Monday, September 7, 2015

... On Mental Illness

A few years ago, I took Abnormal Psychology and had a damn blast. The final project (that also doubled as our final exam) was to pick a character or historical person and diagnose them with the various disorders I had learned about over the semester, complete with DSM codes, and because I am a giant dork, I picked Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. I literally had two pages of disorders and whatnot, and even my professor was like, "Wow, you were incredibly thorough with this. Even more than I requested." Mental illness fascinates me in so many ways, but it wasn't until a few years later that I found myself trying to diagnose my own mental health.

Now, I know that self-diagnosis is not helpful, seeing as you can end up believing that you have cancer or schizophrenia or Lyme's disease after a few hours of scouring all possible symptoms. Mental health is a very slippery slope, one that is not entirely understood by even the professionals who work in it, and seeing as I took exactly one class on it, I know that I should not even bother to try and figure out if I have anything. I have suffered from depression as an adult and anorexia from the time I was a young teen, that much I know, but I can't shake this feeling that there isn't something else that I'm missing (or have too much of).

Whenever my insurance kicks in (60 days from today - shut up, I don't wanna do the math), I'm definitely going to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. I've been meaning to for years, but it's gotten to the point that I can't put it off any longer. I'm not going to put forth my theories just yet, because they aren't founded on anything other than a hunch, but I could definitely use plenty of positive energy, happy thoughts, and/or prayers as I go down this path. It's incredibly frightening; I stress over what I think I might have, and I'm worried that I might be misdiagnosed or, worse, just told that I'm fucked up beyond repair. I know that's unlikely, but still, it's a fear of mine.

In the meantime, I've found a NAMI group that meets on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays each week, and once my work schedule is figured out, I'll be testing that out. It's a little step forward to getting mentally healthy, but it's that first step that counts, I suppose. I'm also going to be using this blog as a journal of sorts, so expect to see a couple posts like this each week. They may be rambling and nonsensical, much like my brain's natural state, anyway, so you'll have to forgive me on that front. But herein begins my journey. May it at least be interesting.
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