Doubt and Denial
Am I really Bipolar? Do I really have BPD? Maybe I am just having a bad week? Maybe I am too sensitive? Maybe I am too lazy? Maybe I am not mentally ill after all?
I have not met one person diagnosed with a mental illness who has not asked these questions. There is no blood test for bipolar disorder and no MRI for depression. The difference between being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and cancer, is that you can see a tumor. You have some sort of proof. That lack of evidence can cause us to be very skeptical of our diagnosis sometimes.
I know I have been there. I have went off of my medications twice because I had doubt. I felt that no doctor knew what was going on and since I had been diagnosed and misdiagnosed several times, that maybe it was just my personality.
I learned that there was obviously something wrong when I went off of my meds. I was miserable and my symptoms became unbearable for me and my family. I shouldn’t have had to go through this. I blame my illness for part of it and the mental health care system for part of it.
Being poor and mentally ill makes it a lot harder for management of your mental state. I don’t get a therapist that I can see and talk to about these things. Poor people therapy sessions are reserved for suicide attempts…unless you can get through the 2 year wait list.
I hope, in time, there could be an actual test to diagnose mental illnesses. A diagnosis with hard proof is easier to accept. Diabetics tend to not go off of their insulin because they are in denial of their diagnosis…because they have blood sugar readings to prove it. I think less people with mental illness would go off of their meds if we had something like this. I am always looking for a way to control my doubt.
Foster, H. (2014). Doubt and Denial. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mental-momma/2014/07/doubt-and-denial/