The Plural of Diagnosis

Published May 28, 2013 by Carmen Lamiarum

Saw my new therapist again today. She’s really nice and I think we’re going to accomplish a lot together. Already I’m beginning to disassociate myself from my anxiety, which I guess is a good thing. We talked about how I can regard my anxiety as a separate part of me. An entity that is connected to me. Right now it’s bigger than I am, like a giant unruly dog. But in time I can teach myself to shrink it down and pop it in a kennel for awhile. If that makes sense to you. I mean, it does to me.

Then she told me she thinks I’m agoraphobic. Yet another diagnosis to tack onto the list. I’ve been told bipolar 1 and 2, major depressive, that I have social anxiety disorder, general panic disorder, dermatillomania, and now this. Not to mention that I’ve also been told I have phobias out the wazoo. Driving, human contact, social situations, germs, etc. I just want an answer that fits. Not saying she’s wrong. She would know better than I would I guess. I just want the right answer for a change. Cause yeah I might be fucked up but there’s no way I’m THAT fucked up, ya know?

But speaking of answers, I’m officially on a quest to find some. The first leg of my quest was today in therapy actually. I explained to my therapist that I have constant fatigue that is literally physically painful and sometimes hinders me from functioning at all. I asked her if she thought it might be fibromyalgia. Then I told her that on the one hand I’d feel wrong about diagnosing myself with anything. But on the other, no one else has gotten it right yet. I asked her opinion on whether or not I should talk to my doctor about it tomorrow (I made an appointment to discuss my meds) and she thinks I should. Then she made mention that she had in fact asked me if I had fibromyalgia when we first met. So tomorrow I’m going to ask my doctor about it and see if I can’t get on Cymbalta. I’m already on Abilify for depression, so maybe she’ll be willing to change it and see what happens. It’s an anti-depressant that’s supposed to help with chronic fatigue/pain, from what I understand. Up until yesterday I was pretty miserable because I thought fibromyalgia had been ruled out over a year ago by some blood work I had done. But I just learned that a) that doctor was an idiot because b) there’s no blood test to determine fibromyalgia. Now you might be asking yourself why I’d be happy to have fibromyalgia. Well because at least it’s an answer. And if it’s not that, then the next most likely diagnosis would be chronic fatigue syndrome, which there’s no real treatment for. Get enough sleep and eat healthy. That’s pretty much it, and I already do those things. So anyway, yeah…I need to figure this shit out. Because it’s ruining my life.

Coming up next: A conversation with my anxiety.


9 comments on “The Plural of Diagnosis

  • Glad that you feel comfortable with your therapist, and that you’re managing your anxiety (make it a puppy, you can do it).
    Ever since I know you, you have been a fighter, whatever you have, if there’s someone who can deal with it, it is you.

  • Hi, I am agoraphobic as well. My fear is driving on freeways. I can ride with anyone, but driving the freeway myself is a fear for me. I am just grateful that I can still drive everywhere else, just not the freeways at this time. My hope is that I will overcome this fear. It is just a matter of time.

    • Driving is actually one of my main phobias. I’m relatively comfortable driving from my home to the grocery store or the gym (both of which are no more than three miles away) but only between the hours of 1AM and 5AM. Fortunately they’re both open 24 hours. But driving on the highway or during the day is pretty much out of the question. The few times I’ve attempted it I’ve suffered crippling anxiety attacks. Like you, I’m pretty comfortable riding with someone, but actually being behind the wheel is terrible for me. Fortunately, my spouse and my friends are relatively understanding of the situation. I’m still reeling a little bit from this diagnosis, as it’s not something I’ve ever considered. But if you ever wanna chat about it, feel free to contact me. Oh, and thanks for the comment. I hope it’ll get better for us both eventually.

      • Hi Carmen, I hope that I can overcome this agoraphobia on the freeway. I believe that I need someone to ride with me when I attempt to approach the area on the freeway again that I had the agoraphobia attack. You know how they say, you must approach your fears face to face to overcome them. But getting on the freeway attempting to drive downtown again by myself, is not my idea of fun at all. I am afraid to do this by myself. I still have problems on local roads that look like freeways like wide roads and overpasses.

    • I live overseas and I do not drive in my country. All the other drivers make me nervous and 5 minutes driving leave me completely exhausted and my shirt fully soaked in sweat. For me, the fear is related to “what will happen if I get in an accident?”. However, driving in the US, while not completely comfortable, is bearable, because, in a way, people follow some predefined rules that are easily computable in my head.
      Freeways make my legs feel like rubber and kind of dizzy as well,
      You can do it, like most fears, usually the way to overcome them is to rationalize them and face them (one step at a time).

      • Hi, I am trying to get more LIKES on my Facebook Page, The Painful Reality of Fibromyalgia, could you please be so kind to LIKE my page? It is on my blog and it says Follow Me On Facebook. Thank you so much.

  • eeeps, lots of diagnosis’s, bipolar one and two? They didn’t specify which?

    on a side note, anxiety and insomnia may resemble fibromyalgia. With anxiety you tense your muscles, sometimes all day long… they ache. They are sore. More so at the end of the day. I am not saying it isn’t, but it may explain things a bit for you. If anxiety is fierce, this muscle ache will overlap day to day and grow in intensity. If you have insomnia it will worsen.

    • Hi Carmen, anxiety can be pretty bad too, especially people who have it all the time and are on medication for it. I have anxiety when I get stressed, but other than that – I basically suffer this Fibromyalgia, along with IBS and GERD. As you stated, my muscles are sore all day and night, it never goes away. Some days are worse than others.

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