I claim the invention of a new word: diagnophilia. If any of you know of its existence or know a word that describes the issue I am going to discuss, please let me know!
The other week I was out for some nice wine with my friend. I told her that recently and for a short while only, I turned back to my anxiety because I did not find another way to deal with everything that is happening at the moment. Yeah, that’s right. I still refuse to see anxiety as a disease that comes over you. For me it is true that I trained myself to react with anxiety whenever I am torn or insecure. Mind you, I have also trained different solutions, but every now and then, I slide back into old habits.
Anyways, when I told her this, she said: “You know what, I am so jealous of you having a diagnose!” I snapped at her straight away saying how I did not like my anxiety disorder very much. She then explained that this was not her point. She meant that she is always trying to find out what her issues are, but no-one wants to give her a diagnose. Well, maybe because there is none! Everybody struggles, and it only needs a diagnose when it takes an unhealthy direction. We then decided we will revolutionise psychology and establish a new disorder: the urgent need to have a diagnose where none is indicated 😉 We shall do field studies and write a lot of sophisticated books about them. Finally a new career option!
But seriously, why are we so obsessed with naming our “issues”? Another friend of mine was all happy when a doctor mentioned she might suffer from a certain disorder. For her, that would be the explanation for everything that she finds weird in herself! I told her to go and get tested, and here is her answer: “No, I am not going to get tested. If it turns out that I don’t have that disorder, I’ll start searching all over again!” I can see what she means, and if she is happy thinking she has a certain disorder, so be it.
I worry that diagnoses are being overused. It is an unhealthy trend, because it qualifies real medical and mental issues. I don’t know how many time I’ve heard people saying they were burned out while they really meant that they were stressed and tired. Sadness is automatically depression. Being nervous is a panic attack.
I think we kind of unlearned what is normal. It is normal to worry or to be sad. It is normal to be different from other people (if you feel you are just like anybody else, you might have a problem :-)). We want to name everything that feels a bit off. We are constantly exposed to how we should be and what is right or wrong. So, having a diagnose makes it easier sometimes, doesn’t it? It kind of takes the responsibility off us!
So yeah, certain psychological indications require treatment in one way or the other. But if you feel different and it does not do harm to yourself – enjoy it! You are a true individual!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!