Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sometimes pathology is an illusion

I made dinner tonight for "e" and we had a long wonderful evening chatting. Dinner, wine, and eating creme puffs. :) She brought me a gift, a book. Sweet eh. I told her I kissed the other person. She was really excited for me. We talked about my fear of speed. Speed on rollerblades and in relationships and in life. For the second time I brought up wanting to make sure she didn't judge me for my slowness. She doesn't, and outright said it's in my head.

This somehow intersected with my thoughts about all the stuff we have in our heads our mental schema's). I realized in that moment how I am quite good at pre-judging myself and self-diagnosing myself, which all my professors say is really normative at this stage of my schooling. It reminded me of another conversation "e" and I had.

"e" asked me while we were talking about psychopathology what I think of diagnosing people. I told her I hate it. In part because people are people. Also because I'm not yet good enough to get the majority of my lenses and self out of the way. I can do it for a test and on paper but it's ultimately not yet useful. I'm a student and don't know what I'm talking about. I get that because of the class I had this semester I think about diagnosis a lot. If I seriously keep going in this feild and don't wimp out I will have to diagnosis people in order to get them help. But how real and useful is diagnosis? Of myself or others?

The DSM (psyc. diagnosis manual) is created by people. And it is constantly changing. It's a human made tool. How does it affect my life? Will it stop me from dating someone or being friends with someone because they are bi-polar? Nope it seems not since I've now dated someone with such a diagnosis. Will it stop me from being friends with someone? Nope, not that either? Do I judge them? I hope to God not. But would I marry (ok have a civil union) with said bi-polar disorder girlfriend? Hmmm. I guess that shouldn't stop me if they were who I was to hook up with. But I think about it. Would they not want to partner up with me because of my humanity or because I used to cut? Hmmm.

If we are all mentally challenged in some way, what the hell does it matter that I have names for these challenges? And what if today's mental illness is tomorrow's normative? Like homosexuality for example. This morning NPR did this whole story about how homosexuality as a pathological diagnosis was taken out of the DSM manual.

Maybe I'll learn about this in ethics class next semester.

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