Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Asperger's Myth Unveiled

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*Getting misunderstood
*Anxiety and depression

The 5th Myth (hey, I’m rhyming) is: “A diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome and mental illnesses (such as bipolar disorder, ADD, or schizophrenia, for example) are mutually exclusive. You can't have both at the same time.” Oh, yes, you can, and the symptoms may overlap, further muddying the waters. This myth is perpetuated because mental disorders are diagnosed by observation, questionnaire, and comparison to a list of symptoms. You don't just take a blood test and get told the news; your teachers, parents, psychologists, and psychiatrists have to figure it out. YOU may be the one to figure it out yourself!

I remember being 17, and looking over my dad's shoulder at a library book that had a title something to do with bipolar disorder. Then I read the list of symptoms, and it clicked with me. From then on, I knew that I had experienced both depression and mania; therefore, I had bipolar disorder. At age 15, I had been diagnosed with a brief psychotic episode that had lasted several weeks. Psychosis is evidenced by delusional thinking and erratic behavior, which I obviously had displayed. I also had countless symptoms of mania. I had my first manic episode at 13, and first depressive episode at 14. These episodes consumed me with insomnia and lack of appetite. I was either a whirling dervish, or Eeyore personified! Yet nobody told me I had BIPOLAR DISORDER! Hello???

Anyway, I'm not bitter - well, maybe a little. Mental illnesses are apparently difficult to diagnose. Some of you, my readers, may believe all your problems can be chalked up to Asperger's syndrome, And maybe they can. However, if you are experiencing the symptoms of other mental health problems, then please, don't fall for the myth. Get yourself to the psychiatrist FAST, and rally your support people who care about you. That's what I do, and it is necessary for me to be able continue on, despite my struggles.

How this topic applies to Christian living:

Matthew 4:22
. . . They brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.