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rachelr's picture

Helping vs. Hindering

 I think that in some instances, labeling can be an advantage. When a commonly known label is used, that single word or phrase can embody a fully body of, say, symptoms of a sick patient. There needs to be a standard for being able to measure symptoms, performance, comprehension, and behavior. Many also have reported that having a name and an understanding of perhaps why they are the way they are has been beneficial, and that with a label they have been able to understand that there is a reason that they are the way they are. 


On the other hand, symptoms, for instance, can be experienced on different levels for different people, and professionals tend to jump to conclusions when diagnosing, or "labeling," patients. As in psychology, often the most understood or most frequently seen result, or illness, will be diagnosed simply because of its frequency; it is not always correct, however. Also the method for diagnosis (or labeling) was once decided by a group of doctors who were, as we all are, human. So it stands to reason that they were not always correct. Their studies also focused on only a portion of the population at the time; the dynamics of generations are constantly in fluctuation, and no two individuals are alike, further distancing an exact or correct "label" from people.

For certain diagnosis, I think that this labeling has definitely increased the number of people diagnosed. Depression and ADHD are two of these over diagnosed illnesses. And it seems like children are being diagnosed younger and younger. How can a five year old be diagnosed with ADHA? Some children have more energy than others, and reading and academics do not come as easily to some children as they do to others. 

In severe cases of illnesses or disorders, when medication could perhaps help a person lead a more healthy and happy life, I believe that diagnosis can be beneficial. However using diagnosis and "labels" to over analyze each and every aspect of a person only ends up giving them excuses and aids in creating a barrier between children, and even adults, who are "abnormal" and those who are "normal."



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