A diagnosis – help or stigma?

Recently, I spoke to somebody who refuses to see a doctor because he is scared of getting diagnosed with something unpleasant…although he knows that “something is wrong with him”. Now I think a lot about what is good or bad about getting a sheet with DSM- or ICD-numbers.

  • Many people are scared of being categorized, they don’t want to be mentally ill officially. Here I think that problems don’t change by being given a name and just cause you were diagnosed with depression, you don’t have to say “I’m a depressed person!” – a person is not their diagnosis. Nevertheless I can understand the fear of such a private information being stored somewhere, for example in my country you have to do without complete confidentiality if you want your health insurance to pay therpay.
  • Then there is the stigma. I am lucky as I have people around me who don’t see me as “the crazy one”, I get support and I am not discriminated at work. It’s hard to believe but in the twenty-first century, a lot of people still don’t have that privilege. I see that the “coming out” can be really hard – I’ve had more than one already 😀 … for me it still was good to say it because I want to be taken as I am (also in my job, I don’t want to hide) and if somebody doesn’t like that, that’s the way it is. It may hurt but at the end of the day you just get help if you can ask for it. And for me that is much easier since I know that I’m not just weird but actually do have a problem with a name.
  • Some people also think that persons with a diagnose tend to hiding behind it and use it as an excuse to not try that hard any more. I can just say that I raise my head to everyone who thinks about suicide every day and still is here, struggling. And if I act irrationally due to my condition I want to be allowed to say so and not be thought of as somebody who just looks for excuses. Not to mention that telling somebody who panics to “pull him/herself together” is a very dumb thing to do.

So those are my thoughts for today, I might write more about the topic. And obviously, I am interested in what people who read this think 🙂

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