I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends who have psychiatric diagnoses display at least minor symptoms of other conditions as well. Depression with a side of Tourette’s. Bipolar with a soupçon of OCD. OCD with a smidge of anxiety disorder. PTSD with all of the above.
The symptoms of the secondary problem are usually not severe enough to warrant a second diagnosis and a separate treatment regimen. Most likely the add-ons are noticeable only to the person who has them, or possibly to very close friends (largely those who know about the main condition).
I don’t exclude myself. I have little rituals that help get me through the day, a certain order I do things in. I have a couple of words or phrases I mutter under my breath to keep me centered when I am stressed. (“Kittens” for mild stress and “jumping” for more than that. I suppose that if I ever get into kinky sex, I could use those as my “safe words.”)
Do these mini-disorders ever grow into major ones? I don’t know. They could be coping mechanisms or side effects of medication or fairly routine habits or personality traits.
Mostly I think one should ignore them – until or unless they start causing problems with one’s life. My husband, formerly a certified addiction counselor, says that’s how to tell when drinking or drugs have become a problem – when they start causing problems (in finances, work, relationships, legal matters, etc.)
For now, they’re just little quirks – reminders that my brain has an alternative wiring scheme.
(See the disclaimer. These are my opinions only, not professional medical or psychiatric advice. YMMV.)
Comments on: "A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That" (1)
It’s been my understanding that most bipolar DEFINITELY comes with a side of ‘fun’. I know for me, I’ve got very minor OCD and its sister, compulsive skin picking (in addition to the anxiety and the things we take for granted as being part of bipolar, hee hee). I bring it up sometimes in appointments, but generally the doctor isn’t worried about it. Neither am I, to be fair; I might make my lips bleed sometimes from the picking, but the sheer relief it brings makes it worthwhile.