Some Recovery Ramblings About Labels In Recovery and Mental Illness…

Why do people put “Labels” on others?

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*WARNING LABELS*
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It seems in today’s society and everywhere you turn, people are slapping labels of who they think other people are? As we live in an age of “Reality Stars and TV Shows,” everyone wants to have a LABEL….
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They look for labels like, Diva, Famous, Rich, Star, Rock Star, even Important,” on and on. But all I see when people put labels on you per say, it can be like a virus! Now when a doctor or psychiatrist label you, it can make a person feel uncomfortable. But when other people give you a label, it may cause them to NOT seek help they made need from maybe a health or mental health issues, or wanting help from an addiction, along with other area’s.
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So when others out there put a  label on us, I feel like it’s just another way for “STIGMA” to run rampant. I think and feel it leaves way to many doors open to judge others, possible discrimination, and put others in departmental boxes. Now, of course for medical purpose’s, labeling is a way for our medical professionals to give a patient a description of their aliments. But in our society, labels have been used for multitudes of reasons, some OK and many in not so positive ways.

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I think you know what I mean. labels have become almost a cruel way to describe others as a sect, or group if you will. And yes, we can’t forget that there are many “Positive Labeling” as well, “Mentors, Roll Models, Sponsors, Donors, and Advocates, and so many more. Many of us  have a positive message we share to help others. It’s in our nature and in our blood! Even Actor’s and Actress’s can be positive role models, which is a far cry from “Reality Stars” because actors learn and go to school and work hard on their craft. I had an interesting “Comments” conversation here on my blog of a really nice follower who came and shared her thoughts about one of my earlier blog posts about, Mental illness and the Fort Shooting that happened a week or so ago.
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Interesting enough, that is where I got to thinking about labels. She had mentioned about mental illness, and that she was not comfortable with a therapist or psychiatrist putting a “Label” on her, or of what she may or may not have. So I’ve been thinking about her feelings. ( You can see her “Thoughts” in my comment section of that earlier post )
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We had a great conversation about it, and there were no hard feelings, as we did disagree a little about gun control for those who suffer from mental illness. But the point was that we were able to share how we both felt, and isn’t that what having a blog and conversation all about? Talking about important issues? Engaging with others to so we can help break down “STIGMA” around issues that need it? That is why I started BOTH my blogs.
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To be able to engage with others on a wide range of issues. To help others seeking help from gambling addiction through my resources pages, talk about mental illness and childhood abuse issues, past or present. That’s what I am all about. I was recently cyber harassed as I did blog my feelings about it.
WHY? Why wouldn’t why?
It’s because this person was trying to out “Cruel Labels” upon me. Labels like, Fat, Lonely, Obsessive, fraud, mental and that I’m not who I present myself to be.
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Well, there you go!! People putting labels on another person. This can be very hurtful and a very good example of  demeaning labeling someone. All I can say is “GOD” and myself truly know what I stand for, and the “Goodness in my HEART,” and that’s all that matters to me!
I have endured far worse than this all my life,……even from my own family, and I’m still here! Not labeling can possibly boil down to just “Being Kind To Others.”
Were we not born as human beings and pure of heart?
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Many of us deal with labels, discrimination, and much more everyday. In our family, work life, people we meet and many other area’s. Were judged by Color, Sex, Creed, Religion, Sexual preference, Gay, Straight, Rep. or Dem., and so much more. How is it that others find the mean spirit of purposely hurting others by slapping a label on them? I guess I’ll never know. But labeling in Recovery from addiction, also those who suffer from any mental or emotional illness. Labels and stigma sure is still alive and well.
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And to the person it’s directed to, is really like a Poison. Here are some types of labeling and the harm in that;…
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What Is Labeling People?

Answer

Labeling people refers to the attachment assumed qualities to particular people. For instance, the British are stuck ups. It simply means trying to define the position or class someone occupies in society. As such, it works as a grading system for humans to see whether another is ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than the speaker in the hierarchical order. Labels determine a lot how a person is treated in society.
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Labeling Drug Users Certain Ways Can Inhibit Their Recovery

For those recovering from an addiction, word choices can make a big difference and either help or hurt their chance of recovery.

As kids, we oftentimes hear the idiom “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, for those suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, gambling, and more, the choice of words can make a big difference and even hurt their chances of recovery. A recent survey conducted among health care professionals reveals that labeling someone a “substance abuser” may prevent them from seeking the help they need.

