I am a lot of things. Daughter. Sister. Teacher. Friend.
And I have…..well…. I don’t know.
For a while we thought it was depression, then someone threw out the term borderline personality disorder which turned out to be wrong. Then I was told I had bipolar disorder. Now I am told it may be schizoaffective disorder.
I can sit here and preach that a diagnosis doesn’t matter, that those words don’t change my symptoms. In my case, my treatment was changed before I received a new diagnosis; the doctors using the meds that worked as a guideline for telling me what I had. Which seems a bit backwards if you ask me.
But lets face it, those words matter on a very personal level. It helps me understand what is going on in my head. And it really matters when you have to explain to someone else what is going on. Depression is easier to explain than bipolar, and bipolar is easier to explain than schizoaffective.
Not to mention the rarer the disorder, the more isolated you feel. And that isolation increases when you realize that the majority of the population that have this disorder struggles to hold down a job and live independently.
But in the midst of all of this, I have learned one thing.
I am not my illness.