I have had mental illness all my life, but not once was I given a diagnosis that has proven to be accurate and consistent. For example, as a child I was bullied and had a breakdown, there I was diagnosed with have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and an anxiety disorder. The strange thing was that once the abuse stopped, I was not nervous. I had an unusual physical disorder that I care not to mention, but I will say it affected me emotionally in such a manner that I did not want to get emotionally involved with people.
I have never been a depressed person or neurotic, if I come close to any known diagnoses, it would be Schizoid Personality, but here I do not fit the criteria, such as being reluctant to engage in conversation, or being awkward around people. I am a gregarious speaker and very inquisitive. Not another category of diagnoses fits my condition.
I always liked school and being from a wealthy family, I went to college and finished graduate school. Despite this, I have not worked that often; when my father passed away, I inherited enough money to live without working. I went back to school and earned a second graduate degree, my first was in psychology and the second was in history. Although I was qualified to teach at a university, the hurdles involved in finding a position as an assistant professor was more than I was willing to consider. I worked at a community college teaching both subjects for several years, them went to work as a psychometrics, or testing psychologist. I like working with statistics and factor analysis, therefore, enjoyed the work.
In my forties I went back to being a student a third time, but this time I was not willing to accept the subordinate role as a student and I dropped out after two years, attaining a masters degree. Shortly after that time I took ill and became a recluse. Today, I am actually physically ill and receive in-home care. I get along with my caretaker very well as I am able to remain in authority. As to being around strangers, I now avoid them because my sickness does not permit me to dress well and I think people will not show me the respect I believe that I am due.
I am an extremely conservative woman who dislikes just about every change that has taken place in society since I was a child. I wish I could have lived in Victorian times; then again, I probably would have not liked being forced to marry. I have never had a steady relationship and never desired having one. I am generally happy being alone and not one to need to talk to friends. Now that I am sick, life is a bit difficult, yet I am content with my life and myself.
I have always known I had a mental illness, but when I wanted to work or attend school, it never impaired me in any way. The closest I have been able to diagnose myself is to find that I have some components of a narcissistic personality, but not enough features to be diagnosed as such.