The problem with mental health diagnoses from my perspective is that they are hard to pin down. Even if one decides that for some reason being sad is abnormal or thinking weird thoughts is abnormal, when there is no test to do that, how do you define it?
It's obvious to many in the field, both psychiatrists and patients that the diagnoses can often be used to control or manipulate, not really to help. They can lead to overmedication and overmeddling from control freaks. I don't believe the diagnoses are completely made up as people are definitely suffering, but how much of it is due to our culture and how much is truly genetic is impossible to know.
My diagnoses have ranged from depression, social anxiety, schizoaffective disorder, derealization disorder, general anxiety, ADD and probably a few others I am forgetting. I think there is some truth to the diagnoses as I have trouble relating to people, often experience intense flushes of panic that leave me feeling that I am not in my body and that the world is not real and as a result sometimes I will do or say weird things in a panic. Whether this means I should be medicated or I should talk more is yet to be known.
I have given up on medication since I did that for four years and only got worse as a result. I suffered every annoying side effect from nausea and impotence and weight loss, but also suffered from some really bad ones like wanting to die all the time. The doctors have told me the medication could be helpful but it doesn't seem to be worth the risks.
I have found exercise and yoga and running especially to be helpful in depression. Cutting back on sugar and eating balanced meals with no sugar or caffeine really important for anxiety and psychosis. Doing different things and learning seem to be good for the brain and working in general can be good for a lot of things. And so that leaves me where I am - weird.
Being weird is hard to define. I know I'm different than others, but exactly HOW different is hard to say. I was diagnosed as crazy, but I can pretend to be normal, mostly and get away with it, except that people find me a bit odd or shy. I'm not really interested in dating or careers, but I wonder how many people simply pretend they are. I like to do a lot of female things like yoga and gardening and I hear voices and drift in and out of dreams all around the clock, but I wonder how many other people do that, too.
In the end I guess there is no way for me to know, although some of my thoughts and living arrangements stress me out. I can get terribly depressed and suicidal at times and that makes me sad. I don't want a diagnosis for that, though. I just want to be treated like a person.