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no diagnosis = not mentally ill?


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sooo, i have been in a diagnostic process for over 6 months. first with a regular psych, then with clinic that specializes in personality disorders, and now they are finished and guess what?? no one knows what i have? i went to see a pdoc today and i said i didnt think they had really figured out my diagnosis and she confirmed that saying they had nothing concrete. which, makes no  sense? how can they see me every week, sometimes more, and still not figure out whats wrong with me?

 

also, does this mean im not mentally ill anymore? since i have no diagnosis. they're starting me on anti-psychotics, so it doesnt make much sense for them to claim im not mentally ill, but whatever. the only thing she said was that they had agreed that they needed to put me on meds for my paranoid thoughts and that they might consider checking me for adhd, which totally wasnt what i came there for but whatever

 

honestly, i feel a bit lost. the closest ive come to diagnosis is being told i have schizotypal & paranoid features , but that means i dont qualify for the full criteria for the diagnosis, right? i also have been told i have 'reactive psychosis', but thats not an actual diagnosis either, is it? which means... no diagnosis, right?

 

has this happened to anyone else? what does it mean when you get no diagnosis?

 

(edit: i guess i still have ddnos diagnosis but ive had since forever, so i forget about it... but still, that was not what they were checking me for)

Edited by Forstyrra
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that must be so frustrating.  i don't think it means you aren't ill.  i think it means you aren't fitting neatly into the little boxes we use to describe the ways in which most people present when they are ill.  which means nothing at all about you - it means the system of little boxes doesn't always accurately describe us as unique human beings.

 

i have a bunch of boxes where i do fit, but some things that aren't right with me don't fit anywhere either.  i have consistent hallucinations for no reason that anyone can figure out, that aren't connected to mood, and have no thought patterns attached to them, and don't go away with antipsychotics.  so they can't put me in the psychosis box, because i have no "thought disorder".  they can't put me in the schizoaffective box, because the hallucinations can happen even when i'm not depressed or hypomanic.  they can't put me in some sort of "seizure activity" box because they've never captured any seizures during tests.  they can't even connect them to trauma, as by no stretch of the imagination can we connect hearing bagpipes or feeling raindrops to anything that's ever happened to me.

 

so you're not alone, if that helps at all.  and you still belong here.  it might not feel better, but i think not having a box to fit in is better than being shoved into the wrong box for convenience sake (which happens a lot).  maybe in time things will make more sense to your treatment team, and they'll be able to give you better words to describe what is wrong.

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Many of us go to doctors and get our symptoms treated, but don't have a formal diagnosis.  As Lysergia said, some of us don't fit into a neat little box.  However, if the meds they give you help you to function in your life, I would give them a try.

 

olga

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This doesn't mean you're not mentally ill. I was at one point diagnosed with just traits of something. It didn't mean I wasn't ill, I still took medication and went to therapy and a pdoc, etc. Sometimes not everyone fits into a neat little diagnostic box. It doesn't mean you are struggling any less than someone with a clear cut diagnosis.

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I didn't have a diagnosis until I was 19, even when I started therapy when I was 15. 

A diagnosis is just a label to categorize your symptoms. There are a lot of symptoms that overlap between diagnoses, so it can often be difficult to diagnose if you're missing a key symptom within the criteria for that diagnosis. I think that if they are not 100% sure of what you may have is better than sticking a label on you prematurely and sending you on your way. Sometimes it can take up to 3 or 4 years to get an accurate diagnosis.

However, just because you do not have a label does not mean that you do not suffer and face your own demons every day. 

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There's no scientific definition of mentally ill that can help you answer your question. It means different things to different people. If you're asking if you belong here - yes. Do you need treatment? it sure sounds like it.

I personally like the words "symptoms" and "symptomatic" . There are lots of ways in which I'm not ill, but there are things I deal with which aren't normal, cause pain or problems, and need treatment. Those are symptoms. When I'm dealing with them regularly, I'm symptomatic.

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