What Does a Diagnosis Mean?

March 12, 2019 / Alex Hanna  / 

I’ve been struggling recently to understand just what a diagnosis means to those who have a mental illness. I have been diagnosed with a few (depression, generalized anxiety, adult ADHD), but sometimes I don’t know that this is accurate. Most of it fits, but the medication I am on better aligns with other disorders, such as Bipolar II or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). And when I look back at the past 10 - 15 years, I can see indications of where these other diagnoses may have been more appropriate. But when I was seeing doctors and therapists, I may not have been exhibiting all the symptoms (such as mania), so they found another explanation. I am not questioning the abilities of my healthcare providers in the least. This is more of a philosophical question to ponder. (Note, only a certified mental healthcare professional can issue a formal diagnosis. This article is not intended to encourage self-diagnosis. Rather, I want this to encourage asking questions.)