One of these days I should actually write up, like, “a fannish guide to C-PTSD and BPD” for people who aren’t mental health professionals, so that people understand what I mean when I say a character sets off my trauma radar.
I’m writing that kind of thing for work–trying to explain these disorders to people who have them, since I can write from the perspective of having them, and so much psychological literature is essentially written by therapists as a way of teaching other therapists how to treat people, not about how to live as one of those people. But it’s hard–hard to constantly dig up my perspective and re-root it in a different position, when I’m so used to being clinically detached; hard to concisely explain things that took years of experience to learn.
I struggle also with my position in fandom? I don’t like being in a position of authority over knowledge, telling people what to think and what’s correct or incorrect. Especially in the mental health field, I go out of my way to de-emphasize my systemic power and build up peoples’ knowledge over their own lives. So I don’t want to say, you know, “That neurodivergent headcanon is incorrect!” or anything like that, ever.
On the other hand, I do kind of want to explain the frankly excessive amount of thought that goes into some of my own headcanons, because when people go, “You can’t just slap these labels on characters! You’re not an expert!” I’m like… I can slap these labels on people, not just fictional characters. I can legally diagnose people. I kind of am an expert. So I’m not coming at this from the same place as someone who’s read the Abnormal chapter of their Psychology 101 textbook. XD
And somehow, telling people, “Just read three or four of these books” has a low success rate.