There are numerous categories of labels. Some are intended to be a helpful diagnosis such as DEPRESSION, much in the news lately. Two other labels are ADD/ADHD, and the catch all CANCER wherein you have to specify what kind and where. Those labels and many others in the field of medicine, psychology and education are supposed to be the first step in designing a plan to either cure or alleviate the identified issues. A list of such labels is much too long to include here. The point is to see whether or not a label helps or whether it does not. In some cases it may be helpful and in other cases not so much.
I have usually resisted labeling people as it tends to box them into a category that is limiting. What do you believe happens when someone receives the label, DISABLED? When that label is applied to physical, mental, emotional or relational behaviors it is the treatment plan that helps determine the outcome. Diagnosis is essential. Treatment is critical. Support is required. The goal is to correct, improve and solve the problem, except in those situations where someone seems married to a victim mind set. They prefer to blame their situation on their condition and not take responsibility for changing either the condition or the situation. You may well know someone who fits that description.
There are those occasions where finding the right name is very helpful. The right label in the field of mental health provides relief knowing what an individual has that is causing the suffering and discomfort. DEPRESSION as a label by itself may be accurate and if so, more needs to follow. There needs to be a focus on treating that condition whether through an appropriate regimen of drugs or through psychotherapy or both. It is the lack of diagnosis and effective treatment that is contributing to the increase in the rate of suicide among various age groups including teen-agers. It has indeed reached epidemic proportions.
Suicide is the #2 cause of death for children ages 10-14 years old. For college-age youth (ages 18-22), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. Overall, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for our youth ages 14-24. * (CDC WISQARS). #1 cause is accidents and it’s likely that some of those may well be undetected suicides.
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, aids, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined. Each day in our nation, there is an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12. Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. It is our failure to pay attention and invoke the early detection, early treatment paradigm that contributes to this continuing and growing epidemic. We can do better.