12 Stats About will a therapist tell you your diagnosis to Make You Look Smart Around the Water Cooler
In my book, Self-Awareness, I discuss the concept of self-awareness. How you identify your thoughts and feelings, and how they translate into the actions you take are everything, and it’s only through the process of self-awareness that we can truly understand our lives and how they unfold.
I have to admit, I am not a huge proponent of self-awareness. I often struggle with how my thoughts and feelings manifest themselves in my actions, and I find it hard to put myself in a self-aware state unless I’m in the mood for it. I know, it’s really strange to me. I have a long history of not having to be self-aware. I’m still not a big fan of the word.
One of the most common questions someone asks is “what is the diagnosis?”. In our study, when we asked people what they considered to be the main diagnosis of their issue, the most common answer was “depression”. This is not surprising. Depression is certainly one of the most common diagnoses, and there are numerous other causes of depression, but depression is a disease that can be diagnosed.
But you may be getting a diagnosis that you’re not aware of. Sometimes, the diagnosis we see when we take a person and ask how they are is completely wrong. For instance, I am a big fan of Dr. Phil and have been for years. When I take someone with depression, and ask their diagnosis, I am told that their diagnosis is “depression.” I find this very strange.
I think I know what you mean. I have seen people say things like, “I know I have depression, but I don’t really know what it is or how long it’s going to last.” To me, the best therapy is when I help a person understand themselves better and see how they can use their own thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors to change their lives.
People in the mental health field are always telling us that they don’t know what we are talking about. They think we are misinterpreting words like, “depression” or “bipolar” or “manic/schizotypal”. You know, the same kind of things we tell our children, in the hopes that we will understand what they are talking about and not make a mistake.
I’m not a doctor, but I feel like there are two kinds of therapists. There are the ones who actually know what to do with a diagnosis. There are the ones who have no idea what they’re talking about.
And then there are the ones who just get it. They just assume that you, like us, have a diagnosis of some kind. They assume you are a “chronic” or a “severe” or a “bipolar” or whatever. They assume you are a “chronic” manic depressive or “severe” or “bipolar” or whatever. They assume that you will just “snap out of it” and come to your own conclusions.
There are two things I wish every therapist would tell me: 1) I am a sad and depressed person who likes to fight. 2) I have a serious illness that my doctor cannot diagnose. Both of these things are true.
In a hospital you are either sick or not. In a therapist’s office they are either sick or not. And for a lot of people, they are both. Like my friend and fellow therapist Jason, who suffers from autoimmune disease and is currently suffering from debilitating depression. He has been told he is bipolar. I had to explain to him that it was a “diagnosis” and not an actual diagnosis. He is not bipolar and not depressed and he is also not sick.