Do mental illness labels matter?

Reblogged from Mad Girl’s Lament

Please leave comments on M’s original post ❤ Much Love.

Mad girl's lament

I’ve been thinking a lot about diagnoses and whether or not the label of a mental illness really matters. Within the mental health community and advocacy work, we like to separate the person from the disorder. We encourage people to say: “I have bipolar disorder,” instead of “I am bipolar.” You would never say “I’m cancer,” but you would say, “I have cancer.”

Label Jars not PeopleSome mental health professionals believe that that diagnostic labels don’t matter, as long as you’re receiving treatment that’s right for you. However, I would suggest that learning about your particular illness in conjunction with studying yourself you can learn a lot about what triggers particular episodes. So when my psychiatrist told me that I “do not have bipolar disorder,” I felt like a piece of me had been ripped out.

It’s no secret that I have no love for psychiatrists. I have yet to meet one that I have…

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One thought on “Do mental illness labels matter?

  1. I wrote an essay in my 1st yr of the psych degree I never completed, whilst floridly manic, about how psych labels and the dsm restrict patients treatment and treating the symptoms would be better. As in physical health, if a person comes in with lower abdominal pain we treat the pain, then all possible causes (infection, ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis etc) until we determin a cause. Mental health should be more like that, especially since life, anxiety, hormones, and seasonal changes can alter symptoms.

    And then.. I cling to my bipolar diagnosis. I have walked away from one horrificly controling psych, and emailed directly the senior of one painfully incompetent one, and now seem to have a wonderfully interested accepting and curious doc. I
    Was sure lithium made my dyslexia worse and she was open to the research Id read up on suggesting as much.

    Psychs are luck of the draw, but make all the difference. And anyone who has a little insight has a good understanding of their own mind, ignore the guy who sees you for half an hour and reads some notes.

    Liked by 1 person

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