Its me, not her, she’s your idea of me

Day 12: What do you think about your diagnosis in general?  (Some ideas are: stereotypes, commonalities, misdiagnosis, over diagnosis)

I was surprised when depression and anxiety got their own Diagnosis separate from PTSD in 2014.  I had always just assumed everything that I experienced stemmed from the PTSD. Apparently, how I felt about PTSD had meant that I didn’t fully describe what I was experiencing until 2014 and that is when the true extent of my symptoms outside of that diagnosis came into their own.  I am not sure that this is a good thing, except that I am now getting treatment that targets both anxiety and depression which seems to cover any and all PTSD symptoms as well.  My medication till needs some fine tuning but the improvement is observable.  At this time I am hoping to increase the antidepressants as I have been waging a losing war against depression for much of this month.  I see my psychiatrist next month and more fine tuning will occur.

I struggle to share how much pain I am in.  I look “normal” even when I am in extreme pain.  It is soooo frustrating that I can say I am in pain but my facial expression doesn’t show it and since the medications I am now on, my BP and stress is not present either. My pain scale of 9 – 10 is frequently challenged.  It is just so aggravating.  My hubby always says that if I say I am in pain, then the nurse/doctor would be crying like a baby if they were experiencing it.

Having PTSD has meant that I do not show emotion of any kind.  It is no longer a choice but just how I am.  I am trying to change that but it will take time.  It means I won’t act out in public, even when in extreme pain I will be polite and patient.  I don’t scream or yell if I am injured.  If annoyed, I have been known to glare in a menacing manner but that’s about it.  I struggle if I feel like crying in public which sadly can include funerals where crying is natural.  It is just one step too far for me but I am working on it.

I think that the major issue I have is the assumption that a diagnosis is that person and that it is the same for everyone.  It is not.  The way I experience my depression is different from anyone else.  For example, when depressed some people eat a lot of food to try and created a happier mood but others can become despondent and not eat at all. We are individuals, we may have a shared diagnosis but that does not define us or how we will experience it.  Please do not assume you know me just because you know my diagnosis.


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