“An important question in psychiatry shouldn’t be what’s wrong with you but rather what’s happened to you.”

This will be a pretty short post, and is something of a note to self. It’s far to easy to look at symptoms, issues, problems, as ‘something being wrong with us’. I’m extremely guilty of this, and have literally said on several occasions that I wish someone could just tell me what exactly is wrong with me, so that I could find a way to ‘fix it’.

But every condition and symptom has the potential to teach us something, the experience of overcoming them helps us to learn and grow, and I firmly believe that my own issues with mental health will make me more compassionate, empathetic and helpful to others in the future. Maybe they’re not things that are wrong with me. Maybe they are just my unique challenges and struggles that help me to become the person I’m on my way to being. Perhaps they even brought me to places, experiences and people that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.

The quote in the post title is from this TED talk, it’s really interesting! It’s by a lady called Eleanor Longden, who found positives to her experiences of hearing voices (viewing them more as a coping strategy than a terrible symptom to be suppressed/overcome).


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