What keeps people happy and free from sadness and depression is a cluster of variables which, taken together, constitute what Sigmund Freud called "the ability to love and to work." We need to belong and we need to feel good about ourselves. Consequently people who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis have to first integrate that information into their ongoing biographies in such a way that their self-esteem and their sense of belonging is not diminished by that label. A diagnosis of an affective disorder usually also sheds a new and different light on the story of one's life, provides a benign explanation for some past events, and casts some doubts on some of one's own and other people's judgments. Additionally, it raises not a few questions with respect to the future. In that context the person/patient who grew up singled out as the "problem child," as "the crazy one," or the family scapegoat, faces the most difficult problems. They have struggled all their lives against parental invalidation and disqualification. After the diagnosis has been given, they tend to feel, at least initially, that their family's judgments have now been officially confirmed, that it was indeed the child who was always "crazy," i.e., wrong, guilty, the cause of the family's unhappiness. It takes some hard work sometimes for patients to
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Publication information: Book title: On Mood Swings:The Psychobiology of Elation and Depression. Contributors: Susanne P. Schad-Somers - Author. Publisher: Insight Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 231.
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