I believe that most people with DSM mental disorders do better by admitting that they are ill. When they deny that they are ill, they don’t seem to get better, often get worse and usually delay treatment, often for years and sometimes even for decades or lifetimes.
In fact, I tell them that they are not going to get better until they acknowledge this fact. I even tell them that they should agree that they are crazy. I say, “Well, you are a little bit crazy. You’re not real crazy like schizophrenics, psychotics, manics, major depressives and lots of others. But yeah, you’re a little bit crazy. But then maybe most people are a little bit nuts.”
I cannot tell you how liberating this is. So many people spend years running around denying that they were mentally ill. I did it myself. I spent years thinking they just had some “problems” or “head trips” or “bad ways of thinking” and it could all go away if only they put their mind to it. The fact that anxiety and low grade depression are more or less garden variety issues enables us to think there is nothing wrong with us. But this doesn’t work. Maybe if your problems are not that bad yet, you can think yourself out of your anxiety and depression. But at some point you have a hard-coded disorder that is stuck in there like concrete, and it doesn’t seem like you can think your way out of it, or at least not for long.
By denying that you are ill, you refuse to go to therapy, and in particular, you refuse to take meds. Meds nowadays are the only way out of a lot of these issues. So you end up delaying treatment for years like I did. Nine years in fact. You run around more or less ruining your life and thinking you can think your way out of this stuff because you are too proud to admit you are ill.
But once you accept it and get to the point where you can say, it you feel so much better.
You can say, “Ok, I’m a little bit crazy. There’s nothing I can much do about it. And that’s ok that I’m a little bit nuts. It’s ok that I have a mental illness. It’s ok that I take psych meds. It’s ok that I’m in therapy. I’m ok with all of these things. I know society tells me that I am inferior and defective for being this way, but they can go to Hell. I am still a worthy or even great person. The fact that I have this disorder does not take away even 1% of my worth and goodness as a human being.”
It feels like a pound of rocks has been lifted off your shoulders. And you feel like a bigger and more powerful person now that you have admitted it to yourself. So these backwards people can’t handle it? So what?