Labeling my Life , my self, and depression: Stick and Stones and the DSM-V


This is the third in my series of posts discussing my reading of Monica A. Coleman’s book Not Alone.
I’ve always been ambivalent about my depression.  I think it’s because, like Coleman, I have a slightly suspicious attitude about having the way I am labeled. As if the sum and total of who I am as a person and how I see and experience the world can be reduced to a diagnosis.  I agree with Coleman that “a reduced life doesn’t work for me.” She elaborates:

“A reduced life doesn’t work for me. My diagnosis is just shorthand and not my fully developed story. It’s only a very brief way of explaining some of what I live with. It’s probably most helpful for psychiatrists. Mental health conditions are as unique as the people who live with them. I have two good friends with the same diagnosis, and we have pretty different experiences of depression and hypomania. More importantly, my diagnosis is just one part of what can be said about me. There’s a lot more to me than this name. This name was given to me by people who write manuals.”
Coleman, Monica A. (2012-08-24). Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression (pp. 13-14). Inner Prizes, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

 

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