May 2018: birthdays, back injuries and the biggest weekend

We’ve all done it. You wake up one morning with a headache and, instead of taking a painkiller or nipping to the GP, you consult the internet instead. Before you know it, your headache has become a cluster of malignant brain tumours and WebMD reckons you’ve only got twenty minutes left to live. Then, twenty-one minutes and an existential crisis later, you realise it’s probably just a headache and get out of bed.

Self-diagnosing is one of my biggest flaws. Give me half an hour with a list of all known mental disorders and I’ll attach myself to at least twenty of them. Anxiety? Definitely. Depression? Hell yeah! Narcolepsy? I fell asleep in the middle of a date once, so probably. Pyromania? I like inhaling blown-out candles, so might as well chuck that one in there, too. Opioid use disorder? Never taken any opioids before, but that doesn’t mean I can’t potentially have it.

Before you say anything: I’m thoroughly aware that I’m being an absolute ding-dong. My habit of attaching myself to any and every label that comes my way is harmful and downright disrespectful to those actually suffering from these things. Aside from the Sad, Silly Brain™ with which I’ve already been formally diagnosed, I have no reason to believe I have anything other than a hefty amount of anxiety and a pinch of very flaky serotonin in my nervous little brain.

● Mared Jones is a writer and doughnut enthusiast whose hobbies include dissociating, luring cats into her garden, misplacing her tea, and writing about herself in the third person.

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