Many years ago when I started therapy with a Doctor who was Good ( after Twenty Years of one Quack after another), told me that there is no definitive test for Anxiety, nor Bi Polar, nor a wealth of many other mental illnesses. I hope times have changed because I have been out of therapy for about six years. (except for my blog)
I was really upset by this and checked with my regular doctor and he told me the same thing. (Can’t trust doctors, so have to double check you know). …So I had been on Anxiety medicine after ruling out a heart problem and thyroid, blah blah blah and they could not prove that there was Something Wrong with My Brain? That made no sense to me. However, I have read that there are ‘promising developments with blood tests’…Good. I will be the first one to sign up.
My college daughters bring home their friends and I call them my little friends. Not to diminish them, they are up and coming, fierce Warrior Women, bound to Make a Good Difference in our Crazy World….but one has been told she has bi polar disease, diagnosed two years ago. This young woman had always had troubles, most of them sounding normal to me, although I am no expert, just an armchair physician..She was also having trouble, (although she may not have known it but I spotted it right away) with her identity. Explanation: Do I like women or men or both? Anyway, .The docs had her on so much medicine she could not walk. Truth. Then they discovered something may be wrong with her spine at the base of her neck and she was so Glad that she may not be bi polar. Her neck is not causing her problems.
She was never one to sleep. Even as a child, she would not sleep. It was not just getting days and nights mixed up which is normal for babies, the kid could not sleep. It continues into her young adult life. That, in and of itself, is a problem. You need your sleep so your body can rejuvenate itself. She also has been tested and diagnosed with a thyroid problem. Easy fix.
She does demonstrate some manic behavior I guess, like when she stays up all night and puts signs up all over the place for someone running for a political office, but maybe that was just an over joyed, over ambitious teen….I don’t know. She also has deep bouts of depression. However, because of Her Life, I think that would be normal.
The point is, I wish the medical community could find a definitive test for these kinds of things so that people would not be overly medicated and think that they are Crazy. This young woman is the farthest thing from crazy. I know Crazy. She is Not.
I once knew a young man who was manic depressant, diagnosed by a Social Worker, (since when do They diagnose, no medical degree Thank You)….he was extremely happy most of the time and then would plunge into dark depression for No Apparent Reason, so he said. Although I was Looking In, I could see the reason for his Dark Depression: Too many drugs perhaps…..partying all the time and losing jobs because of it….getting into trouble with the Law because of his drinking….feeling like a loser when his friends were Successful…Ah, that would do it….But was he ‘manic depressant’…the New Bi Polar? I dunno….
Many people use their diagnosis’s or Life Happenings as an excuse. This Woman Does Not. But I Do. For example, I Cry all the Time, oh it’s Menopause. I am Madder than Hell. …Oh that’s Menopause….I forgot something that I have known for a million years…Menopause. You get the picture….Some people that have been known to be diagnosed with these type of mental illnesses blame everything on it. I am not saying it’s right or wrong. Maybe it’s true. But it gives one pause to think maybe it isn’t your ‘illness’ maybe you are just in a bad mood, or a bad place, or have too much energy, or you have to calm down. I am The First One Guilty of This. Can’t go there, do that see that person my Anxiety will Shut Me Down and I will run back home…..So This is Me Too….
I am not diminishing those with true mental illness. I have a family member that has a true mental illness. It’s real and it’s scary. It’s schizophrenia. This young man was raised by a Nut Job, (my father) but he is truly mentally ill. He hears voices, he talks in different voices, he has tried to commit suicide several times, and lives in a group home always under watch. I have no idea how the diagnosis came about but he is sick. And I am Not Happy about anyone suffering from a Mental Condition.
Anxiety is my constant companion and it’s Real. It’s just difficult for me to accept a doctor’s word on something that can not be tested for…..
This blog post has Anxiety Jumping for Joy….