More threads by braveheart


the times I've been on here, I've struggled with labels.....
this has something to do with transference (long story I won't go into right now, but it does explain my ?erratic behaviour...)
both my psychotherapist and GP 'refuse' to diagnose me, to give me a label.
David, you pointed out the wisdom of this in your last reply to me...

I do see the point.....especially given what I went through as a child, being 'labelled' by the bullies as--- Spas, Beanshoot, Shrimp, Braceface, etc.
by the teachers----shy and withdrawn and lacking in confidence
by my father----as a useless object, a silly twisted female, hopeless, helpless, etc...
by my mother----"there must be something wrong with you...." or "there's nothing wrong with you.." wonder I was confused....

I've had several out of control breakdowns recently, all of which I've emerged from into breakthroughs, but at times my behaviour has been 'extreme' and frightening to me.....
its all part of my recovery.
the meds I'm on - Efexor - is no longer helping contain my more difficult unregulated feelings....
and I HAD to see my GP in the week, it was SO SO SO bad....

and she's referring me to an NHS evaluate my medication.

Psychiatrists diagnose.....
(Unless my GP and therapist explicitly tell her--I've asked for a woman, as I find men very triggering....but there's no guarantee, apparantly...--not to tell me.....I'd be annoyed if so...)

Which means I'll get a label....

If only it could be as simple as Depression....
it could very well include a cocktail of any number of these---

Borderline, Avoidant, Schizotypal, Dependent PD
PTSD (Complex PTSD isn't in the DSM)
Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia


Wanna add anything else?
Autistic tendencies maybe???????


What does anyone else think of the wisdom or not of diagnostic labels?

And, how much can they change as a person goes through their recovery?





Personally, I'd just as soon not have a lable. I consider myself unique, and don't find any problem associated with being unique.

You're receiving treatment for the problems that are plagueing you. That's what you need, not a name to call yourself. I, too, grew up with lables. Usually, they contained the word "too", as in: "You're too sensitive", or "You're too dramatic", or "You're too impulsive". If there were a psychiatric illness called TOO, I'd have had it, for sure! Those lables made my recovery more difficult, not easier. They placed me under a cloud of "toos" I thought I could never outrun. I made it a point never to do that to my daughter, who suffers from Bipolar Disorder.

As for wanting to know who you are, that's an easy one, hon. You're you. You're all the unique and wonderful things that make you you. Part of you may consist of things you'd like to change and you're working on that. That's the right approach to take, so you're also a pretty smart cookie. Looking for a lable to encompass all the myriad of nuances that makes each of us who we are is an exercise in futility, in my opinion. While the doctors may need to sort out our symptoms for the purpose of medication and treatment, all we really need to know is that we're working to improve ourselves and making progress.



Thank you ThatLady....Your words are like a breath of fresh air and soothing cream :)

Its sooooo hard still for me to accept that me who I am my uniquness and intelligence and creativity and sensitivity and..... goodness.....exist and can be there alongside my 'pathology'
(which my therapist did indeed once explain to me meant suffering).
As I've had to come up against and face and explore my most primitive feelings and how wanting and longing had been squashed in my life, anything 'good' about me???? where's that????

O, and I'd better add TOO to my list too.....I have that also....too sensitive, too emotional, too withdrawn, too angry, too awkward, too much.....

When I've been wounded and damaged psychologically all my life and noone has really put a name to it (or ?respected it) when I was a child.....child psychiatrists? what are they? play therapy? I could have used some of that......
Instead I was threatened with being put in a strait jacket and sent away to a home for bad children if I didn't stop crying and 'creating'...
I'm ANGRY about that...
And about the bullies too....
How could they get away with contributing to the destruction of my personality?(such as what I had)
*starts to rant*
Why should I have to be the one who gets to bear the burden over and over again by being the one who carries the label (potentially), who needs all the help and who is maladjusted, dysfunctional and abnormal? WHY ME? What did I do?

*rant over*


Hi Braveheart,

Throughout my life I have witnessed the tragedies involved in what words are used to describe another (including myself) as well as the manner those words were used. Words can have a powerful impact on our lives in multiple ways. Labels can be used in a positive way or in the opposite. In terms of mental health issues, labels that describe a symptom or group of symptoms are useful to provide the necessary support and healing. The label should never represent the person but a condition, state or trait that the person is experiencing.

Words...we use them to signify what we are talking about and yet when they are spoken in a certain way these words can be extremely painful. We learn that words can be painful, upsetting and trivial. And yet...

Words...they are the necessity of life to convey our love, support and purpose. I wish you were here so that you could hear how I say these words. Kindly spoken with the intent of strengthening in you the sense of hope.

Braveheart (what wonderful words for a name)...words can be a blessing or what might seem like a curse...take away the meanings that have been attached to the "negative" words and you are left with words. Here they are supportive words. Therapy can provide you with an opportunity to take back the past meanings of the words that have hurt you. Best wishes to you in your healing process.



I read a very interesting book by a psychiatrist named Dr. Irvin Yalom and as I remember he seemed to dislike labeling people because he felt like labeling would bring about a tendency for the therapist to ignore any symptoms that didn't fit into the label/diagnosis (that is as I remember anyway). That might be one reason.



Comfortzone....I am very moved and touched by your words...almost so that I feel 'lost for words'.....
I think in part of me "What did I do to deserve such kindness?"
I am very sensitive to words, their meaning and tone of is probably no 'accident' that I am the only one in my family who has been drawn to use words creatively through writing poetry (free verse).
Your words reminded me of a poem I wrote whilst at university, the last line of which was "walls have burnt our world down"....hmm, I thought I'd written 'words', but its walls.....hmmmm.......

