The Identified Patient

I attend a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) class four days a week, and lately the teaching therapist has been tossing the term “identified patient” at me, usually in reference to my poor attitude or my history of being sick as a child.

Today she said I made somewhat of a dent in the identified patient moniker by using dialectics and seeing both sides of a situation. In all honesty, I’m pretty open minded and apt to look at things a million different ways, which makes me terrible at persuasion. However, I do think that coming to the class armed with my worst experiences to work on every day tainted her image of me.

I will admit to being a Negative Nancy and a Whiner McBabypants. From my perspective, if I perceive a problem, I will speak up in order to work on it. Unfortunately for those around me I am a verbal processor, so working things out does involve whining.

Another caveat to this therapist’s definition of the identified patient is helplessness and being pathetic. I can guarantee that if I were both or even one of those things, I would not have created this blog. This blog was created in the pursuit of empowerment for myself and others with similar experiences. Yes, do I throw pity parties? Heck yes I do. It’s part of being me. Negative Nancy O’Shea cries over spilled milk then makes a vegan avocado milkshake.

Ultimately, the takeaway is this: maybe I was erroneously taken to the doctor as a child. Perhaps I whine too much. Maybe I’m a sunshine zapper. But there’s a lot more to me than that. We all have our flaws, and I guarantee if you look hard enough, people have pinned a thousand to Jesus Christ and the Buddha.

It doesn’t matter if you were an identified patient, identified subject, whatever, it does matter if you own it and work it.

Watch the way I fake my problems for attention, yeah yeah I work it! Oh wait, I actually don’t do that…


  1. jesusluvsall says:

    I don’t like the term identified patient. It feels like it trivializes life with chronic illness, but maybe that’s just me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M. O'Shea says:

      That is how I felt while I was in class. There were other people with chronic illness being treated poorly, and I felt like I needed to speak up on their behalf, but never did because the instructor obviously never dealt with illness personally herself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jesusluvsall says:

        Is it a class for school or a therapy session?


      2. M. O'Shea says:

        It is a therapeutic class. They teach you a certain therapy for personal use. You go four days a week for three hours daily for five weeks, then you “graduate.” You attend in a class setting with a group of people. I was blessed that my therapy class was free.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. jesusluvsall says:

        Is it part of a degree program or professional training?


      4. M. O'Shea says:

        No, just personal development.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. jesusluvsall says:

        Please guard your heart then. Just because the person is an instructor for it does not mean everything the person says is true

        Liked by 1 person

      6. M. O'Shea says:

        Thank you for your kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

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