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Most of us get a little wacky about one thing or another.
Maybe you clean the house when it’s clean, maybe you check that the door is locked a few times before bed, maybe you think those involuntary images about stabbing your boss aren’t quite right or maybe that Yorky down the street scares you.
We tend to throw around diagnostic terms around pretty freely. I got news for you–most of us aren’t diagnosable.
If you think you have a phobia about dogs because they scare you you’re probably wrong. A fear, even one that’s a little bit out of proportion, isn’t a diagnosable phobia. If you never leave the house because dogs exist in the universe THAT’s a phobia.
If you clean the door knobs at home to the extent that you miss going to work and taking care of your hygeine and family obligations THAT’s diagnosable.
If you can’t figure out a grocery list because of the homicidial thoughts that run through your head like an iPod set on “Repeat”, then you probably have OCD.
It’s the extent of the disturbance that makes it diagnosable. All of us have things that make us uncomfortable that are similar to diagnosable conditions. Not that many of us actually have them.
I know what you’re thinking; “I’ve BEEN diagnosed by my doctor or shrink!” That’s cool, no shame there at all, but please remember that your clinician can’t treat you unless he or she gives you a diagnosis. Some do so quiet liberally for insurance payments and to help clients with discomfort.
Nothing wrong with that. Well, wait a second, there might be something a little wrong with that. Sometimes I think it might be more realistic and therapeutic if shrinks said: “Yeah, it sucks to feel like that but most of us are a little wacky in some area. You’re gonna have to deal with it.”
Then, they could give you a few strategies and you could work on your discomfort. It might still suck but you might not go through life identifying with the diagnosis. If you find yourself saying: “I’d really like to go to the mall but because of my Intermittent Explosive Disorder, I might kill the cab driver so i better stay home.” maybe your diagnosis has defined you.
Are you feeling uncomfortable with this discussion? Could it be that your perceived diagnosis has given you a crutch or an excuse (ewww, people hate when I say “excuse”) to tell yourself that you can’t do something? Do you cherish your underdog position? Do you like feeling that you’ve been given a mountain to get over in life?
But we all have.