57: You Are Not Your Diagnosis
- Gemma Gladstone
- July 28, 2022
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Gemma and Justine both have a history of working in mental health settings in psychiatric research. A while back, someone referred to Gemma by a psychiatrist arrived with a diagnosis of treatment-resistant depression and all query bipolar disorder. Working with Gemma over time, he understood what was driving his mood and chronicity from a schema perspective. He also realized how his history of complex trauma impacted how he generally felt in life. None of that had been considered in his previous treatment plan. Instead, there was a focus on labels and diagnoses.
In a recent conversation with Gemma, he reflected on how unhelpful that diagnostic labeling had been for him. He is not depressed currently and has never had bipolar, even though he had been diagnosed with it.
In this episode, Justine and Gemma explain why you are not your diagnosis. They dive into the pros and cons of diagnoses and talk about how schema therapy can help people gain a deep, nuanced, and accurate understanding of why they feel the way they do. Stay tuned for more!
- Gemma explains how schema therapy helped her client develop self-compassion, distance himself from his inner critic, and tap into his emotions.
- In episode 26, Gemma talks about chronic depression and how the label of treatment-resistant depression is unhelpful and feeds into our sense of defectiveness.
- Justine explains her approach, what she does, and what she notices about her clients when they go to her for therapy.
- What is important to Gemma and Justine, and what are they interested in when helping their clients?
- Why can a diagnosis sometimes be harmful?
- Why do many early wounds and overt traumas tend to be mentioned but left untouched in mental health settings?
- Justine explains why she and Gemma suggest that people simultaneously hold in mind two different ways of understanding what is going on with them.
- Gemma and Justine discuss the pros and cons of diagnoses.
- Having a diagnosis does not necessarily mean you have a protracted and unrelenting difficulty.
- Some questions you need to ask regarding self-development aimed at reducing your symptoms.
- Sometimes, depressive symptoms can get triggered by a subjugating or undermining relationship dynamic. (That mostly applies to women.)
- Schema therapy is transdiagnostic, so it can help people with limiting diagnoses like depression and bipolar disorder.
- Gemma and Justine discuss bipolar 2 disorder and the current epidemic of bipolar 2 diagnoses.