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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:15 PM


If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick. William James


The deleterious effect of evil, pernicious, stigmatizing labels is at the core of psychiatric survivor discourse™, so of course it makes me wonder why I don’t care about mine so much, like — what am I missing here, am I insufficiently outraged about a civil rights injustice?!
Borderline, Bi-polar, Schizophrenia, these official stamps of psychiatry will lead to life of ruin, they say, while saying not so much about the label that actually got them committed. Puzzling, but later for all that. The thread on BPD at the only blog that matters has me head in a spin.

I identify with borderlines, my life’s been filled with them, I have it in me, it’s a hellish disorder. I’ve only seen doctors in offices. In the room, every diagnosis came at a snail’s pace by reluctant treaters who always provided the caveat that what they do are “diagnostic IMPRESSIONS” — their best opinion, that others might not agree with, including me. Fair enough. Over many years 3 different diagnosticians gave me a Cluster B (Dramatic) Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, all of them working independently without reading each others notes, and all of them placing an AXIS I diagnoses as the primary concern, whether major depression, bi-polar, PTSD, hysteria (conversion disorder) or some kind of schizophrenia. The docs I saw regularly who presumably knew me best were adamant that I do not have BPD, and I wanted that diagnosis, to feel closer to the people I love, and the musicians I relate to, all the luminous, sullen and delicate cutters.

I just last week sat down for the first time to read the opinion of the psychiatrist who evaluated me for the Social Security Administration. It’s been sitting here seven years and I’m aware that I have feelings about it before even reading it, the language is very sobering. I saw this SSA psychiatrist for 90 minutes and turns out he settled on “a long-standing and well-documented history of borderline personality disorder” with the following attached:

Dr. Aitcheson’s testimony is well-supported by the objective medical evidence, which establishes a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior associated with oddities of thought, perception, speech and behavior, … extreme difficulty getting along with others…panic attacks, psychotic features, vegetative states, hypersomnia… emotional lability as well as intense and unstable interpersonal relationships and impulsive and damaging behavior. This symptomatology has resulted in marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning, marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, pace, and repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.


I think for me I have been diagnosed for so long and as so many different diagnoses over the decades it gets to the point I say whatever. I know what they think I have.I know I'm having problems with life and my life and it hurts. Either therapy will help me or not.Either the meds help or they don't.I'll try it,do it,see what happens. Hope for the best prepare for disaster. I just want to be happy,feel safe,have an asshole free zone, and have a life worth living in.

So far for most of my life it has eluded me.


6 replies, 1448 views

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Reply Stigma (Original post)
undergroundpanther Jan 2013 OP
BainsBane Jan 2013 #1
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #2
BainsBane Jan 2013 #3
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #4
BainsBane Jan 2013 #5
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2013 #6

Response to undergroundpanther (Original post)

Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:04 PM

2. 18 months of structured DBT must have cost a small fortune.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #2)

Response to BainsBane (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:58 PM

4. I suppose some people will find relief in Obamacare.

I waited 6 months and paid $225 for an 'intake interview' for a DBT program early in 2011...it would have been $150 but they charged for half a visit when the night before I ended up hospitalized with a panic attack and didn't give them 2 days notice on cancelling the appointment.

I never got far enough to know what the sessions would cost, but my experience left me thinking that radical acceptance was about learning to tolerate their billing.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #4)

Response to undergroundpanther (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:22 AM

6. The thing I see is sometimes labels get put on and not taken off.

Nobody really understands the brain... But there is no class of people who are mentally ill period. People have states where they are extremely ill, states where they aren't. Diagnosis can change as people go through different states, but I think its really healthy for the individual to look at them as just that: states. I think its empowering to say "I am in a schizophrenic state" or "I am in a depressed state" rather than to say "I am a schizophrenic" or "I am a depressive".

I've seen you post here for years, like me. At the end of the day, you are just you, like everybody else. You go through these different states, these different places in your life journey, just like everybody on DU or anywhere.

I will say that the most effective therapy I've had was from a counselor who practiced a Buddhist for of therapy. Its powerful because it doesn't put it all on you, it allows you to acknowledge that life sucks. Your life for instance is probably bad not just because of mental states, but because of literal things happening in it. That therapy was empowering because it let me throw the idea out the window that life was supposed to be perfect, and just try to cultivate some inner peace.

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