Labels


I came across this post written by fevers-n-mirrors, and I thought I’d share it with you:

Why are people so obsessed with putting labels on themselves??

Don’t we complain and get angry whenever someone, or society in general, attempts to label us as ‘this’ or ‘that’?
Then why do we do it to ourselves?!?!?!

I mean, I truly can understand how giving a name, a classification, to whatever ‘symptoms’ you’re suffering from, can help you understand what you’re going through better, and in turn, it can help you treat it.

BUT, can such extreme emotions and behaviors really be fully contained under a ‘label?’

As a human being, I know I don’t fit perfectly into any box… you can’t contain me, my life, my emotions, under a label. That’s freaking ridiculous. For every symptom, every emotion I experience, that can be explained by my diagnosis’, or a label someone slaps on me…there’s always something else that just doesn’t fit.

Why? Because I am not that label!!! I’m me… a living and breathing human being… the specifics and driving forces behind my struggles are unique to me… only I exist as me, and that is my label. I am ME!!!!!!

People end up clinging to their labels, to these diagnoses’ that are supposed to explain them, and too often it keeps them from getting better. They won’t seem to let it go. If you only identify yourself with your sickness, or if you identify too strongly with it, you let it become your identity, or too big a part of it. What are you without your identity? NOTHING. You’re nothing. So you keep clinging to it, because if you let it go, when you open your clenched fists, you’re left with nothing to show. NOTHING.

So, you cut… you’re not ‘a cutter’…
So, you have a mental illness… you’re not that mental illness…
So, you have an eating disorder… you are not the eating disorder…

These are labels that describe your struggle… and labels are vague. They are not all-encompassing.

You are not these things. You are not these things. You are not these things.

You are not confined to an existence with them. You are not living a life that will ineviatbly lead to the projected course of whatever you’re struggling with.

Stop looking at yourselves through the filter of these labels.
Start viewing yourselves as an individual who has power over these things.
They are not you, and they do not get to decide the course of your life.
They don’t get to decide on your happiness.
They don’t get to decide your fate.

THEY DON’T NAME YOU!

It’s your choice whether or not you dwell on your disorder.
It’s your choice to immerse yourself in it.
It’s your choice on whether you let it consume you completely.

It’s your choice.
You decide!

Me? I refuse to accept any of these labels.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Lauren, just came across your blog now. Hope you’re just having a break, have enjoyed reading your posts.

    In response to this post I must agree with most of what you say. Some ppl, some, identify too strongly with a dx. Ive met ppl like this, and though they dont quite say it this way its at its basics, ‘Hi my name is Luke and I am depression’. You feel like grabbing them and saying no, no, no, you’re Luke and you have a personality and experiences and emotions. And you have an illness called depression. Most ppl get through this to a healthier phase.

    We have and need a method of classifying mental illnesses and disorders. Its a never ending guesstimate work in progress. It’s up to doctors to better explain a dx to their patient, rather then just send them home with a bottle of pills.

  2. Great points. We at Destroying the Stigma believe that there is so much more to life than a label of Bipolar or any other mental illness. The Pharmaceutical complex and substandard therapists insist on life acceptance of these conditions/labels when they can be overcome or at least put in order. We want to be more productive human beings with successful careers and loving families.

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