I wasn’t diagnosed with my mental health issues simultaneously, but instead over a period of three or four years. First it was depression, then bulimia/anorexia, then anxiety, and then finally bipolar disorder. Every single time I was diagnosed, I reacted the way most people would; I denied it all. I didn’t want to believe that there was something “wrong” with me.
I took it too personally. I just couldn’t understand why it was me rather than anyone else. It seems irrational to think about now, but back then it felt like a personal attack. I thought, “who gave you the right to tell me what I am?” I was so angry with my psychiatrist that I became defensive and stormed right out of her office, which probably didn’t help my situation in the least.
I was eighteen or so at the time and I lied to my parents about what the doctor had said to me. It was partly because I didn’t want them to worry but mostly because I was in denial. So I refused to see anyone for a little while… until that miniature mental breakdown that I had during my university days. And I mean the first one, not the big one.
It’s difficult to have someone tell you have some kind of anomaly. I guess I shouldn’t call it that.
For a while, I was completely depressed and hopeless about everything. I considered myself a victim of bad luck, and possibly bad genes as well. But after taking some time to think about it all, I realized that I wasn’t in a sense a victim of anything. I shouldn’t be brooding around the house wondering why I was dealt these cards. I had some teen angst. Don’t judge me.
I couldn’t change my situation, only how I viewed it. So it hit me one day, after many many days, that I was actually given a gift… a strange one but a gift nonetheless.
Like I implied in my last post, try to remember that the trials that come with a diagnosis also come with the strength to overcome them.