What if there’s nothing wrong with us? What if the issue is with society itself. I believe in mental illness because it’s real. Schizophrenia is real- people actually have paranoid thoughts and delusions and see things. Because two of my really good friends are schizophrenic. My disorder is real, anxiety disorders are real, OCD is real, these are all real things. But the thing is that society expects us to do regular things like hold 9-to-5 jobs even though we have mental illnesses; this is not always possible.
I understand that there is a bell curve and there needs to be some standard of “normal“ for the purpose of research and things. But if society were more understanding of peoples issues, maybe these things would not be considered disorders. People operate differently and that’s the beauty of the world. We are unique individuals and we have a variety of symptoms that we manage. But why does it have to be an illness? That’s what I want to know. I am not a walking DSM diagnosis, and neither are you by the way. I am not invalidating your experience, I am saying that we experience symptoms and they are extraordinarily true for us. I just don’t like the idea of telling someone that there something wrong with them.
We all have things to work on in therapy whether that’s with an in-person therapist or somebody on the Internet. But the thing is that it’s sometimes helpful to see things outside of your “disorder.” I want to be clear everything that you live is real and true. I want people to recognize that maybe if society were more understanding of what we go through in terms of the symptoms of mental illness then we wouldn’t be calling it an illness. Not everybody can work a regular workday in an office. For example, I prefer to work from home/remotely.
This helps me with my executive functioning skills and ADHD. Because I have no sense of time it’s really hard to manage my time and it’s easiest for me to do that in a home environment. Plus I have social anxiety and being around massive amounts of people during the workday is difficult for me.
Even the ADA is sort of stigmatizing in my opinion. What it’s saying is that we are required to provide reasonable accommodations for people that have disabilities, which is a great thing. But what that implies is that we have stuff that is considered not “normal.” And so we as a society need to evolve and consider the fact that not everybody falls into this cookie cutter standard of normal.
It’s like they say in therapy it’s not about your diagnosis per se it is about the treatment plan. We experience a variety of symptoms and we can treat those symptoms if we know what they are.
What about you do you find that having a diagnosis is something to help you identify yourself?