What does it mean for me to be “diagnosed?”

During the course of our lives, it is safe to say that any of us can be identified as having a mental health diagnosis at one point in our lives.  The death of a loved one, job loss, relationship issues are all potential catalysts for concern and they technically may lead to a diagnosis.  This doesn’t mean that we are meant to carry a diagnosis forever or that we cannot recover or live fully functional lives.  A mental health diagnosis is identifiable and agreed upon a cluster of symptoms meant to describe a person’s experience at that moment in their life.  For example, if you say you are depressed; everyone knows what that means. The symptoms a person might describe are, sad, no energy, unable to concentrate, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, no pleasure in life and impending doom. The manual that helps therapists develop a  diagnosis and later treatment plan is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition or often referred to as the DSM5. If you were to turn to the mood disorder Depression you would learn that there are actually 9 different but similar diagnosis for what most people would call depression. There are all sorts of defining symptoms and you therapist has been trained to sort it all out and create a treatment plan with you.

There are many misconceptions that others hold...

about mental health diagnoses and they often lead to people to feel labeled, anxious and negative about themselves. People are not just a bunch of symptoms. Being labeled is one of the main barriers to people seeking the services they often want, is to avoid being diagnosed or feeling that it's better to resolve their issues on their own.  While others can often feel relief when they find they have an identified diagnosis that they can hold on too. They also know that they are not the

only person to have experienced these issues.

For anyone seeking services, being anxious and uncomfortable is expected as therapy can be a vulnerable and worthwhile experience.  One benefit of seeking help is being able to work with a counselor with training and experience helping people walk through the problems which often lead to improved outcomes quicker and more permanent; than trying to go through it alone.  I work with adults that need help in sorting our their temporary problems and together we find solutions that enhance our quality of lives and help us sleep better. If you are interested in working with me please call us today to set up an appointment. Don't go it alone .