Mental health and identity

I’ve been in the system for so long that my mental health has essentially become part of my identity.

This month I’m experiencing how it feels when someone takes that identity away.

Finding my mental health identity

A couple of years ago I plucked up the courage to see a psychiatrist.

He told me straight I had BPD.

Gave me all of the patient handouts, websites to look through, referred me for ‘different therapy’ (his words), etc.

I had struggled with what I thought was a diagnosis, then I came to terms with it. I then reached out to find others with the same.

This month I found out he didn’t diagnose me at all.

Changing my mental health identity

My new counsellor pointed out the error in my notes.

She also noted autism may have been overlooked and that it may explain my experiences better.

I’ve been screened, got a high score, and now I’m waiting for an appointment at an assessment centre.

Until then… I feel like I have nowhere I fit. Again.


And what if it isn’t autism?

My counsellor says I can be retested for BPD. But what if he was wrong altogether?

What if I have to go back to the beginning?

See a different psychiatrist… again…

I’m not saying I want something, I’m not out looking for a diagnosis just for the sake of having something.

I’ve been very quiet on my blog because I have this sense of … almost embarrassment?

I’d love to hear any other stories of misdiagnosis or confused mental health identity…


  1. I know this feeling very well. I have ADHD and have been medicated for it since 2002 as well as Depression, but in 2017 I was diagnosed with Bipolar and it felt like everything was changing. I kept hearing about how Bipolar can be misdiagnosed as ADHD and vice versa, and now even my depression was seemingly called into question, even though it’s a huge part of Bipolar. But I lost definition, lost that sense of self that had engulfed me ever since my MH got in the way of being able to work. And when I read the stories of others online who have Bipolar, I felt like an imposter — which was Imposter Syndrome, of course. But it took a while to accept and adjust to my diagnoses.
    What I’ve come to accept is that a diagnosis doesn’t define us. Each one of us has a unique mental state, based on our personality and experiences. So… the new diagnosis hasn’t changed you, it’s just challenged your definition of yourself. I hope that helps.

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