Can I sum up what I 'have', or if we want to be nicer, what I have been 'diagnosed with' - not really. But I know that my life is affected by my diagnose(s)
If you are new to my blog you may notice I continually writer disorder with an 's' in bracketts. Im my experience, my doctors LOVE to diagnose me all different kinds of things. I know I have depression, I sometimes have hypomanic impulses, and I struggle with addiction (or at least avoiding my addictive nature) plus i have a multitude of relationship problems which could suggest Borderline Personality Disorder, BUT I Know I do not fit into one category, Nor do I accept every diagnoses I have been given. I know that the doctors may think one 'symptom' is much more significant while I think others may be. In the end I define how I see myself (though their are limits - see my earlier post) in regard to the problems I have.
Unfortunatly, this way of looking at things doesnt always help. My doctors have always been pretty stuborn. When they think they 'know' what is going on, nothing I say is going to change their mind. Same with family and friends: when I told my parents I was going through another bout of depression my dad said to me, "If you think you're depressed, then your not". He thought that if I was depressed then I wouldnt/couldnt recognize it. I think this can be true for one's first episode -I had no idea!- but once you've had some experience it is really important to be able to recognize what is happening. Now I try and keep my eye out for all of my 'tendencies'. I look out for new episodes of depression (the biggest of my problems and most long lasting); feelings of hypomania which are few, but still important; my tendency to turn to all kinds of addicitive substances/behaviour when I am struggling and my relationship destroying behaviour (the 'reject them before they reject you' senario)
The DSM (the diagnostic statistical manual: the book they use to diagnose mental illness) has not, does not, and will not describe me as an individual.