Watch the Labels!

No, I don’t mean food labels! The labels I’m talking about are the ones that we tend to give people. From calling people ‘fat’ to calling people ‘mentally ill’, we need to watch what we say and how we label.

I understand that sometimes, labels are necessary. Labels can help people understand what they’re going through and can also help them gain other possibly needed assistance. However, it is when people are labeled incorrectly, when trouble ensues.

Let’s take medical issues, for example. So many people jump to conclusions about what people ‘have’ without really knowing. This can cause people to make decisions that are less than wise. Also, like a rumor that catches on like wild fire, wrongfully labeled illnesses and issues can cause all types of problems. These problems range from incorrect treatments to verbal abuse.

Let’s take the label of ‘mentally ill’ for example. I hate this label. Yes, anxiety is definitely a mental health issue, but is it really an illness? Some would argue that yes, it is. I would argue otherwise.

I don’t consider myself ‘ill’. This isn’t because I’m in denial but rather because I think that anxiety is something that you can get through and that while there may not be a cure, there are things you can do to manage it. I also think that the term ‘mental illness’ makes it as though anxiety sufferers are ‘mentally insane’. I feel like the media has almost made the two terms synonymous with each other.

Without going into too much detail, I’ve seen people labeled as having illnesses that I must say, I don’t think they have. Again, this isn’t because I’m in denial but rather because I know for a fact that these people I’m thinking of haven’t been tested enough for the labels to be confirmed. The labels were merely hypotheses.

Incorrect labeling is a major issue. Like I mentioned, it can cause incorrect treatment – both medically and simply how others treat the individual with the supposed illness/issue. Also, some labels are simply cruel.

Calling someone fat is another example of unkind labeling. Yes, it is true, there are many individuals who are overweight. Still, is it right to go up to them and call them fat? Is it right to call them things like “fat a*s”, etc.? No, it’s not. So please, watch the labels!

If you think someone has a certain illness or issue, make sure you know what you’re talking about. Make sure before you claim someone has an illness, you have actual proof. Do your research. Also, if someone does have an illness or health issue, don’t make fun of them. If you want to do something, find a way to help.

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Author: gettingthroughanxiety

B.W. Ginsburg has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. Her favorite authors include: Harlan Coben, James Patterson, and John Saul. B.W. Ginsburg published her first book, Rest in Piece, in October 2016. In addition to writing fiction, Ginsburg also writes about mental health. In her spare time, she can be found blogging, watching TV, and listening to music. B.W. Ginsburg graduated college with a B.A. in Arts; she majored in English and minored in writing.

7 thoughts on “Watch the Labels!”

  1. I totally agree – no one should diagnose other people &, I think, most people who receive a diagnosis should seek a second opinion.

    My only thought that might be contrary would be that anxiety & depression & other disorders do fall under the umbrella of “illness.” However, I’m totally with you that the media has made “mental illness” a boogeyman when someone does something awful. It makes anyone who falls under the term “mental illness” look like they’re one step shy of doing something monstrous.

    The only reason I think, personally, that anxiety & depression fall under the umbrella is because there’s a difference between a “disorder” & a “disease” (or so I learned from my fibromyalgia support group meetings). A disorder – like depression, anxiety, or even fibromyalgia – is manageable with medications, lifestyle changes, & avoiding triggers/things that make your condition worse. A disease is something that progressively gets worse. However, both are illnesses.

    Still… I understand not wanting to self-label as mentally ill. I stick with describing my condition as Major Depressive Disorder (the last psychologist I went to said I have anxiety as well, but I disagree… I’ll admit, I have yet to get a second opinion).

    Please, feel free to disagree with me. I welcome your opinion on my compulsive rambling. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do see what you’re saying. I’m not one hundred percent sure why I don’t consider anxiety an illness. I think it’s mainly because, like I mentioned, a lot of people seem to equate ‘mental illness’ with insanity or something close to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes perfect sense. My opinion was perhaps more clinical than personal, so I’m sorry for not taking your personal take on it into consideration. I agree – people see “mental illness” as “psycho,” “schizophrenic,” or “nuts.” It’s wrong, but I don’t like claiming the label “mental illness” for the same reason.

        I think labels are extremely personal. What one person calls him/herself might be an insult if it came from someone else. Like, I can call myself “fat,” but watch out if someone else does it! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

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