Labels - tags on clothes, a clothing brand or a mark of identification, it has several meanings in
everyday life but what about in our mental health. There it comes around as categories, sometimes it proves to be very helpful for certain individuals but sometimes it is devastating.
Before moving ahead with the main objective, it is important to highlight the major side effect or even the cause of Labelling - Stigma. It's often called Shame or that someone has a problem and they are a disgrace to society. Stigma comes from a variety of places, all of which work together to have a major impact on an individual's life. It can come from personal, social, and family origins, as well as the nature of the illness itself. Several studies have found that stigma is caused by a lack of information, education, perception, and the nature and difficulties of mental illness, such as strange behaviours and violence.
Labels for mental diseases have the potential to stigmatise as well as isolate people. We might easily slip into the dichotomous thinking trap. You either have a mental health issue or you don't and are in good health. Labels create a false distinction between "normal" and "abnormal." As a result, we're more likely to treat apparent irregularities like anxiety, sadness, and other psychological diseases as unique, curable things.
Diagnostic classifications reveal little about a unique individual's own struggle to cope with the challenges of their circumstances. Such titles just pigeonhole people, obscuring their genuine worth and preventing us from hearing a story that needs to be told. Carl Jung, one of the greatest individuals in psychiatry believed that an accurate diagnosis could only be established at the end of treatment.
We all know labels, it's on everything around. We are labelled, some we find endearing, some extremely irritating. It creates pressure for an individual to either avoid that label or live up to it. Once this way of thinking becomes familiar, it can become ingrained, in our culture education or healthcare, reinforcing rather than reducing the symptoms and stereotypes. The medical theory of psychological suffering is important here, with conceptual issues developing whenever we accept a label's existence.
Another study in South India looked at the links between stigma and depression and somatization. Various social and cultural factors, particularly the degree of stigma associated with specific symptoms, influence how people perceive and report discomfort in psychological or somatic terms. The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue was used in this study to show how quantitative and qualitative methodologies can be effectively integrated to investigate significant themes in cultural psychiatry.
In the end, labels would continue to exist, with a lack of proper research but increasing advocacy in the field of mental health we can only hope that future mental health professionals will be better equipped to address the issue beneath the symptoms, labels, and diagnoses that are still so common and lead a path for personalized treatment.