Too many labels

We seem to have a multitude of labels or descriptors applied throughout our lifetimes. Some we choose, some are foisted upon us in anger, and some are lovingly given. We have nicknames, endearments, and epithets. We have diagnoses, scientific classifications, and social terms. Most are not happy with a simple “human being,” not descriptive enough.

As far as my own personal labels are concerned, it doesn’t matter to me what someone else chooses to call me (good or bad). However, I am tired of all the changing labels of psychiatric diagnoses. There are no definitive tests (i.e. blood tests, MRI, etc) to clearly diagnose a mental illness. We would have a world of self-diagnosed crazies if everyone were to look at the lists of criteria for mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, or any one of the other myriad of diagnoses.

Now into my ninth month of severe depression, my team of mental health professionals seem to have thrown up their hands and decided to just lump me into a couple non-specific categories. This has caused an odd reaction, in which I seem to have confusion piled on top of everything else. After about 15 years of referring to myself as having bipolar disorder, I no longer know how to define myself in psychiatric terms and it surprises me that this is a troubling situation. As my friend, Joel Sax (who writes the amazing blog Pax Nortana-see Links), says something like (sorry Joel, can’t remember the exact quote) stigma could be eliminated if we could just call it illness…leave out the mental. Because really, when one thinks about it, if our brain is not working correctly neurologically (or for whatever other physical reason) couldn’t that simply be classified as “illness?”


Some silly food for thought:   When my children were small and my ex-husband demanding, he came home to a messy house and said “What the hell do you do all day?” That’s when I came up with the following:

Goddess of Everything – Must be available at a moment’s notice

Chief Financial Officer
Personal Banker
Cash Manager
Loan Officer
Accounts Payable Administrator
Budget SupervisorStrategic Planning Executive
Schedule Manager
Event Planner
Social Director
OrganizerAdministration Executive
Benefits Administrator
Shipping & Receiving
Safety Specialist
Law EnforcementInformation Technology Officer
Research Specialist
Technical Support Manager
Network Administrator
Word Processing Specialist

Animal Welfare Manager
Pet Care
Dog Valet
Dog Walker

Clothing Specialist
Fashion Consultant
Laundry Wench
Alterations Manager

Director of Health
& Emotional Well-Being
Education Counselor
Career Counselor
Drug Safety Specialist
Pharmacy Manager
Nurse Practitioner
Relationship Manager
Administrator of Medical Records

Food Service Executive
Grocery Management & Supply

General Maintenance Manager
Interior Designer

Head of Transportation
Mapping Manager
Automotive Maintenance

Materials Management Executive
Errand Runner
Non-Food Supplies Procurement

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