All of these (and many, many more) are labels used to diagnose people. But what does this mean for someone? What happens when they are slapped with a label?
Just a few ideas around what diagnosis can mean for someone. As you can see, it’s a mixed bag.
We are confined to the structure of diagnosis that currently exists, which means we label people as a way of describing a set of symptoms. Although I can see the benefits in terms of access to support and that the person receiving the diagnosis might feel relieved to know what is happening, I much prefer formulation.
Thankfully, I’m in the right job for this, as formulation is a huge part of the clinical psychologist role. Formulation offers us a picture of what is going on for the person. It is person centred and acknowledges the complexity of a diagnosis and what it means for the person. It considers the biopsychosocial elements. At this moment in time however, we operate by a system of diagnostic labelling.
In which case I think the importance of educating around mental health is just as necessary as learning about first aid. Mental health touches so many lives, however if it doesn’t touch your life, why would you need to know that much about it?
There is more to a person than a label. We all have a background, we have all been subject to environmental factors, quite often out of our control. For example, some children experience domestic violence, others are born into poverty.
It is important to look beyond the label, know that this person has a story.
It would be great to hear your views on this.