I once was prompted to begin therapy after reading a book about a woman who was bi-polar. I so could relate to the writer’s story that I just knew I too, was suffering from a bi-polar glitch in my brain. I remember telling the therapist about how I’d come to my diagnosis a few minutes into the session and she gently laughed at me. Seeing my quizzical look (a.k.a. “what the @#%^ are you laughing at lady, I’m serious”), she explained that after those first initial minutes, she was positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt and in all her professional capacity that I was nowhere near bi-polar. Or suffering from a multiple personality disorder – my inner voices weren’t all that fully developed back then, lol. We had a few more sessions together which further solidified her belief that I was “normal”, just dealing with some issues like everyone else who’d grown up with what was considered the normal dysfunction prevalent in human existence.
My next self-diagnosis was depression. Not the every day, kind of down people can feel, but that soul deadening, take to your bed for days at a time kind. That might have been closer to the truth in college but by the time I made the diagnosis, I’d progressed far beyond experiencing those types of episodes. Didn’t stop me from going back to therapy (different counselor this time). This time, the therapist didn’t laugh, but did point out into our third session that I wasn’t “clinically” depressed. I just felt my emotions a bit deeper than some. She taught me ways to work around it so I’d have some tools to use when I began to feel too much.
Now, I’ve picked a new “super power”. I first mentioned it here. I’m back to talk more about it because, well, because my “monkey brain” is chattering away, keeping me from some much-needed sleep. I tried feeding it a banana, tried to distract it by envisioning a lush rain forest in which it could run and play with the other monkeys, but nothing seemed to work. So, as it is with me, I must put words to page in hopes of exhausting both my “monkey brain” and myself to the point where sleep is more easily attained.
Back to my self-diagnosis. It remains unofficial because my research so far has turned up just a couple of psychiatrists who work with this particular super power. Their initial fees? In the hundreds. And since this isn’t a life threatening type deal, I’m content with my self-diagnosis and internet lead treatment plan :-). No expensive drugs to buy or doctor’s fees to pay. Would rather spend that money on some fabulous shoes, or a trip somewhere fun, or getting more books printed, or some really cool corsets (Steampunk or Burlesque), or…you see where I’m going with this? I wouldn’t have wanted to do any drug treatments either so this does work out for the best. What’s got my “monkey brain” racing like a hamster on a wheel is that the symptoms I used to identify my super power have been with me for a LONG time. Why didn’t the first two therapists (or the third or fourth for that matter) do an evaluation for my super power then? Surely they are trained to dig into potential causes before deciding what the official “affliction” is, aren’t they? Granted, as I said, this isn’t life threatening, so perhaps they didn’t feel the need to root out what may be the root cause of my symptoms.
Eh. Doesn’t matter much now, I suppose. I’ve got my diagnosis in hand, have developed my treatment plan, and will wait to see how things turn out. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll come to accept that my super power means my Monkey Brain is more like a hyper active Silver Back Gorilla that won’t be as easily distracted as I’d like.