The limits of diagnosis

From the archives

Hopeworks Community

One of the single most hurtful things you can do to another human being is put a label on him and try to convince him he is what you have called him.  One of the most hurtful things we do to each other is to treat those around like they are nothing but the labels placed upon them or the names we call them.  It is the simplest way to excuse the wrongs we do to each other and to make excuses for the way we let each other down.

Psychiatric diagnoses are particularly like this.  It is not enough to distinguish between saying someone is bipolar and saying someone has bipolar.  One is perhaps more gentle.  It at least indicates that there is more to us than the labels used to describe it, but it is still I believe inaccurate.  It basically rests on the idea that we are…

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