Saturday, 22 December 2018

To Belong

Back to the psychiatrist this week, for a go at a formal diagnosis. I wasn’t expecting this to fix everything, of course. But I had hoped that it would help me make sense of my situation and maybe arm me with some coping strategies. (like Rebecca here)

So here are the diagnoses that were under consideration 6 weeks ago.

(c-)PTSD: Nah. I startle like nobody else I know and the smell of wet pavements gives me an overwhelming sense of dread for some reason but I don’t have the right kind of hyper-vigilance or intrusive memory.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Inconclusive. I am autistic enough for a psychiatrist to say that I “clearly have autistic traits” and recommend me some self-help books on living with autism, but not enough to be referred to an autism specialist. I wish I were kidding. I really do.

Avoidant Personality Disorder: Yes, according to the psychiatrist. Though I wouldn’t call it that. I’d call it: “I’ve found a way to survive, and it involves plenty of alone time and not having romantic partnerships.” It doesn’t really matter which of us is right, though, because the recommendations for treatment are the same: talking therapy, or nothing.

Dysthymia: Ding ding ding! We have a winner! It wasn’t a big revelation. I’ve known for years that dysthymia seemed to fit, and I have known for ages that the treatments for dysthymia are very much like the treatments for depression, which I was already trying. But now that a psychiatrist has said it, it’s official, and it opens up some new drug treatment options that a GP wouldn’t have given me.

So that’s a start.

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