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.