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The diagnosis: a useful label?

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Picture © Elena Figoli

As we receive a diagnosis, we may feel or react in different ways: for example, feeling relieved because finally we know what we have and a proper treatment can be given to us; either feeling disappointed and refusing the situation or feeling very scared and having lots of doubts, etc.

The main point of the diagnosis is to arrange related disorders, although it brings to different consequences, such as social stigmas or self-stigmas. In this way, the society discriminates people suffering mental disorders, also there are our own barriers, those created by each of us. In this way, the diagnosis is used as a social label, like something which identifies and takes an important part in the relationship with the others.

After the first shock, the confusion, the research of information in any places, not always the most proper, such as internet, he/she realises the need to sort their own doubts out and to learn more and more about their own disorders. It happens when you ask for information to your psychiatrist, when you start taking notes of your doubts with paper, when you ask for what book to read which may guide in a confident way.

Also, sooner or later comes up, or may arise, the need to get in touch with people (associations) who are experiencing the same as you in order to share experiences, doubts, concerns, hopes, etc.

Be conscious of what to receive a diagnosis means, the way it affects your self-stigma. It makes you realise the stigmas and the prejudices related to this fact, the way that a diagnosis, like a label, may turn you into such or other thing in other people’s eyes. Normally, negative things. For example, they can see you like a violent, a childish or a person unable to be self-sufficient. And, as a consequence, it prevents you from being or doing any other things. Furthermore, mostly referred to the negative aspects assumed, like somebody who is unable to be happy, to work, to study or to make a family.

Probably you will live with this diagnosis many years, or it may be all your life. That’s because it is necessary that he/she learns, as soon as possible, the point accomplished by the diagnosis and that the diagnosis isn’t you.

Mònica Civill


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