An Ode to Mental Health Diagnoses.
I want to be knowledgeable.
I want to learn structural equation modeling and assertively defend a theory.
I want to read every book by every psychologist, beginning with Adler and ending with Yalom—the famous, the unheard of, and the absurd.
I want to read all of Freud and Jung.
I want to sit in therapy weekly, analyze the experience from both sofas, and dabble in each modality.
I want to read every psychology book on Amazon, and those tucked away on the shelves of the professors I admire.
I want to make a change.
I want to watch a life unfold from conception to age 80.
I want to understand the pathways that lead to flourishing and the ones that end in suffering.
I want to rip out every page of the DSM, crinkle it into a small, tiny ball of nothingness, and set fire to it.
I want to take a cigarette and burn “Borderline Personality Disorder” into every sofa of every therapist who diagnoses women with BPD.
I want to drop all disorders.
I want to take the DSM and repurpose it—make it a coloring book with pages 1-10 for those looking to heal following therapy and 11-20 left blank to write prose about the therapist who terminates them.
I want to do a lot, but what I want to do most is take ahold of clinical psychology programs and shake them until they wake up.
I want to create a program where trauma-informed care is required.
I want to be knowledgeable, but what I want more than anything is for mental health providers to stop pathologizing survivors.
They are not disorders.
We are not attention-seeking.
We are the very definition of resilience.
It’s time we finally recognize this and help them remain so.