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MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

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MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby raptureblues » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:57 pm

i've encountered a lot of mental health professionals - and i mean a lot - who say they're "anti-diagnosis". these are people like GPs, psychiatric nurses, crisis team members, care coordinators, etc. i don't know if this is just a thing in my area of the UK, but the majority of mental health professionals i see say this. they tell me they want to move away from "labels" and prioritise treating "symptoms". whenever i raise that my therapist wants me to get a diagnosis review, that i would personally like a diagnosis review, i am told that i want it for the "wrong" reasons.

i explain that my therapist can only suspect what my symptoms mean, and that only a psychiatrist would be able to formally review my symptoms. i explain that having a formal diagnosis of DID would help me feel like i'm not just losing my mind. i explain that regardless of this "anti-diagnosis" thing, that BPD - which i was diagnosed with back in 2017, which my therapist feels is incorrect after nearly 2 years of working with me - is constantly brought up by other mental health professionals. the very same mental health professionals who say they're "anti-diagnosis" use BPD as a reference point for me all the time. i explain that i'd rather be pidgeon-holed in the right hole if they're going to do it at all. i explain that people don't respect my symptoms due to a lack of knowledge about DID or a complete lack of acceptance that i deal with it, mainly due to it being seen as a "rare" condition. i explain that if i was stable enough to only need my therapist, it wouldn't matter, but i have to see a variety of mental health professionals who all refuse to acknowledge my symptoms for one reason or another, and how it's important that i get the right care.

i explain all of that, and the reaction i get is always the same. they tell me i want a diagnosis for the "wrong" reasons. they tell me that if my therapist treats my symptoms, what does it matter, which would be fine if i only needed my therapist but right now i'm very unstable and need more support, which involves turning to additional mental health services. they constantly bring up how if i'm ~really~ this unstable while in supposedly "good" therapy, then why am i struggling so much, which always makes me feel very upset. my therapist is my lifeline right now. she's the only mental health professional i see who helps me in any way. but i'm struggling with just her help. that's why i was advised to get more help. i'm left feeling overly needy and stupid, that i'm misunderstanding things and asking for something i shouldn't.

i mean i personally don't really get the whole "anti-diagnosis" thing. can you imagine people doing that with physical health conditions? i also can't imagine anyone would tell me that it isn't important to get my symptoms reviewed from a specialist if i was showing signs of a supposedly rare physical condition. but since it's mental health, i guess it's "not the same", huh. :roll:

does anyone else have to deal with this? at this point i don't know what to do. my therapist has been trying to get this sorted out for a year now, and it always leaves me feeling really upset when i try and ask about this and i'm met with the same response every time. the denial also gets ridiculously bad, which isn't helping.

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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby BeccaBee » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:47 pm

yeah this makes me insanely pissed off too.

I don't know what the ###$ is the point of medicating symptoms of you aren't going to bother to find out what the ###$ is wrong.

I am going through this now with my physical health. nobody can diagnose or treat me. they just say it sucks to be you. good luck.

it really pisses me off. I am struggling with this in USA for both mental and physical health.

you aren't alone. and ITS SOME ######6 #######4!!!!!!
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby vix » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:27 pm

I think it's because they are scared of putting it a wrong label and getting sued. What they teach us on my medical education is that you have to know a giant list of illnesses and according to the symptoms you narrow that list down and get to a diagnosis. And most of the time you have to make test for the most common illness with those symptoms. Like, if someone has a blocked nose, you will not immidiately tell them they have asthma - first you need to see if they have the flu.

However there is a shitton of wrong diagnoses and as the patient you have all the right to sue them for the wrong diagnosis and the wrong treatment. A medical professional has to have a diagnosis first to be able to treat it, so even if they're not telling you it (so that you can't sue them later if they're wrong) they give you the treatment and see if it makes you feel any better. It's absolute #######4. But that is, I think, the main reason. If only they knew their $#%^ better and just make sure before they make the diagnosis, this wouldn't be happening.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby exul » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:11 pm

Happened to us all the time. Not in the UK or US, but in southern Europe.

First therapist I went to never told me what I wanted to know, and ended up leaving her without knowing if I had depression and anxiety or was simply a "very reflective teenager".
Second one actually diagnosed me with a learning disorder, but told me (and I quote) that my suicidal ideations were "part of my personality". I asked if something was wrong with me, and she always said no, or gave cryptic answers. Until I started talking about seemingly psychotic symptoms (talking with what I thought were superior beings, and ended up probably being alters); there she suddently seemed more invested, and started EMDR (which didn't work a bit). I asked why, since we weren't going anywhere, and she told me she "didn't want to label me" because everything was fine, while at the same time telling my mom that she "would need to work with me for a long time". Dropped her right after that.
Third therapist, same story. Didn't want to "label me", even though I constantly suffered from dissociation and basically felt I was losing my mind, and she knew it. She labeled some episodes as random psychotic episodes though, and discarded everything else that came up in the structured interviews (aka many personality disorders seemingly coming out of nowhere). She also labeled me as a "normal teenager with borderline symptoms" (which for what it's worth, I really don't think I have), because "every teenager is a bit borderline". Talking about coherence. Dropped her after that, and moved out of town.

