What's in (and under) a diagnosis?

Have you ever experienced the world as chaotic and unpredictable? When we are children, it is: when we are born, we are completely dependent on a world over which we have no control. We learn over time to navigate this world, and develop agency and accomplishment as we grow into our bodies and our brains. If any of this is thwarted or impeded- either, the capacity for making meaning of our world, or the capacity to live as fully ourselves rather than projections of our parents (as in developmental trauma) and society (as in racism and poverty) and all of this unprocessed grief and pain- we do not get to fully experience ourselves and live our own lives. We take on what Winnicott has called a “false self” and live with what Atwood calls “the ghost of the interrupted life.” This is one of the grains of sand at the root of pathology and disorder.

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