"I know, baby. Everybody wants to know that," he replies.
"How am I supposed to address the issue if I don't even know what it is?"
"If you think that's gonna work, maybe you should go to that program they told you about it."
The program he's referring to is a center that provides intensive, ambulatory treatment for people who exhibit traits of personality disorders.
"Yeah… Im really thinking about it."
"Okay, think about it, but it's either yes or no. It's time to make a decision."
"I'm just scared."
"I'm scared that, like, it's gonna brand me."
"If you feel physically, mentally and emotionally lost, then you've gotta do something about it. The therapy you're in isn't enough."
"I know, babe," I sigh. "I know."
I'd known for a long time that I needed help for my depression, but, until I had a baby within me, I didn't care enough about myself mentally, physically or emotionally to ask for it.
At that time, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but that diagnosis was recently replaced with Depression Not Otherwise Specified (NOS).
Well, thanks a lot Doctor, you clearly stated the obvious.
I feel this diagnosis is a cop-out. It pisses me off because Depression NOS just seems to be a "wastebasket" diagnosis, one given out when the psychiatrist just doesn't know what's wrong with the patient.
I exhibit symptoms, such as severe mood swings and an unstable self-image, that qualify for various types of personality disorders, including Bipolar Disorder (BP) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
To me, the question is not whether or not I have a personality disorder. The question is "Which personality disorder do I have?"
Some might say, like the Pigeon in Alice in Wonderland says of his "diagnosis" that Alice is a serpent and not a little girl, "What does it matter?" If therapy and antidepressants are starting to help me cope with these issues, does it really matter what the problem is?
It scares my mother, and thereby, me, that receiving a diagnosis other than depression will brand me. It's a well-known fact that mental illness carries a stigma with it.
And talking about these issues publicly on my blog is a great risk.
Unless we know what I'm dealing with, however, my mental health issues cannot be properly addressed. I feel it's more important to know what's wrong with me than to worry about others' opinions of me.
As a woman who is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a significant other, I owe it to myself and to my family to be healthy.
So, yes, I'm considering going to this program. Because getting the right diagnosis matters a good deal to me. I just want to know what's wrong with me already.
This post is also linked with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out
and to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.