The Problem with Diagnoses

I think I've been diagnosed with minor ADHD and minor depression. I officially went to a Psychologist and took a round of tests, and he concluded that I have minor ADHD because I was slow on one of the tests.

It feels meaningless to be diagnosed with something just because of a single test. Really? That's what you're basing all of this on? A single test? Maybe I didn't understand the directions clearly. Maybe I'd ace that test on a second run because I know now how to take it.

Ever since then, I've felt like I cheated the test. Like I don't really have ADHD or depression because the tests weren't accurate. I hesitate to act on my feelings of depression and ADHD because I don't feel like I'm allowed to act on them because I don't feel like I really have them.

And that's the problem with diagnoses. Without one, or with a 'fake' one, you blame yourself instead of a biological condition. It's your fault you can't concentrate, because really, there's no way you have actual ADHD. You're just making it up.

And it's your fault your depressed, because people with real depression are always thinking about suicide. Sure, sometimes you feel like life just isn't worth living, but it's not like you're catching yourself holding a knife at your wrist. You can't have depression because you don't feel suicidal. You're just being selfish.

These thoughts are a result of focusing on a diagnosis instead of reality. The reality is that any feeling of depression is depression. Any feeling of ADHD is ADHD. There is no line delineating people who have depression and people who are just melodramatic. There are people who feel depressed and people who don't.

Do you find yourself feeling depressed? Then you have depression. Do something about it. Don't wait for a diagnoses. Don't make excuses. Do\ therapy. Read books. Read blogs. Share your experience. If you need to get an official diagnosis for medication, go get one.

But don't trust doctors to have some magic insight into whether someone has depression or not. All they're looking for are signs and those signs usually revolve around, "Does this person feel depressed?" Yes? Then they have depression.

Here's the thing. You can figure that one out for yourself. It's not about fitting some mold of 'a person with depression'. If you have feelings of depression, than work on managing those feelings, not on managing some arbitrary diagnosis.