It’s really hard to admit that you have a problem, especially when it’s one you can’t control; dyslexia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, etc… (By the way, I’m not saying I have all of these; I’m simply advocating.)
It takes a while to build up the courage to admit it to yourself, and even longer to admit it to others….
Common societal misconceptions generate a lot of fears; if you are dyslexic people assume you’re illiterate, if you have ADHD people assume you’re always hyperactive, if you are bipolar people assume you’re depressed all the time. (And by “people” I mean “some people”.)
But misconceptions and unfair accusations aren’t the scariest part of “coming out”; people who self-diagnosis themselves with these “problems” are.
Let’s use dyslexia as the first example. So, you finally build up the courage to tell a co-worker that you’re dyslexic, and what is the first thing they say back to you…. “I think I am too, I mix stuff up all the time”.
Moving on to Bipolar Disorder. Imagine this situation; for months you’ve built up the courage to “come out” to the people close to you, you’ve already tried 10 times and backed out… Then, finally, you say it; “I have Bipolar Disorder”… And what do they say back… “Me too, I’m always so moody.”
Or you say you have OCD and someone replies with, “I like being organized too.”
Hearing replies like these are a royal slap in the face. It took so much courage to admit “it”, and now that you have you deserve to feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, but NO. Instead you find yourself wanting to shout at the other person… “Okay, so you mix stuff up; that’s NOT the definition of Dyslexia”… “So, you’re moody; that’s NOT the definition of Bipolar Disorder”… “You think you have OCD: do you throw all your coffee cups, plates, and bowls away because you cracked one cup, and couldn’t stand to have an odd number?”
You now regret “coming out”… Especially to a person who thinks so casually of your disability.
The diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder and OCD relies on a doctor taking a careful patient history while monitoring symptoms over an extended period of time… As far as Dyslexia is concerned, there is no single assessment: data must be gathered in cognitive, receptive, oral and written areas, to name a few. (So, the internet multiple choice test you took is a joke…)
I’m sure there are self-diagnosed people out there who are correct in their diagnosis. I’m also sure that there are people out there who are incorrectly doctor diagnosed. So, please don’t take offense.
The list of disorders like this is too long for this blog; Dysgraphia, OCD, Multiple Personality, Oppositional Defiance, Narcissistic Personality….
I don’t have a miraculous and inspirational conclusion for this blog… I guess I’ll end with this: you wouldn’t tell a color blind person that you’re color blind (when your not), just because you aren’t sure if blue-green is more blue than green.. So don’t tell a Bipolar person that you’re bipolar just because you’re “moody”.
Check Out Another Post: The Bipolar Mind in Fifty Words