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<3 The Sobriety Spot
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The act of labeling people with mental illness

Human begins have been labeling people since the beginning of time. It is human nature to put labels on people in an attempt to better understand someone. People us labeling for example when they see a group of people wearing the same clothing and listening to the same music, and this is roughly the same concept used to help psychologist know what is happening to a patient. (Lain). “Psychologist is most likely to able to help individuals who are suffering from mental disorders when they can make an accurate pyschodiagnosis, an attempt to describe, asses, and systematically draw inferences about an individual’s psychological disorder.”
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Over the years, the meaning behind labeling has changed. In the nineteen forties, labeling a person moron and idiot was used to describe someone with mental illness. “And the history of slavery indicates that African-Americans who tried to escape their white masters were often labeled as suffering from drapetomania, defined as a sickness that makes the person desire freedom.” (Sue, David). Now, Psychologists use terms out of the DSM-IV to describe people with mental illness. (Autonomous). Using this method of labeling people who have a mental illness has its pros and cons.  Cons of labeling people: making a diagnosis is simply the act of labeling the person, once labeled he or she may have difficulty overcoming the label, having a hard time identifying themselves without the disease (having the disease define who they are, instead of the disease just being the disease), and may lose hope of recovery.(Lain). Pros of labeling people: provides patients with a means of communicating about what is going on with their body to other people, helps identify and to find support, some people are relieved when they learn that the symptoms they are experiencing have a name, and offers a sense of hope and personal control over the illness.(Lain).
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Labeling a person who has a mental illness may do more harm than good. Words have a powerful meaning, though we are taught to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words have more of an impact on us then we would like to admit. Words can be used to hurt other people. (Jack Bragen). “Hitler once branded the Jews as abnormal.” (Sue, David). People, once labeled or have a diagnosis, forget who they once were as people, and start to let the diagnosis define who they are as people. This can be bad for the patient, because they not lose themselves, but they start to lose hope with the treatment itself. This also will occur when people try and diagnosis themselves. Thomas Szasz, a health professional, has stated that “. . . mental illness is a myth, a fictional creation by society used to control and change people.”

Read more: http://www.ukessays.com/essays/physiology/the-act-of-labeling-people-with-mental-illness-physiology-essay.php#ixzz2yXRZZQ63
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So please, lets stop labeling others in a NEGATIVE way,…..It is be very hurtful.

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GOD BLESS ALL,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“Addicted To Dimes”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

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2 thoughts on “Some Recovery Ramblings About Labels In Recovery and Mental Illness…

  1. Wonderful, wonderful article Catherine. True, sometimes (inaccurately and/or negatively) labeling an individual will then define the individual who then can not see he/she is more than just the label. This sentence: Thomas Szasz, a health professional, has stated that “. . . mental illness is a myth, a fictional creation by society used to control and change people.” Is that true?

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    • Well,
      It’s kind of a loaded statement actually. Since he is a Medical not a Mental Health Professional, I’d have to not agree with his statement. What I think he might be referring to is how many “Labels” there are for many of the Mental and Emotional disorders there seems to be. Even though research of mental illness still has a long way to go, as the Brain & Body are very complex, there is much that still needs to be known. The mortality rate for people who are not diagnosed, diagnosed improperly, and those who never get treatment is still around 78% mostly due to Suicide. Very Sad. I speak from a “Personal Experience” not as a medical professional.

      However, the statement by this professional worries me for many reasons. I don’t think he has suffered a Severe Panic or Agoraphobia attack. So is he saying the attacks and symptoms me and others suffer are a Myth?? Are we taking medications just because we want to? Not because we Need to? Food for thought for this professional,…..is he saying all our military came back with fake PTSD? Or their brain injuries are not real? Again, LABELS can work the other way around. When people say statements like this, it’s another form of labeling that our mental and emotional illness & disorders are all lies? HHHHMMMMM, this is how “STIGMA” continues to exist because of people saying things like Thomas Szasz. I think it’s clear where we are truly lacking is TREATMENT & Treatment centers for those who have mental illness, but may not have services to get help for some reason. The number of those who need the mental health services are just not getting it. SO,……we continue to have more Shootings like Fort Hood, Stabbings like the Son of a US Senator. because his son was turned away as there were no beds available in a crisis center, he stab his father and shot himself. The Gabby Gifford shooting here in Arizona where I live, and the woman who drove he mini-van in the ocean with her KIDS in the van. Very Sad. I’ll continue to Advocate against Stigma until my last Breath 🙂
      That’s my 2 cents, now I’m Broke!..LOL *Catherine* 🙂

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