You Don't Have An Illness

I might catch some heat for saying this, but it needs to be said.

It needs to be said because it can make all the difference for you. It could make the difference between you living helplessly, or hopefully; as a victim, or empowered; as miserable, or engaged; and as fearful, or courageous.

There are millions of people walking about with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, or chronic stress. Some people are Highly-Sensitive-People, obsessive-compulsive, or angry. We have diagnoses of ADD and ADHD, and a spectrum of autism so large it includes just about everyone on the planet.

There is so much of it, we’re drowning in it. We are tossing out mental health diagnoses like candy at a parade.

And that’s a big problem. By handing out a diagnosis to every Tom, Dick, and Harry, we cause 2 things to take place:

  1. We take away hope. When a diagnosis is given, the individual feels trapped and stuck inside this illness. They give up, knowing that all they’re in for is round after round of medication and appointments with varying results.
  2. We create victims. Stuck inside the diagnosis, the individual not only doesn’t try, they don’t even try to try because after all, they have a diagnosed illness. If someone confronts them, challenges them, or looks at them wrong, they have no inner gumption to be a better person, grow up, suck it up, or let it go. In other words the diagnosis kills their character growth.

See, that’s a big problem. And I don’t take joy in saying this because I know that some people will defend their diagnosis with tooth and nail. They’re going to be upset with me. If you’re one of those people, just take a second to re-read those two points above, ask yourself why you are defending this illness that you so want to be free of…and then tell me I’m wrong.

You don’t need a diagnosis. You don’t need to label it as an illness. You don’t need to be considered sick. You need someone to be honest with you.

So I’m going to tell you something. Here it is…

You don’t have an illness.

Anxiety, depression, obsessiveness, sensitivity, anger, overwhelm, before those became tangled up in diagnoses, way back in the day, those were called emotions. 

You don’t have an illness. You have an emotion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first person to tell you how strong emotions really can be. I get it. Emotions change your physiology. They can make you sick. They affect your heart and your nervous system, your brain, your ability to think, remember, focus, make decisions, and control yourself. They can create disharmony and disease in every organ in the body. They can disrupt your immune system, your metabolism, your hormones. They affect the chemicals in your body, creating the chemical imbalance that we so often hear about. They even affect your very own DNA.

So yeah, I know. Emotions are powerful. But let’s not diagnose them to make them something they’re not. At the root of it all, they’re emotions.

And you are in charge of your emotions.

So dial back. Way back. Get out of all the tangles, twists, and turns of a diagnosis. Get clear of all the clutter and confusion.

Take a deep breath. You don’t have an illness. You have an emotion.

You are not broken, hopeless, helpless, or stuck as a victim of some mysterious disease that nobody understands.

Take heart. You have an emotion. And you can definitely do something about that.

P.S. To deal with emotions, you need skills. We have everything you need to learn how to regulate those emotions. Get skills, direction, and support with one-on-one  Stress Coaching.

Here’s to Conquering Stress,

The Stress Experts

Practical Strategies to Deal With Daily Stressors

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