Twitter conversation on the merits of psychiatric diagnosis

This was a long and somewhat interesting conversation that a short little spiel I posted on twitter triggered. I thought I’d share. As a bit of intro to my twitter habit I’ll cut and paste from the last tweet post I did:

I do twitter as a low impact social sport since I can’t really talk much these days, nor am I able to do much correspondence through email due to how my brain and body work while sick with the acute post withdrawal syndrome. I’ve found that twitter satisfies my need to interact with human beings without the stress and pressure most other forms of communication seem to have. It’s been a wonderful means for me to stay engaged with the broader world.

I started with these three tweets yesterday:

beyondmeds: Psychiatric diagnosis is not the only useful system of labeling to help understand ones mental state. And in fact many find it harmful…


Buddhist & other eastern philosophies have lots of labels that tend not to stick as firmly as one learns to move through and transcend states

beyondmeds: Psychiatric labels too often stick too firmly and there is an accompanying belief that they are forever

Those comments led @adayinalifech to respond and then this conversation ensued…I did most of the talking. This was a conversation with a woman I believe is a therapist in community mental health from what she says below. Her comments will start with a highlight in purple in the event this is confusing.

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds You don’t find it useful to utilize a ‘working diagnosis’ in order to empower the patient to monitor their triggers & symptoms?

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I don’t, no…if you and others do…I have no quibble with you. We are not all alike…

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I like to use non clinical language…always…does not stop one from finding causes and growing as a result

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech though, I must add…I’m multi-lingual…if ppl insist on using such language I do not change that…I understand it

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds I have no quarrel…It was a question…But I am interested to hear a useful alternative?

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I use many systems…Buddhism is my favorite perhaps…but I go everywhere for answers…all of life can provide

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds Is there ever a worry that its not appropriate for low functioning patients or those experiencing delusions or hallucinations?

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech no I don’t worry…I do what I do…others do what they do. One must always do what is appropriate.

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I don’t treat everyone the same when I’m one on one with folks…I respond to the individual and the circumstance

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech however this myth about the “low-functioning” sorts can be insulting-I know ppl who’ve come thru that & are brilliant now

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech not to suggest we don’t all have different strengths&weaknesses…we do indeed. Psychiatry will box ppl in dangerously tho

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I’m not employed in that manner these days however…couldn’t possibly do it anymore. Out of system now

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds Forgive me for the assumption. Were you a therapist?

beyondmeds *@Adayinthelifech I am not attached to my ideas like glue-no idea is ever appropriate in all circumstances-fluidity of thought is important

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds Are you in private practice?

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech no…i’ve only worked in community mental health with the so-called severe and persistently mentally ill for the most part

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds As therapists in community mental health we have very strict guidelines…Which is why I find your position so interesting…

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech right…exactly why I can’t possibly work there anymore. Strict guidelines do not allow for real compassion…kills it

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech though I admire those who struggle in the system…for now it’s what most people have to deal with for help

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds Forgive me for the assumption. Were you a therapist?

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech I was a social worker and worked as a clinician with other clinicians of all stripes. I also worked closely w psychiatrists

adayinthelifech @BeyondMeds Interesting banter…Have a nice day

beyondmeds @Adayinthelifech thanks, yes, I’m curious to know what you think if you feel like sharing some time…nice to chat

Twitter can get into some heavy stuff. Most of it doesn’t translate off twitter very often…occasionally it does and when it does I try to share it here.

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