Receiving a diagnosis for a mental illness can be comforting as it normalizes what you are experiencing. It can also provide a framework and direction for what treatment may be needed for recovery.
However, it can also be something you take on as an identity without the awareness that you are not defined by a diagnosis, even if it feels like mental illness has been the main character of your life’s story and if you are unsure of who you are without it.
Mental Illness Is Not Your True Self
It can be comforting to remind yourself that much like how you are not your feelings or thoughts, you are not a diagnosis.
For example, you may be experiencing anxiety and depression, but you are not the anxiety or depression. You are the vessel experiencing the feelings and sensations of anxiety and depression.
Likewise, you may have received a diagnosis of a substance use disorder (SUD), an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health concern, but you are not the condition itself. You are the individual experiencing symptoms of the diagnosed condition.
Exploring Who You Are Outside of Mental Illness
Regardless of what mental illness you are experiencing, treatment creates a space for you to get to know yourself outside of the diagnosis as you work toward healing and recovering.
Without treatment and appropriate support for healing, mental illness can take up all of the space in yourself and feel so overwhelming that you forget what it was like to live without it being the center of your existence.
At Avalon Malibu, we offer several different treatment programs and options, such as individual therapy and substance abuse treatment, that can give you access to getting to know and being the true you.
Although beginning treatment is often scary, it opens the doors for you to explore who you are outside of who you have been, who you thought you had to be, and who part of you thinks you are because of what you have experienced. This is where your freedom, self-liberation, and healing lies.
Receiving a mental health diagnosis can be just as comforting as it is uncomfortable to navigate. Although a diagnosis can help you understand yourself better, it can also feel like you don’t know who you are without the diagnosis. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how it’s normal to want to define yourself by a mental illness and how healthy it is to learn who you are outside of it. Beginning treatment with our trained and compassionate team can help you recover. To learn more, call us today at (844) 857-5992.