Sunday, October 24, 2010

Huh. Went back several years and reread some of my blog. It's pretty embarrassing. I spent a lot of time bitching about "normal" people and categorizing all of humanity into "normal" and "spectrum". Also, had a lot more coping difficulties back then. The degree to which I idealized spectrumites is....uh....well.....unreal. I guess we all change with time.

Now I spend a lot of time wondering and rethinking the whole diagnostic process. One of the things that really turned me off about psychology as a major was how subjective it can be, in relation to hard sciences. Who gets to say what is normal and what isn't? If 95% of the people engage in a particular behavior, is it normal? If the species has been altered, either naturally or not, so that a behavior becomes very common, does that behavior then become normal?

For another example, one psychologist says that I have PTSD, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Now, tell me please: is it not possible that I have just one of these? How on earth do they determine whether a person has all three of these things? How far do these three overlap, in terms of symptoms? I mean, I certainly have anxiety issues, but it does seem that if I had all three, I'd be kind of a mess. Uh....well, ok. So maybe I am a mess??

Well, I think the deal is that anxiety, panic, trauma issues, can't be neatly categorized like that. And that people who are already prediposed towards being anxious are probably a lot more likely to experience problems in the aftermath of traumatic events than a person who is not anxiety prone. And try as I might, I still have never figured out the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. As far as I'm concerned, they're pretty much the same thing, and whatever it's called sucks!

And frankly, I am beginning to feel the same way about the autism spectrum stuff. The thing is, you cannot get help for people unless they have a label. Labels are useful in that way....even if they are limiting and unrealistically neat and tidy.

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