Psychiatrists are not very good at agreeing on labels. I’ve been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder, anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD at various times. It gets very confusing.
I have some traits of all of these things, some more so than others.Being diagnosed bipolar was a big thing for me – it explained so much of my behaviour and my thinking patterns. I thought that this was an answer for me, and I could work on rebuilding my life with that knowledge. It was big, and scary, but it made sense, and I could get on with learning to live with it.
The next psychiatrist decided on PTSD. and that fits too. I have the flashbacks, and the leftover problems from an adolescence plagues with subtle and nasty abuse. It does still affect me.
The problem with this is that I feel all adrift. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and it makes it hard for me to see a way forward. I don’t deal well with uncertainty, and I feel like there’s uncertainty over my whole life, my mind, even my personality. I’m broken, but in what ways?
The Rosenhan experiment of the early 1970s showed some of the weaknesses of psychiatric diagnoses. I feel like I’m suffering from those inconsistencies. This is one very big reason why I believe in continuity of care – one doctor, who gets to know you well, who treats you in a consistent manner. Maybe if I’d had that I wouldn’t feel so lost now.