is the be-all-and-end-all, it definitely helped me focus my energy and use specific tools (namely CBT and DBT) to start my recovery. You ARE NOT a bad person, Ari. You have an illness, and can learn how to live in a more healthy and happy way.

  3. Sid says:

    You’ve thoroughly articulated the thoughts I had surrounding a diagnosis that I could not find the words for. I completely agree with everything you wrote.

  4. falloutmommy says:

    Wow. I feel the same.. my husband just thinks that I’m a hypochondriac and that it’s all in my head. That pertains to the actual diagnoses as well. Go figure.

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