Power of a Label

The other day I had a strange thought...

Have you ever noticed that as soon as someone is labeled with an illness or disease, even though their behavior has not changed, people around them will suddenly interact with them differently?

How odd that a single word or phrase can change things so drastically for a person!

Why do labels skew our perspective of people?

I know exactly what you mean!!! Sometimes it gets to me, and i wish people would just view me how they used to-but i do know they only act the way they do because they love me.

Yes, the power of labels is so strong! It's weird how just putting words to it can make such a difference. I remember the first time my very dear sister-in-law used the word "anorexia" with me--it was a big moment; we had skirted around it for years. But at the same time, it can be a relief. Knowing, "Wow, I'm not just insane; there's a word for what's going on with me, and I'm not the only person!" So, I guess there's a good side and a bad side to labels, as to most things. They can hurt and help. Sure are tricky buggers to deal with, though--when to let people know, when not to, ... *Sigh*.

Not only do labels skew our perspective of other people they also have a strong effect on how we view ourselves.

Some of us readily accept what others label us, and then there are those who adopt and impose labels on themselves. Then unaware of the effect this has on them, and believing that they suffer from " " , they feel like they are almost obligated to suffer. After all If you believe that you are that label then you'll need to continue to display symptoms to support your claims..


That’s a very good point! I know it’s affected me…

Unfortunately, there are way too many judgmental people in this world and if you really think about it, the same person who you think so highly of, can suddenly change in an instant as soon as you learn something new about them, even if they've possibly been that way the entire time. It's hard to change people's perspective of you once they've made their mind up about who you are. And I always ask myself, why do we really care so much? I can't pretend I don't fall victim to caring what others think of me, I do. But I've learned to take all of it with a grain of salt so long as I'm comfortable with the person that I am.

xo, July

I think it's just human nature, really. I myself have had anxiety and a clinical depression since way back when I was a child, however I wasn't diagnosed until when I was about 32 years old. Back then, more than now, people didn't talk about it because they considered us nervous or too sensitive. What A LOAD OF BS!!!

It is awful, I think, that I have to pick and choose who I share this with and who I don't because of how they may change the way they perceive me.

To be blatant, it SUCKS!!!

Yes, labels are really so significant to people and totally skew their impression and image of you. Once they know of an illness or issue, then you're suddenly labeled. It's as if you're an entirely new person and the person they knew before they found this information out is gone. It's quite bizarre to me how people can be so judgmental and lose sight of who you are based on an illness and/or issue(s). I guess it is human nature, but I wish that people would appreciate others for who they are at the core and not be so quick to judge.

All very true. You don't even have to have any connection with the insinuation. But if Someone else who knows not. Brands you with a socially un acceptable label. God help You.. cuz your guna need it.

Thats a good point! I know people have treated me differently after hearing some of my diagnosises.. and they dont even know the half of them!!

Amanda, I am sure that you are such an amazing person and your diagnoses are not who you are on the whole. It's sad when people label us and can't overlook the ailments and issues. It's the root of the person and they're soul, that counts.

The message I believe we need to portray to others is that our "label" our diagnosis, illness or disease should not and does not define us.

We are much more than Infertile, Cancer, Bi-Polar, etc.

We are humans. We have emotions, experience and wisdom.

We have needs and desires, hopes and dreams.

If only more people could see past the label.

How true! I have been recovered for several years now and some of my in laws just found out that I had an ED many years back. That first meal with them after they found out almost made me laugh! Their "watching" and expressions and trying to hide their "watching" and expressions! For a minute, I thought, "Oh! Maybe I need to order some kind of fatty, big, gross meal and eat it all and then make sure I don't go to the bathroom afterward so I can reassure them that I am recovered." That thought lasted like 2 seconds. I remembered that is isn't their opinion that matters, only my own and they are free to think what they want. And ultimately, I don't care what they think!

There is one thing I have learned in my years of therapy. Those "labels" only hurt if I already think it myself. It just reinforces the bad feeling I already feel towards myself. So go ahead and label me. If I have a bad reaction to it, it just signals that I need to have an internal reconciliation.

puppydoglvr- thats what my mom always says, that my diagnosis is not who i am, im so much more than that! Great advice for everyone!! Thanks!

yes, the thing i hate most about human beings is --their JUDGEMENTAL nature. really that is my pet peeve --that and superficiality. but this is the thing --if a person is going to JUDGE me for something i have wrong---then i want that person out of my life--and--if you dont like me for who i am--then leave. really. if we cant be accepting of others as humans then what kind of humans are we really?
i will not be judged by humans, only God. and judging is one of the worst things we as people do.

beautiful--you are right--we are much more than labels we are humans.


" but this is the thing --if a person is going to JUDGE me for something i have wrong—then i want that person out of my life "

" i will not be judged by humans, only God. and judging is one of the worst things we as people do. "

Judgement is a 2 way street Maureen. We are not to judge others either. Those who judge us should not be shunned for they are simply ignorant and afraid of what they do not understand.

Amanda, I am so thrilled that you have such a wonderful mother who reminds you of this, as it is so so true. What ails us does not make up who we are. Please keep up your positive outlook and attitude. Those who don't see the core of how amazing you are....are missing out.

Thanks puppydoglvr!!!

Of course :-)

People that don't have the sort of problems we experience can really be hurtful to us.On the other hand people in denial about there problems can be equally nasty.
When I was labeled with major depression in 1996 I thought it was great Ahh finally I know what is wrong .
then came post tramatic stress syndrome. OOOOK
OCD uug, attention deficit I could have told them that.
But wait were the meds causing some problems .
In 2000 in a physc hospital under 24/7 care I was re-diagnosed the new label was Bipolar.
Then someone used Bipolar as a curseword.
Like "your F@#%en Bipolar" eeew that pissed me off .
Being labeled Bipolar now had a new meaning .
Some people looked down on me like I had the plague.
That is what I hate. Some diseases get sympathy other get ridicule, harrasment, banishment. It is not fair .
Label for people who criticise , look down upon.