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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you feel that your life has gotten better or worse after you have been diagnosed with SA (or any other psychiatric illness, for that matter)?

I have some thoughts on this myself, but I am curious what other people have to say.
 

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I think it's really a personal thing and labeling could be detrimental to some but not for others. For me it was a huge relief. There was always something wrong with me socially and my parents often got angry at with me as if it was a choice to be shy and want to avoid people or social situations. I had heaps of fights with both of them when they would try to push me into things and I would just refuse and they thought I was just being difficult. When my dad read about social phobia it finally all clicked for him. My parents finally understood but most importantly when my dad came to me and said "I think I know what it is..." I was soooo relieved to learn that it wasn't my fault. It wasn't because im lazy or a bad person. I'm not the only one And it can be over come! That being said, I have different views on labeling in some scenarios. We need to be careful and I studying to be a primary school teacher have to be careful in particular. If a child is labeled as having learning difficulties people will expect less of them and demand less so subsequently the child learns they are capable achieve less. ADHD, does it exist? There's lots of arguments for an against labeling. At the end of the day I think labeling is harmless if you still treat each person as an individual and dont set rigid expectations on them because of that label.
 

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My life has neither gotten better or worse because of that really. But it was good when i found out that i am not the only person who has social anxiety, and that people have heard of something like that before. Unfortunately with depression and social anxiety, i never got the right kind of help i needed for it. Everyone was all like, "go on medicine for it and your problem will go away or become less bad" while failing to realize that my real problem was mostly because of stuff that i had to learn but never learned.

Also, yeah there's the thing about people expecting less of you, and i've been told so many times that i'm incapable, i can't do stuff, or that it would be too hard for me, and that i would fail at it if i tried. I really started believing that it was true. There was all this stuff i wanted to do but never had help to learn how to do, they would tell me that it was too hard for me or something, or avoided the question.
 

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Labels in general come in different shades right... some are positive and some are negative... I don't view SA as something negative per se. I've noticed some people seem to be embarrassed by it I guess younger people may worry it's something that they'd get teased about *shrugs*.. depends on your surrounding culture I guess, I've never experienced any direct backlash from others for it if anything the opposite. I feel part of the process of healing is admitting and/or recognising a problem and if it has a name then you can research it, understand it and get past it.. hopefully. Having people understand you and your behaviour better in this case is a good thing I've found.
 

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Helpful for some, harmful for others.

I think it has to do with the state of mind of the person. For me the label of Social Anxiety was helpful as if made me feel I was not a freak of nature (or at least that there were enough other freaks of nature I did not have to feel like a total outcast).

I have a female friend who is madly in love with another girl, but she is struggling with it because she does not want to be a called a "lesbian" (or even called "bi") she feels labels trap her in a box and she has enough issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Responses make sense. I guess I should have included one more option - "both".

If you can accept a label as simply a guide as to what sort of problems you are having and what to work on, then it can be used positively. If you define yourself as a "mentally-ill patient" this is a problem. The thing is as hard as I try to avoid it, it is very hard for me to stop myself from sliding into the latter category.

Stigma is the biggest problem though. People will subconsciously treat you different when they know you have a mental illness, whether subconsciously or consciously. For some people, the stigma can actually be worse than the actual disorder. An obvious example of this might be a mild case of Tourette's, but it also applies to depression and anxiety. People start to notice more when you make it reality by defining yourself as "ill" All of a sudden people start "noticing things" that they never noticed before. At least this is the case for myself.
 

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It could be helpful in identifying what it is you are dealing with and why, as well as helping others to understand what you are dealing with. I think it becomes harmful when you hide behind that label and use it as an excuse. You should still strive to achieve things in life and pursue all the things you wish to in life even though it may be a little harder for you than others. You have SA but SA does not have you. :)
 

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I never label or accept myself as having SA, i feel it is limiting and sometimes used as a crutch to not want to progress. I don't see anxiety as a positive, more as a hindrance to something that I have every right to be doing. I am no better than the next person, but that doesnt mean I don;t belong.
 

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Do you feel that your life has gotten better or worse after you have been diagnosed with SA (or any other psychiatric illness, for that matter)?

I have some thoughts on this myself, but I am curious what other people have to say.
I haven't been diagnosed yet. Self-diagnosis about a year ago. Things have improved a lot in some areas. I'm defintely more self-aware now.
 

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I self diagnosed SA, and my doctor basically confirmed it. Now there are three other things that I may possibly have, but I don't know if I have all of them, or two or just one. It's doing my head in so it'd be nice to find out exactly what I have and haven't got. Then I can concentrate on researching it, working out how to cope, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and where to get help.
 

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I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, self-diagnosed the SA. I haven't had the courage to ask my therapist if I'm correct.

I think being aware is helpful to make steps to improve things. Not everyone is the same, but I think it's more helpful than harmful.
 

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I think it is a great help. I had a horrible experience doing a presentation and googled my problem and came up with SA. I've had it my entire life and finally know that this is what it is-so maybe I can finally overcome it. I really wish I could have gotten help when I was a kid! However, they didn't even have SA as a diagnosis then!
 
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