We all are #autistic #bipolar – beware of #DSM traits labels

The feeling of “being different” is… the most common thing ever.

I have a friend who’s son was detected “probably gifted”. Just before the tests day to confirm (or disconfirm) it, she cancelled the appointment. Because it would LABEL her son “gifted” for ever – with consequences!

The most basic common sense tells you that we are not in boxes – autistic or normal, bipolar or steady, etc. First, there are many gradients and shades, and more : we are constantly changing, moving, evolving in many ways…

If you want to know more about this, I suggest this article : Haecceity

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is a useful manual for clinicians and other professionals, and it’s also criticized for obvious reasons. The one I’m interested in here is : it uses arbitrary cut-offs between normal and abnormal, or even between disorders!

You spend a few days in bed, grey and slow, with no interest in anything? You’re depressed. But wait : you are irritable, you have controlling behaviors, you spend plenty of money and you feel powerful? OK, now you’re bipolar. But wait, are you, for a few days, steady and normal? Mmmhh : you’re probably tripolar, now, right?

Or maybe you’re just alive, intense (in both ways), and you can ALSO have some anxiety, PMS and three slices of schizophrenia, too?

The last DSM-5 puts you in many boxes. I can’t wait for the 6 : you’ll be declared SICK if you cry in front of a movie, if you’re boring like a stone, if you talk too much, or if you don’t want to have a car. Beware!

Thanks for reading. Bonne journée !

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Instagram : bodylanguage

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2 thoughts on “We all are #autistic #bipolar – beware of #DSM traits labels

  1. Rachel McAlpine May 1, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    A diagnosis does have a terrible power. One family member had her son undergo testing for autism, stipulating that she did not want a diagnosis, just guidance. Another did the same, but with the opposite proviso: she was very happy with his progress and treatment by a speech therapist, but a label would give her access to funding. These two young mothers knew exactly what they wanted and found a way to harness or deny the power of the diagnosis. Many other anecdotes spring to mind as I read your post, and I nod in agreement.

    Like

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