Getting a diagnosis for many people is very important. Getting a diagnosis can feel like there is an understanding of the difficulties faced by your loved on and from that point on, treatment and recovery is more likely.
It sounds very simple for most peopple when their usual experience with health professionals is about physical health. You see a doctor, they tell you what’s wrong wtih you, they prescribe a treatment, you take it (or rub it on, or do the exercise) it gets better and you recover.
It probably goes without saying that diagnosing and treating mental health conditions isn’t like that!
A diagnosis can only be made by a Psychiatrist – a medically trained doctor who has specialised in psychiatry.
It can be extremely frustrating for everyone concerned when a diagnosis isn’t forthcoming or it appears that an initial diagnosis changes or another label is added to the diagnosis. And despite the progress made with greater compassion and understanding for people with poor mental health, there is still a great deal of stigmatisaion and distrust. Labels stick and people with poor mental health are discriminated against financially, socially and at work.
I think getting a diagnosis helped us because it meant we were able to become better informed. We could take control in a way rather than just feeling like we were in no-mans-land.