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Old 04-20-2019, 10:00 AM #1
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Default Why would my therapist ask this?

I asked my therapist if he thought I was a certain diagnosis and he started questioning why I wanted to know. He then at some point asked "do you want to be ______?" I said no, I don't. He didn't give me a yes or no answer and pretty much danced around the question. I left accepting this, but now I feel uncomfortable as to why he asked that. It's driving me crazy and I won't be seeing him for two weeks.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:34 PM #2
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CartDown View Post
I asked my therapist if he thought I was a certain diagnosis and he started questioning why I wanted to know. He then at some point asked "do you want to be ______?" I said no, I don't. He didn't give me a yes or no answer and pretty much danced around the question. I left accepting this, but now I feel uncomfortable as to why he asked that. It's driving me crazy and I won't be seeing him for two weeks.
I cant answer why your therapist would ask you if you wanted to be a certain disorder, only your therapist can answer that...

what I can tell you is that most treatment providers (mine included) that I know get a bit concerned when their clients come in asking whether they have a specific disorder. if I walked in to my treatment providers and said do you think i have such and such, they would ask me questions to find out why I am wondering this or if I possibly may have a mental disorder called fictitious disorder imposed on self or if I actually do have the symptoms and have been researching and trying to self diagnose.

its just normal for my treatment provider, and those that I know to question when someone walks in their door asking if they have a specific mental or physical health problem.

example if a friend of yours walked up to you and said "do you think I have the measles?" what would you say...

most people would say " why are you asking me that?" "do you want to have the measles?" "do you know someone with the Measles?"

All kinds of questions like this to find out why your friend is asking you if you felt they had the measles right.

in normal life people dont just walk up to their friends, family, and doctors asking whether they have this or that problem, especially if they dont want to have it. so when it happens it raises caution flags and questions as to why someone is doing that.

my suggestion is sit down and think about why you asked your therapist if you had a specific mental disorder. whether it was something you read about and felt it matched you, or whether you knew someone with it, or you have been researching that disorder... or..... well there are lots of reasons why someone may think and focus on a mental disorder.

then talk with your treatment provider and let them know why you asked about whether you had that specific disorder.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:07 PM #3
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

I think he is avoiding labeling which for some people can be a real downer. Some people tend to concentrate on the stigma of a label rather than on recovery. He may for some reason or another feel you might be such a person. It might help if you are able to articulate why it is important to know.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:51 PM #4
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

It bothers me a bit. I'm just confused as to why he asked "do you want to be this?" Why would I want that? Is he thinking I want to be miserable? It really only started bothering me after the session and now I feel like he was scolding me in someway because he may think my problems are less significant. Like "kid, you don't even know". But if that's the case, I would at least think he would say "no."
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:17 PM #5
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

There are some T's that just don't like labels... mine is one of them. Some believe that labeling can lead to that diagnosis becoming a major part of how a person is viewed or how they view themselves. It can more or less become a self fulfilling prophecy. There have been studies where a diagnosis can lead to dehumanization and a lack of individualization.... it becomes more about what the client has and less about who the client is. It used to really bother me that T wouldn't give me a diagnosis but I have embraced that fact now.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:30 PM #6
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandalouise View Post
I cant answer why your therapist would ask you if you wanted to be a certain disorder, only your therapist can answer that...

what I can tell you is that most treatment providers (mine included) that I know get a bit concerned when their clients come in asking whether they have a specific disorder. if I walked in to my treatment providers and said do you think i have such and such, they would ask me questions to find out why I am wondering this or if I possibly may have a mental disorder called fictitious disorder imposed on self or if I actually do have the symptoms and have been researching and trying to self diagnose.

its just normal for my treatment provider, and those that I know to question when someone walks in their door asking if they have a specific mental or physical health problem.

example if a friend of yours walked up to you and said "do you think I have the measles?" what would you say...

most people would say " why are you asking me that?" "do you want to have the measles?" "do you know someone with the Measles?"

All kinds of questions like this to find out why your friend is asking you if you felt they had the measles right.

in normal life people dont just walk up to their friends, family, and doctors asking whether they have this or that problem, especially if they dont want to have it. so when it happens it raises caution flags and questions as to why someone is doing that.

my suggestion is sit down and think about why you asked your therapist if you had a specific mental disorder. whether it was something you read about and felt it matched you, or whether you knew someone with it, or you have been researching that disorder... or..... well there are lots of reasons why someone may think and focus on a mental disorder.

then talk with your treatment provider and let them know why you asked about whether you had that specific disorder.

I didn't just walk in saying I had something. I've been working with him for over a year, I've looked up the disorder and felt I related to a good chunk of it. I also have OCD, so yeah, I can get obsessive. I just wanted him to say no, now I think he's thinking I'm trying to **** with him.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:38 PM #7
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

I think it's also not unheard of for people to convince themselves they have a condition that they don't really have. Especially with mental health problems where symptoms aren't as easy to measure as, say, fever/no fever, vomiting/not vomiting or whatever. Someone can read the DSM description of bipolar or something and think, "hey, I have some of those symptoms, that explains everything" when some symptoms might occur in lots of different conditions. I doubt your T meant to scold you or act like your issues aren't important, but it's worth telling him how it made you feel. Your sense that your problems don't matter to him is important to bring up.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:00 AM #8
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

I donít feel itís out of place for a client to want to know their diagnosis or to examine if a diagnosis may relate to their situation.

When therapists are filling in their notes on clients, donít they have to indicate a diagnosis for insurance purposes, etc.?

When people see their Primary Care Physician, donít they expect a diagnosis?

It may be your therapist was genuinely asking why you want to know...or, perhaps it was a delaying tactic because they had not firmed up a diagnosis in their mind yet.

In the past when a therapist has said, Ďwhy do you want to know?í I have taken it to mean they are reluctant to answer my question but didnít want to say so.

I would bring it up again. Sorry you have to wait two weeks.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:18 AM #9
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

Similar but not the same situation but it might help...
When I had my first session with Awesome T I told him I had elected to have a psych evaluation and that I had a Dx that I was concerned that he would not feel comfortable working with. I asked T to meet me before I disclosed the Dx so that he had a chance to see me not the stereotype. We talked about it about half way through, I have Autism. He felt that I was high enough functioning, knowledgeable enough and open enough that we would be OK... but some Tís donít have the training to work with certain Dx.
T also has me listed on my paperwork as ďadjustment disorder with depression and anxietyĒ because this Dx is the least potentially damaging/limiting to me with insurance or in life in general down the road... even though I have the Autism Dx and clearly qualify for complex PTSD... both could negatively impact my insurance at the very least.
Third my T my T is very anti label. He knows I am afraid of interpersonal connection and he wants me to feel safe. He doesnít need to make it into a disorder... there is a very valid reason(s) I am afraid of connection... it is a healthy, protective response... it isnít like pneumonia or strep throat... it has just out lived its usefulness.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:24 AM #10
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Default Re: Why would my therapist ask this?

It kind of seems like he didn't quite think that diagnosis fits, so he was wondering why you brought it up. Either, he thought perhaps you would provide more specific insight about your symptoms that perhaps he hadn't picked up on (they only see us in a very limited setting), or he was being sure you weren't a google "expert" trying to self-diagnose (and perhaps incorrectly). Just ask him about it again.
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