All this in 5 years.

I now fortunately found a decent one that's really trying to help me and working with me, trying to understand. Even if I didn't get a diagnosis yet, I know we're working towards it. I adore her.

raptureblues wrote:i mean i personally don't really get the whole "anti-diagnosis" thing. can you imagine people doing that with physical health conditions? i also can't imagine anyone would tell me that it isn't important to get my symptoms reviewed from a specialist if i was showing signs of a supposedly rare physical condition. but since it's mental health, i guess it's "not the same", huh. :roll:


Always thought the same thing! It's okay to make sure it's not something small like a flu first, but diagnosis are a way to help the patient. If you don't know what you're dealing with, and the patient doesn't know, how can you know where to start and where to end the therapy? I think there's a reason why in University (psychology) they teach us diagnostics from the first year. Otherwise, what would be the reason to classify disorders? Why would disorders exist in the first place?

I don't know. Just seems an illogical line of reasoning to me.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:54 pm

On the one hand it's good if they're not wanting to rush to label people but are still treating them. On the other hand they have given you a label so they're contradicting themselves. I suppose they have to give a label to justify treatment. BPD is most treatable with therapy so that allows them to send you to therapy where as a schizophrenia is best treated with meds so they wouldn't be able to justify the therapy as easily. DID isn't really recognised properly is it? Although havi said that apparently, I haven't checked but I heard, schizophrenia isn't recognised in the DMV at the moment?

My problem with having any kind of mental health diagnosis is that they can't conclusively test for disorders. They can't brain scan or blood test and tell me 100% that's what's wrong with me so after 5 or 6 diagnosis that they later retracted I'm not interested in what they have to say anymore. And I will personally seek a DID therapist rather than go near any other kind of professional.

But I can see how this is upsetting to you. To be told you have one thing by one person and another by another. And how it'd be clearer to know "what's wrong" and everyone saying the same thing. You can make complaints and stuff but while you're not in a good place yourself it's added stress.

Probably what I would do, what I did, is just accept whatever help they're offering and make the best of it until you're in a better place mentally and emotionally to tackle it properly. It's far from ideal but I can't see what else you can do.

Sorry you're having these struggles. Much luck.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby Dnester » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:29 pm

I have a DDNOS diagnosis but it is gone now because my file was destroyed. My therapist is a big anti labeler but has me as a could be diagnosis of UDD. I cant get any straight answers from her because whenever I ask her anything she says the parts are real to you right or I agree with your old Psychologist. I am going to be going to see my old Psychologist May 1st but she says she wont retest me because my alters are dulled by meds I am on (which I heard was absolutely not true) So she wont have any test to file with insurance as proof of my disorder, she doesnt have my file any as proof for insurance. My insurance doesnt accept PTSD as a valid code for her to get paid through my insurance. So it will be interesting to see what she labels me because she is a big labeler. So we shall see. In one way I like it when therapists and doctors are like that because it helps to not get the wrong diagnosis. Every diagnosis you could get accept DID you may need medicine for. So if they label you schizo you have to take anti psychotics you dont even need ( which is my case ). Where all along you may have DID and medicine isnt going to help anyway. Then on the other hand when you are trying to get away from a diagnosis that doesnt fit you and they wont label what you really need help with they wont help you. It stinks in the US as well.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby Dwelt » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:18 am

There's a lot of good reasons a professional will avoid giving a diagnosis. But there's also a lot of good reasons to actually give a diagnosis. It's up to each professional to find the right move to do, but a lot of them are actually afraid of giving a wrong answer.

Because a diagnosis is something important : the person who receive it will not always feel relieved by the diagnosis ; they can identify with their diagnosis, making the disorder harder to treat ; they can go on the Internet to look for it, then start to have symptoms they didn't had before ; they can face stigma about their diagnosis from other professionals involved around them.

But aside of that, it can really be a relief, and a diagnosis helps the communication between professionals, and with the patient. And it's also an explanation for the patient.

You should check the law about diagnosis in your country.
In France, a doctor has to give clear information to the patient about their situation. If you ask for a diagnosis, they have to either accept or say "I'm not qualified to make this diagnosis" (this is what my last psychiatrist did). Sounds good, but about mental health diagnosis, when the symptoms aren't what they are used to, it's always hard to make them give clear answer... We had to push our psychiatrist until she finally said "I see you're not psychotic, but I have no clue about what you have, and I wouldn't be able to make a diagnosis". Admitting they don't know can be hard for them.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby brockovich4321 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:39 am

Just wana let you know I could've written your post word for word.. My doctors notes say I have BPD too, however I'm Dx DID by psychiatry.. My doctor still refers to it as BPD. I don't think he knows the difference.
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Re: MH professionals who are "anti-diagnosis"

Postby myce » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:29 pm

Psychologists can be such incompetent quacks they don't even respect their own profession. You may as well go to an astrologer who will at least make a chart for you. If you go to a real medical doctor, they diagnose the ailment before treating you. Anything else is malpractice.
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