I’ve gathered a multitude of labels over the years.
Depression. Anxiety. Abuse. PTSD. Borderline personality disorder and, most recently, Asperger’s.
What does it really mean? A mixture of dodgy genes and a series of unfortunate life experiences. I am still me. A label here and there doesn’t change how I feel, it simply tries to explain why.
People would say that all these labels make me who I am and would I really want to change that? Hell yeah!
If I could stop being me and find a better, emotionally healthier model, I would take it in a minute. People can say what they want, but let them live in my brain for a day and see how blessed they feel.
I’m in the process of finding a label for my older son, who I think might be an Aspie. Does it really matter? Not really. Not to me. To him, it will give an explanation of why he sometimes feels different from his mates and help him learn new strategies for managing his quirkiness, if he needs them. It will give us access to funding for some therapy to learn these strategies, but, no, it won’t in any way change who he is or how anyone feels about him.
I, too, seek explanation and therapy. The more accurate the labels I can put on myself, the closer I am to feeling better. I read all I can about each label and see a reflection of myself in the diagnosis mirror.
I want others to see me too. Is this why I’m shopping around for a therapist? I’ve tried two here already, but did not hit it off with either of them. I want to feel better when I walk away from an appointment, not worse. I want to hear about how they are going to help me not feel so bad. I want to stop feeling angry and sad. I want to have energy again.
The psychologist I saw today for my son, quizzed me on my own mental health and seemed to have some insight into what might be going on in my psyche. He questioned the BPD and picked up on the PTSD and my flatness. He might also give me a formal Asperger’s diagnosis, which would explain a lot. So I will see him as a patient myself and see how it goes. It doesn’t hurt to try.
Image by Alison J-B from here.