betterthandarkchocolate asked: I just wanted to say I really appreciate your responses about teens having "mood swings not mental illness". Guess what? Throughout my whole teenage years everyone thought I was just "moody" and went untreated for a long time because of it. But I actually have depression, anxiety and PTSD. And not getting treated sooner literally almost killed me. Tomwiggz how about you leave diagnosis to professionals, rather than making broad judgmental statements about whole groups of people.
Thanks for sharing your experience: I really value your input and hope you managed to eventually find help.
I did want to say something about how, where they were arguing that teens with ‘natural mood swings’ claiming mental illness are hindering diagnosis for others, you have to look at the flip side of the coin: what about the effect of assuming these teens all have ‘natural mood swings’, especially when you don’t know them and are making this judgement on the basis of a blog, which in no way gives a complete or objective picture of someone’s life?
I think perhaps they referenced age deliberately: children and adolescents with mental health problems are silenced every day on the basis of their age with replies like ‘you’ll grow out of it’ / ‘you’re just a stroppy teen’ etc. We need to be sensitive to the fact that many mental health problems most commonly emerge in adolescence and young adulthood, and many show ‘prodromal’ symptoms at this time (i.e. not at a diagnosable level, but the ‘early signs’). The chances of recovery from many mental illnesses are increased drastically by early intervention, which I gather from your correspondence is what you were denied.
I will make the caveat that I’m as wary as the next person of erroneously diagnosing or over-medicating young people, and I’m not trying to claim either that only psych professionals can diagnose (for many, for financial and other reasons, self-diagnosis is their only option and I do give great weight to the evidence of lived experience).
What I guess I’m saying is the least helpful thing in this situation is designating others as ‘attention seekers’ or lying about their condition on the basis of their blog. Why do we punish people for seeking attention for mental distress anyway (whether diagnosable as mental illness or not)? If someone is experiencing great physical pain we don’t write them off - why is it ok to do it for emotional or psychological distress? What a diagnostic manual says should not provide the dividing line for whether we help someone out or take them seriously.
(Sorry, I’m rambling and probably make little sense: I have a fever today).
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- shaylathepainter said: I’ve had panic disorder and GAD and depression since I was 7! Was left untreated for 10 years. Because of that I’m not one to doubt someone else’s mental state…if someone says they feel a certain way, I don’t argue with them. Thanks for this blog!
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- charcoalcloud said: Yes yes yes all of this - thank you. I had the same experience; doctors were too wary to diagnose me while I was a teenager, so I pushed them away and thought that the way I was feeling was my fault. Turns out that’s not how depression works…
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