FREE PSYCHOTHERAPY THURSDAY: Are You Diagnosable?

Posted: June 17, 2010 in FREE PSYCHOTHERAPY THURSDAY, Uncategorized

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Most of us get a little wacky about one thing or another.

Maybe you clean the house when it’s clean, maybe you check that the door is locked a few times before bed, maybe you think those involuntary images about stabbing your boss aren’t quite right or maybe that Yorky down the street scares you.

We tend to throw around diagnostic terms around pretty freely. I got news for you–most of us aren’t diagnosable.

If you think you have a phobia about dogs because they scare you you’re probably wrong. A fear, even one that’s a little bit out of proportion, isn’t a diagnosable phobia. If you never leave the house because dogs exist in the universe THAT’s a phobia.

If you clean the door knobs at home to the extent that you miss going to work and taking care of your hygeine and family obligations THAT’s diagnosable.

If you can’t figure out a grocery list because of the homicidial thoughts that run through your head like an iPod set on “Repeat”, then you probably have OCD.

It’s the extent of the disturbance that makes it diagnosable. All of us have things that make us uncomfortable that are similar to diagnosable conditions. Not that many of us actually have them.

I know what you’re thinking; “I’ve BEEN diagnosed by my doctor or shrink!” That’s cool, no shame there at all, but please remember that your clinician can’t treat you unless he or she gives you a diagnosis. Some do so quiet liberally for insurance payments and to help clients with discomfort.

Nothing wrong with that. Well, wait a second, there might be something a little wrong with that. Sometimes I think it might be more realistic and therapeutic if shrinks said: “Yeah, it sucks to feel like that but most of us are a little wacky in some area. You’re gonna have to deal with it.”

Then, they could give you a few strategies and you could work on your discomfort. It might still suck but you might not go through life identifying with the diagnosis. If you find yourself saying: “I’d really like to go to the mall but because of my Intermittent Explosive Disorder, I might kill the cab driver so i better stay home.” maybe your diagnosis has defined you.

It shouldn’t.

Are you feeling uncomfortable with this discussion? Could it be that your perceived diagnosis has given you a crutch or an excuse (ewww, people hate when I say “excuse”) to tell yourself that you can’t do something? Do you cherish your underdog position? Do you like feeling that you’ve been given a mountain to get over in life?

You have.

But we all have.

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Comments
  1. Jen Forbus says:

    Kinda sounds like what I say pretty regularly about the exorbinant number of children diagnosed with ADD or some other “excuse” to justify inappropriate behavior.

    Of course I’M just being insensitive and I don’t have to live with these children (well, yeah, I kinda did when you sent them to my classroom and expected me to…oh sorry, never mind).

  2. D. B. Dean says:

    my sons would all have been “diagnosed” with ADD in public school. My response…there boys and kids…

    sometimes my 6 year old wiggles so much he literally falls out of his chair while working on his spelling. He doesnt mean to…he just…falls out. Luckily he has a teacher who reconizes he is 6 – not sick…a few laps around the gym and he focuses MUCH better.

    I got a friend who told me she felt she was a gay man trapped in a womans body. She likes men but hates her body so she must of been ment to be a man…i told her …DUDE – ALL woman hate their bodies…I was SUPPOSED to be a 6 foot tall swedish model…but ya know…not in the cards.

    Girl friend said she was depressed cause she was sad…needs meds. my diagnoses would have been she is a drama queen who is bored stay at home mom…but I am not her doctor.

    I struggle with self doubt, self hatred, depression and at times self descructive thoughts…But i just figure thats because I am a girl….

    once worked in a group of thirty women. I was the only working mother. The only woman married trying to raise small children and work a full time job. And the only woman NOT on anti depressants and diet pills. I went to my doctor, told him I felt dperessed and couldnt lose weight…he suggested healthy foods and exercise…HOW DO ALL THESE PEOPLE GET DRUGS…I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS.

  3. tjs9261 says:

    THIS, DB, is genius…

    • D. B. Dean says:

      i always wondered how a group of woman who got up…fixed their make up and took a shower without small children demanding constant attention (I MEAN THEY GET TO PEE ALONE) then go to work…go to yoga…go out for sushi then maybe a club…then go home to bed could be depressed. My diagnosis…boredom..

      I personally think Americans today suffer not from mental illiness…they suffer from boredom.

      Think about it

      IF you have to wake up with the sun, feed the animals, clean the house, work the fields etc..working from can see to cant see…you dont have TIME for depression or mental illiness. The industrial revolution and the affluency of america today has resulted in a bunch of pampered wusses who dont have enough things to do… They more money they have the more depressed they are. Idel hands are the devils tools…just saying…

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