My Label is My Excuse

Using a mental health or psychiatric label represents a convenient excuse. It provides cover for the label recipient who says, “I can’t help it. I have depression.” Or attention deficit disorder. Or narcissistic personality disorder. Or whatever the latest label voted on by the psychiatrists at a meeting happens to be. Do these labels even have any applicable connection to reality, since now more people seem to have mental disorders than not? Psychiatric labels also provide cover for the person using the label. By using a label, you don’t have to really understand what’s going on. You don’t have to accept responsibility for what you’ve done to encourage the undesirable behavior in another, and you don’t have to face holding the person with the label responsible for his or her actions. You also get to be a victim, by claiming that it’s something like a medical disease that caused all the problems. Behavioral and emotional problems are not diseases. They are problems that people have for various reasons and must take responsibility for correcting, through extensive thinking and aggressive self-change. A ‘disease’ of the mind is a metaphor, not something to take literally.