The Danger in Diagnosis

I’ve been thinking about how much we like to label all things, including each other. As meaning-making beings, it’s virtually impossible for us not to categorise and generalise. However, there is a real danger in diagnosis. Placing a label on someone can reduce them to a series of symptoms, behaviours or feelings; not allowing their complexity and individuality as human beings to shine through. I know that often it can be a relief to find a title/definition for what is ailing, but with that comes a whole new realm of expectations. If I say, ‘Bill has an anxiety disorder’ or ‘Jane is bulimic’, you will have made many associations, assumptions and judgements before you have even had time to think about what those labels might mean. So, although it is virtually impossible, I strive to keep away from labels and diagnosis as much as I can: I know I want to be seen as more than what I sometimes suffer from and I would like to extend that right to others.

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