16 July 2013

What Is Wrong With You?

As humans we are social creatures who have a natural curiosity for things. We like to find information and we try to make it relevant to our own lives. One of those is finding what makes us who we are. Why do I do this? Why don't I do that? We want these questions answered. We need to have a name for these behaviors. Whether we go online or read to self-diagnose ourselves or go to a physician, we just need to know.

I may seem like I am undermining syndromes, disorders and diseases, but I am not. I believe they are all real and they are the catalyst for people's behaviors. I believe that people really suffer from these disorders and syndromes but what about the rest of us? What about the people who are on the line? We watch documentaries of people who have OCD, Schizophrenia and Autism but they are extreme cases. We never see people on TV with mild forms of these things. Does that mean that when someone has these things, such as OCD, they are like what we see on TV? They are constantly doing things in an order and repeating behaviors and washing their hands 100 times? Well no, not really.

I believe some people may have a few symptoms or even just one symptom of some disorders and syndromes. It doesn't mean they have it. The human mind and personality is so complex, yet we try to categorize it by grouping behaviors and calling it something like Autism. Just because you may be a neat freak doesn't mean you have OCD. Just because you are having a bad day and get sad and cry doesn't mean you have depression. Why are we so quick so point out what is wrong with ourselves and each other? And the real question is, what is normal?

When I was a kid I was a handful. I was hyper and crazy and my parents were having troubles with me. I was brought to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD. I also would be sad and may have said a few things that concerned my parents about suicide. I was then diagnosed with depression. I was put on Ritalin for the ADHD and then Prozac for depression. I was young, not even in high school for all this. When I was young I was considerably neater than other kids. I liked things in order and always put things away. I didn't like tags on clothes and was very particular about food, clothing, where things were and how they were set up in my room, for example. I don't believe I was officially diagnosed with OCD but it was talked about. No medication for that since I was not so compulsive as I was obsessive. I don't like wrinkles, lint on things, dirty mirrors, spots on things, and I need my hair to look a certain way before I leave. I never got into washing my hands several times or repeating a particular behavior. The only thing I do that I call "Monk" behavior (if you know that show you know what I mean) is when I am at a clothing store I touch and feel the clothing as I walk by it. Almost all of them. I don't count them nor would I go back to one if it was missed. This is the reason why I think I have OCD but in a very midl, almost common form. I know people who have the same "obsessions" but they would not meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders definition of having OCD or anything like that.

I have never been one to self-diagnose either. I admit, I have taken online quizzes and such but I would not go to a doctor and have a real examination of myself. I think it's silly. If it's not affecting my life at all and I am living OK then what's the point? I don't believe that dwelling on having these disorders helps you. Blaming them and fixing them and wondering about them does nothing for you. All you can do is try to be a good person and live life the best way you can. We all have our quirks. We all have things that we do that drive others crazy and that even drive ourselves crazy.

But who is to say who is what? There are clear and easy cases of someone having bipolar disorder or schizophrenia that can be diagnosed by anyone with some knowledge of the disorders and of course a doctor. If someone appears to be something, they most likely are not. You can't see someone with a neat house and automatically assume they have OCD or that they are even a neat freak. It's the same as looking at a guy who takes care of himself and takes care of his looks and you call him gay when he is straight. (He's called a metrosexual, by the way.) It's just so hard to really sum people up with a bunch of disorders and syndromes. One person could even be a little of everything. A control freak, a neat freak, slightly bipolar, OCD, and even a little sociopath. There is really an endless amount of possibilities.

My mother was and still is the one who has done all the diagnosing and suspecting. She has been diagnosing my father and I forever. In terms of the ADHD, my aunts didn't believe I had it. They thought I was just an ordinary, hyper kid who liked to play and have fun. I don't know, maybe everyone has ADHD these days, it must be in. Lately, my mother has been telling my I have Asperger's syndrome. She even has said my dad has it as well. I obviously denied that and I did my research on what it actually was. Again, if you have one symptom of something, it doesn't mean you have that disorder or syndrome. The DSM IV has Asperger's Syndrome and I went through it and yes some things fit me but not all of it. Also, I feel like it's a weird line between that and other social disorders. I feel more like I am just shy and have some anxiety but nothing like Asperger's. In fact, Asperger's is not even in the DSM V. It is now under the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I don't see why people need to know what are and to have a label with it to feel special. We are all different and special in our own ways. Who cares what you have or what you don't have. I am not going to sit here and say I have nothing but I know what I do not have. I don't go around advertising it and being "proud." Why? Well because I don't think those things are real major influences in me. They have never defined me. My ADHD may have played a role in my childhood, I don't know but I what I do know is that today, I don't "feel" like I have ADHD. I just know I am different and have certain quirks and qualities about me. I don't say, "oh that's the ADHD or the OCD doing that." It just feels weird to label things that may be completely normal in human behavior. Even if you are not OCD or ADHD, you can be labeled something else. It's not like anyone is not labeled something. Again, I think we are too complex to just quickly diagnose one another and even to go into some big evaluation. That, and people change all the time. I have changed and I am not even the same person I was in college. I think, if anything, I have become stronger and better or I have just built on the person I was. That is change. I don't have to a 360 to change.

Just ask people's pet peeves and pay attention to detail when they do things. You will see that everyone has the something that makes them tick or that irks them. It can be as simple as having dollar bills facing the same way to having their whole house/apartment a certain color or set up a certain way all the time. Stop labeling people so quickly and just love who they are and focus on their personality not what everyone else says they are. Get to know someone beyond those labels. There may be some truth to labels but they certainly should not define us as people. We have the capacity  to change and adapt.

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