Monday, December 7, 2009

diagnoses

Recently I've been asked what my diagnosis is as if my answer might change what they would do. In those instances I don't think it would have made much difference, but I have no diagnosis to give them other than plain old vanilla PPD.

Labels can be good and labels can be bad. Getting a formal diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos syndrome was helpful in many ways, but also allowed me and my doctors to say that my hip pain was simply due to EDS, when in fact there was a bony abnormality, hip impingement and an actual injury, a labral tear.

But when we get to using diagnoses that are very vague and arbitrary, how helpful are they? Particularly when they change every few years. What's worse is that once you place a diagnosis upon someone, particularly within mental health, what that then makes others assume about them.

When I entered the program at Fairfax, I think they were using depression as a diagnosis, but within minutes of meeting me and barely having talked to me, I could observe a few occassions where something I said or did was interpreted very differently because it was seen through those glasses. My new psychiatrist chose to get to know me without any notes from anyone, though she has finally decided to ask for my previous psychiatrist's notes, which could be interesting!

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