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Happiness Isn-t Brain Surgery:
What is Diagnosis
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director, AllCEUs

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at

– Define Diagnosis
– Identify the Reasons for Diagnosis
– Discuss the Drawbacks to Diagnosis
– Personification
– Symptoms are common in multiple disorders
– People fall through the cracks when they don-t -fit- a diagnsis

What is Diagnosis
– Short hand for a cluster of symptoms
Why is Diagnosis Necessary
– Insurance reimbursement
– Makes it easier for providers to communicate
– Gives providers a starting point for understanding
– Your symptoms
– What may be causing your symptoms
– A variety of different things can cause someone to feel -depressed- that is, not find pleasure in most things
– Neurochemical imbalances
– Nutritional deficits
– Exhaustion
– Illness (Chronic fatigue, chronic pain)
– Thyroid or hormone imbalances
Drawbacks to Diagnosis
– Personification
– When you have the flu, you don-t say I am the flu. You say I have the flu.
– Something you have is something you can get rid of
– Something you are is a part of you and more enduring
– When you have identified as being -depressed- or an -addict- for a period of time
– It becomes part of you like being a -student- or a -mother-
– Letting go of that role involves adjusting to a new -self- and grieving the loss of that part of you.
– -If I am not an addict anymore, what am I- (lots of pressure there)
Drawbacks cont-
– Symptoms are common in multiple disorders (physical and mental)
– Sleep Disturbances
– Eating Disturbances
– Difficulty Concentrating
– Racing Thoughts
– Fatigue
– General achiness
Drawbacks cont-
– People fall through the cracks
– Prevention is far more effective and efficient than treatment
– People do not seek help until they nicely -fit- a diagnosis
– Minimizing the problem (I-m not depressed *all* the time)
– Insurance will not reimburse
– Problems in relationships, mood, work etc. Will continue to get worse which makes the mood disorder or addiction worse.
– Diagnosis is a necessary evil
– It provides a starting place for exploring a cluster of symptoms
– It is part art and part science.
– It is important for you to remember that the symptoms are your body-s way of telling you something is wonky.
– You can help your care team by understanding (and communicating) your symptoms and what makes them worse and better for you