Toeless....that's interesting. I have a number of Yalom's books, can you remember which one it was?
It reminds me of the list I wrote above, of all my possible diagnoses, and how I do not really just fit one of them...
for example--- can I be Borderline when I don't have ANY relationships, as such?
....I can't be defined as totally Depressed, either, as when I feel and am met and cared about and understood, I feel much better..
and Dependent's a **** label for me because I have/had to go through a process of healthy dependency in therapy to nurture the attachment patterns I never learnt as a child, so that I can learn how to relate as an adult---hopefully, eventually, and not be alone....

My poem-
Shadowing you, the rough parchment of a dry skin,
There are angel webs in this lace of darkness.
There is no blankness in the heart of the world.
Eyes wander amongst the cracked pathways
Trapped in the heaven escaping hell - breaking towards birth.
Even white-washed darkness is not devoid of hope.
Looking quickly then back at the floor - nervously, tremulously,
for we stare and stare again at the prisoner's walls,
Those of our rooms, our houses, our streets -
Which are the only proof that there is something else in the world -
Although the outer ring encroaches on the rough, dry parchment,
Infringed by dry dark ash fire - walls have burnt our world down. (KH Spring 1989)



You are welcome. I enjoyed your poem as your words provided the focus so that my eyes could see. Words can bring powerful change to a person. Kindness is the use of words to the benefit and aid of another. One of the things I point out to my clients is the need to use words that match our feelings. Doing this can be helpful in adjusting what words we use in relation to our feelings. Using strong words when mild ones are all that are needed can set up a chaotic view of the world. I like to use the "I feel" statements.

Please remember are not the labels...there are far more appropriate words to define who you are. Be careful not use words against yourself. You deserve much better just because. Take care and best wishes,



braveheart, I agree that many people don't fit into labels perfectly. It makes sense really because if you think about how many possible diagnosis there are, it's actually a really small number compared to how many people there are!

I really like your poem. That must be very therapeutic to be able to express yourself in an artistic way like that. Do you write poems often?

In answer to your other question, the book by Yalom was "Love's Executioner"...I thought this book was really, really captivating and interesting. It was so good that I actually read in all in one day. Dr. Yalom seems like an excellent therapist, he is so dedicated to the process...Anyway, I wanted to ask you what other books by him that you've read...I'm looking for a new book to read and would love it if you have any suggestions for him or any other book.

I hope you are doing well and taking good care of yourself.



My therapists would never tell me my diagnosis, or "label," either. Pissed me off royally... They would tell me that they wouldn't want me to know, so I wouldn't act up, or fall into it more. I read a lot on psyochology and such, so I suppose it wouldn't matter. I mean, I could take a guess, but yeah. Eventually my family doctor let me in on some things, the rest that I know of I figured out myself.

I'm also on Effexor...the max dosage, and it stopped working for me too. So my doctor prescribed Wellbutrin to give it a "kick start." I think I'm just getting worse.

...sorry for not being very helpful..

It seems I'm going against the grain here, but I found it extremely helpful to know what I was diagnosed/labeled with.

Once I learned what I'd been diagnosed with I was able to do more research and educate myself about what was going on with my body and mind. It helped me to makes sense of some of my terrifying experiences and therefore helped me dissipate them. If I know what my challenges are then I find there's more chance of me over coming them. But then again, I've always been a person who craves to understand. I seem to get a bit tripped up if I don't understand something. It doesn't mean I can't deal with it, it just seems to heighten my anxiousness and then I really strive to learn more about it (whatever "it" is).

However, I still don't know "who I am". I feel like I'm just discovering that now. I also got the "you're too...emotional, analytical, intense" etc. But I think I'm realizing that when compared to my peers, I actually AM more emotional, analytical and intense. But who cares?! I'm also very sensitive, intelligent and passionate and wouldn't have been able to accomplish many of the things I've accomplished throughout my life if I wasn't. Identifying my uniqueness and becoming comfortable it has been something I've been conscious of lately.

I really liked what ThatLady said:
"As for wanting to know who you are, that's an easy one, hon. You're you. You're all the unique and wonderful things that make you you."

So it seems that label or no label ---- I'm still me and you're still you (if there are any Austin Powers fans out there - he even recognizes this concept by saying, "wherever you go, there you are" in one of his movies!).

It seems that no matter where I go or what I do, wear, say, think, feel or perceive ----- I'm still me. No matter what. This statement still scares me a bit, but a few months ago it would have terrified me. It's like I HAVE TO get to know myself and work with what I have or else I will continue to go around in circles banging my head each time I go round.

There are lots of past experiences and behaviors that I feel very uncomfortable with so this is proving to be a difficult process at times. BUT I have been pleasantly surprised recently because I'm discovering that, yes, I do have lots of uncomfortable things to face -- but guess what? I'm also discovering some pretty wonderful characteristics and even a few good memories! Who knew?!

Turns out I'm human after all.


Re: labels?

turns out I was diagnosed with Recurrent Depressive Disorder. :)

its also pretty clear I have some form of dissociative disorder. but I haven't seen the psychiatrist enough for him to note/include that. my therapist and I are exploring and working with it anyway. and that's what counts.

the other result of the psych referral was that I was put on remeron(mirtazapine) in addition to the efexor which wasn't enough on its own. I'm currently now in the process of tapering down efexor to come off it completely when I can.

my self acceptance is deepening by the session. and I mean to a really DEEP level....

I had a dream last night where I wanted someone to have a copy of my psych records, and I made the point of saying just because I'm diagnosed with depression doesn't mean I'm always sad. :)

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