After almost two years in treatment for what my GP initially suspected was a Personality Disorder but was interpreted as Overeating Disorder by my psychologist(s), I have now been transferred via a psychiatrist who suspected Bipolar Disease to a psychiatric nurse who specializes in schema treatment (Young) and seems very reluctant to my ideas that all that’s “wrong” with me can be quite neatly summed up by giftedness and overexcitabilities (all 5 of them), with the possible admission of ADHD and/or PTSD.
When she sums up the theories of the shrinks about the PD/BP/overeating that still have not vanished and the sleeping problems that so far have been ignored, she wants to start from scratch and “remove the symptom illnesses first”, i.e. cure the overeating and sleeping issues completely. I can practically see her brain ticking off little boxes, trying to fit me neatly into her pathology categories. Of course, she struggles already…
I scored highly on the initial assessment for ADHD, but some points stand out like sore thumbs. No, I did not fail in school just because my attention was scattered. I have a brain that has compensated wonderfully as far as possible. I did not need to pay attention in class: spending the first couple of weeks each semester scanning through the books, and then participating in any discussion saw me through 13 years of school without putting in any more work than the obligatory assignments. And I always did quite well on exams: for once, there were no distractions, no punishment for knowing the correct answers, no waiting around for everyone else to catch the drift, just blissful solitude and an opportunity to let it all pour out. Underachiever? In school, hardly. But throughout the rest of my life: most definitely!
Then, there’s the opposite problem: No, I do not pass Mensa’s home test. After 30 or so tasks that look so darned similar, I am unable to keep my attention on task, so I end up with a score that is significantly lower than I know ought to be achievable. But to someone outside of my experiences, it seems incomprehensible that I should object to a score of 121. That’s a GOOD score, right? But I easily grasp complex notions, learn very quickly, and have an excellent memory, so it comes naturally to solve “Einsteins riddle”, sudokus, sets of equations etc. And I have lived through far too many situations where I knew the answers before the rest even realized there would be a problem to be convinced that the difference between a good score and an accurate score matters.
So here I am, having spent months researching giftedness, overexcitabilities and high sensitivity, and a little bit about ADHD as well. So many books, articles and websites describing me to a T, despite me never having met any of the authors. I started to feel I knew a bit about who I was, and why I was the way I was. What I wanted was a sparring partner to help figure out how best to deal with all this. Instead, I get to fill out beginner’s questionnaires while wondering if there could be any possible benefits to just letting them label me whatever suits them, even if it is Bipolar with a Personality Disorder?