I wonder how easy it would be to pathologise anyone who is stigmatised in some way – and has been traumatised. This has been on my mind a lot lately – I am going for my second diagnosis for Autism because I need it for some research reasons. [My first one didn’t count despite seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist for ~12 hours – as they did not legally have the authority to diagnose me in NZ].
I’ve been wondering about how much of a predicament it leaves me in – you see it’s a been a trap being diagnosed with mental health condition of any sort – in the way it’s practiced now, and their assumptions have isolated me inside my own brain at times. I was often bound by the circumstances of life – but these were rarely considered in my diagnosis.
I am not actually a black and white thinker – if you ever question me about something and I am not certain of the answer I will admit I am unsure. I used appeal to authority all the time to explain things – because I guess having external certainty was often more comforting than living in doubt. I’d been taught so early that my brain was “lying” to me through gaslighting – so I outsourced control.
I have been trying to switch to using first person language when talking about any of my mental health – the reason being is that people often will read that I am generalising that all people have the thing I am talking about – self-identity has usually played a role in this reaction. I understand the reaction but it’s based on faulty logic.
Here’s the problem with using first person language – it by definition makes me have a narcissistic trait – self obsession. I have empathy for others – and other people relate to the words that I am saying – but using language in this way makes me seem self obsessed – the irony of this is that I use first person language because I don’t want to hurt others.
This is my problem with getting an Autism diagnosis. Once I am diagnosed my morality is a character flaw due to a resistance to social hierarchy and hatred of self reward over cooperation. My opposition to authority is a disorder. My accidental hurting of people through careless error or lack of understanding of innumerable social rules that change with context could be perceived as anti-social personality disorder. The fact I don’t like doing some tasks when told even if I had previously wanted to do them at times “pathological demand avoidance”.
I often refer to my brain and my consciousness as two separate entities – even though I know these are the same thing, technically under current understanding this is a delusion. I’ve had to craft a mask made out of many parts of other people’s identities before this – I’ve never considered this broken reflection of what society wanted me to be distinct entities – and yet you could argue that I was “different people” at different times.
I’ve had hallucinations in the past when sleep deprived, and I’ve had some bad theories about stuff when younger that could be classified as delusions. I thought I saw poltergeist as a kid – I knew they were not likely real once I learned of fiction but I was making inferences based on incomplete data.
I often have sometimes quite wild theories that I’d love to test in health – but I am scared they think I am certain of things. Sometimes I get scared that if I have enough confidence in asserting a theory I have basis for – they may consider me schizophrenic before hearing out my reasoning for thinking something.
If I had actually used my full vocabulary too much and I had mood swings where I couldn’t identify the cause – because I’d been taught to ignore the cause in the past, while also getting seasonal depression, aren’t these technically traits of bipolar disorder?
I am a sensitive person – years of trauma have caused me to sometimes react to people due to this rejection sensitivity in extreme ways. I used to worry that everyone would one day abandon me because I had been abandoned so often – once I got real friends this went away. However before this could I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder?
I am anxious about going out into the world because I’ve had so many bad experiences. Every bit of anxiety I have ever had has had a rational explanation to my brain – even when the fear was irrational due to a lack of understanding of the reason why it was irrational. And a lot of it was due to the environmental sensory stuff I had to deal with. I don’t consider myself to be an anxious person – I am just vigilant against previous hurt.
I am depressed at times because the world is depressing. There’s so much wrong and people just go about their lives, but I am depressed person if I acknowledge that I am sad on an existential level about things. There’s an aching dread in my mind if I indulge it. I do not consider myself depressed though – I am just experiencing rough times.
Don’t get me wrong – labels are important – but the idea that some of these are permanent conditions is the thing that I get caught up on. I wonder how much the self fulfilling prophecy came into play with my diagnoses.
I didn’t fit the labels I was given and my propensity to speak up against authority when I knew it was wrong might have allowed me to escape the labels I was given – rather the ones that made sense. For so long I assumed that those diagnosing me were experts with sacred knowledge and not just people who got a standardised education.
I spent a long time researching everything about myself in order to make sure I was correct and I had to self diagnose every mental difference I have first – ADHD, Aphantasia, Autism, cPTSD, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, OCD.
These labels were based on more observational evidence than I could ever give in a small appointment to get them assessed – and based on far more than just simple tests. I considered everything – I used process of elimination to work out what I did have and did believe.
I spent so long not questioning a person in a coat with a few modules of understanding of my brain – and I stopped listening to the actual authority on me – myself. This nearly killed me. I ignored the logic of my brain for an appeal to authority.
The thing that also makes me mad is that medicines didn’t help me except in one case – but I thought they must – it cost me over 10 years of my life thinking that the side effects I gained were part of my existing issues, when in fact they were the result of the medicines I was on.
Therapy didn’t help me except for a few key lessons – philosophy helped me more. I didn’t get better through being diagnosed – I got better through understanding my differences, and accepting the things I cannot change, those that I can – but only with correct knowledge of my differences, which I mainly learned outside of science anecdotally from others, till I could confirm them in existing science.
It’s odd that they have something called the “Just World Theory” that states that things are justified because the world is just – even when provided evidence to the contrary – but this is not a delusion?
I guess what I am trying to say here is:
Happy Mental Health Awareness Month.