‘But you don’t look disabled!’

Social Anxiety Disorder diagnosis (2)31676718_2121441974757249_5764936947025838080_n (2)

Okay. Here’s the thing.

 

I’m disabled.

 

I do not have cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. I am not in a wheelchair, nor do I need an assistance dog.

 

That does not mean I’m not disabled.

 

Unfortunately, many people do not understand that not all disabilities can be seen. Some people have invisible disabilities.

 

Initially, in 2016, I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. This diagnosis allowed me to get access to disabled student allowance at uni. I could have extended deadlines, library loan extensions due to my decreased concentration, and a specialist mentor to support me through my studies

 

The next year, I was told I had recurrent depressive disorder. Both of these diagnoses were correct. There’s no denying I’m a depressed hermit with an intense fear of new people and authority figures. I knew there was something more, though. Flashbacks, volatile emotions, and an intense fear of abandonment were coming from somewhere, and it wasn’t the depression or anxiety.

 

Finally, in 2018, I was diagnosed with what I’d known I had all along:

Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

For those of you who don’t know, borderline personality disorder was renamed as emotionally unstable personality disorder in recent years. The ICD-10 (a book on diagnosing mental and behavioural disorders) states that emotionally unstable personality disorder falls into two types: impulsive, and borderline. I am the borderline type.

 

Though you can’t see my emotional dysregulation, my flashbacks, or when I’m dissociating, these symptoms are as valid as any other disability.

 

Until next time!

Rowan.

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