Who Cares What Your Diagnosis Is?

Wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Summer Paral...

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Self-Care Tip #115 – If it’s not serving you well, don’t waste your time on it.  Be a friend to yourself.

Trixie Hidalgo, advocate to end violence in America, tells me that many of the people engaging in gang crimes tell her that they are put in their life positions (poor, stereotyped, impoverished) by the people who have the power, to keep those people in power and to keep them down.  They have some credible arguments we’ve shared before in history relating to oppression such as race, color, gender, money, or status.  Are these people victims?  Sure, why not.  But is that the point here?

The victims reminded me of a clinic I was in the other day.  I was working with Marcus and his father.  The father was torn about where to go to get his disabled son, Marcus, treatment.  Marcus was disabled with both brain illnesses and severe psychosocial stressors.  Currently we found Marcus, 2 years into treatment with me, and as of yet, father and mother (divorced without amicable terms) had yet to engage in treatment with me.  They wanted to know why Marcus was the way he was.  Father pointed at Mother and Mother pointed at Father.  They blamed other things as well, the schools not providing the right services, the medications for not working, his genes, and more.  Meanwhile, Marcus is tearing up his classroom and his own life.  He is barely functional socially.  Moody and volatile.  Anxious with physical symptoms.  He was having multiple medical work-ups going successively for various physical complaints.

Before I let them go, I told his parents, “Who cares what his diagnoses are?  It’s not about the diagnosis.”  The purpose of a diagnosis is to serve the patient.  The patient doesn’t serve the diagnosis.  Right now, Marcus was serving the quest for his diagnoses.  If all they can see is that, and they miss the fact that their son isn’t functioning, he’s depressed and anxious and violent and no one can stand to be around him, Marcus is worsening continually while they go on debating – they’ve missed “IT.”

They’ve missed it.  And so have we when we waste time counting up the offenses we’ve directly or indirectly suffered.  We miss it when we increase our injury by holding ourselves responsible to our history.  I asked Marcus’ parents what the point of what they were doing for Marcus was.  I ask the victims of America, what the point is when they point to history to answer for their present condition.  If it’s not serving you well, if it’s not doing something good for you, than what are you doing with it?  Do good things for yourself.

For the victims, for Marcus, and for Marcus’ parents, 1st make sure we weren’t missing something medical that was keeping them from having life quality.  You can’t give what you don’t have.  Then move on to the psychosocial issues and spiritual and so on.  What ever we ran into that missed our point, we’d walk past it together and on to something that served us well.

If you’d like to read more on this topic, read more in “It’s Time to Grow Up” and “The Whole World Becomes Blind.”

Question:  How have you managed to move past things that weren’t serving you well?  Please tell me your story.

5 thoughts on “Who Cares What Your Diagnosis Is?

  1. Rosy Kriengprarthana said – Sometimes, we can find answers to fix our current/future problems by looking at history. At other times, and more often that not, I feel it is an excuse to say, ‘This is the reason I cannot do this or that.’ It all depends on the person, I guess.

    Good points u bring up.

    Sana Quijada – thank u rosy! awesome. i didn’t say that too well. the point is not to forget and not review and not own our history. it is to move away from what ever isn’t helping us now. if that happens to be our history for the time being, than that too. x

  2. After 52 years of not understanding (or not wanting to!!) and another 17 years of medical and psychiatric help, my intellect says, “Okay. You know all the answers to the ‘who, what, why, where when’ questions. If’s done. It’s over. The monsters are gone.” and my heart says, “Now that I know and have explored the answers, I understand where the monsters came from in their lives and why they, then, invaded mine.” and, through my faith, I can forgive them. However, my mind remains haunted by the memories and my body, every day, reminds me about the results. I’d like to find the switch that would turn off that part of my mind. (Painkillers take care of the body!)

    That being said, my daughter works at a school for special needs kids, like Marcus, and my husband and I volunteer there. Ironically, those children and many of their parents or guardians have been a huge source of my healing. The right diagnosis, followed by the right care and, especially, the right attitude, can create miracles!! Ever seen a group of special needs kids play choir chimes and make beautiful music? Ever hear a special needs child who can hardly say is name sing “I’m Gonna Fly!”? Someone knows where that switch is at my daughter’s school!! Now, I could just find it, too……

  3. Hello Nancy. Thank you for reading and commenting. What a journey! Let me know when you find that “switch!” :) Great idea. For now we rely on what knowledge and tools we have. Sometimes I’ve been amazed at how much like a switch the medications available have looked after initiating a trial. Blessing dear Nancy. Keep talking woman of courage.

  4. The idea of more medications throws me into the panic attacks you addressed a few days ago, and maybe that’s part of my problem. However, at least 41 medications haven’t proven to be the switch so far and I’ve been told that any other attempts will be equally as futile…and terrifying…and painful not only to me but to those who love me. I have to believe that the switch is within my reach – probably within me – if I could just look in the right place. You have no idea how much this blog site has helped me to start looking again in a positive way rather than the negative way I’ve taken so far. Thank you and God bless you.

    • Good enough Nancy. I hear the panic and respect what it’s doing to you and yours. Thank you for your support for me as well. Believe me. This soil is soaking every bit of it up! Blessing felt and coming back on waves your way ;). Keep on.

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