5 min read

Today feels like everything has labels attached. If you’ve got a couple quirks, you’re either ADHD, OCD, bi-polar or on the autism spectrum. As a kid, autism was something rare, and it was severe. Now, everyone is labelled as something. Why? What is this obsession with being named something? Is it a sense of belonging we seek so badly that we cling to something like ADHD as though it explains our entire lives? It’s an unhealthy obsession with an interesting root. 

Any psychiatrist looking at me can find signs of half a dozen mental illnesses. I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed, manic depressive, ADHD, severely OCD and now, I’ve been (unprofessionally) told that I show signs of being on the spectrum. The catch 22 is that if I reject the “diagnosis” that I’m living in denial. If I embrace the “diagnosis”, I’ll allow it to define me. Neither scenario is positive. Yet the whole world is obsessed with it. 

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. 

Whatever happened to people just being different because of social backgrounds and cultures and past experiences? What happened to learning things and becoming obsessed with it because it released all those great endorphins to learn something new… why is that an obsession disorder? How can learning be a disorder? What? None of this makes sense anymore. 

Hermititis. Real disease. Incurable. 100%.

I don’t like swimming pools because (ewww, gross) germs, mugs must be put in the cupboard in a certain way, you cannot mix whites and colours in a wash (the thing of nightmares), the bed must be dusted every day and made before you leave the room, you must shower before you leave the house to go anywhere, and my choice of language is often a little dramatic (okay very, but that’s not the point here). I have personality quirks that are all a result of my past experiences. I possess limited patience for things I don’t enjoy, I’m stubborn but tolerant, and I’m not a huge fan of society. Therefore I must on the spectrum of hermititis, which is a result of my vitamin D deficiency. Obviously. 

The Real Truth 

There are people out there who are 100% in need of these labels because they have a genetic mutation that pre-disposes them to this particular thing. Label those folks the same way you’d test for cancer and label that. But every other person suddenly being something or the other seems a little fishy to me. Depression medication is a massive industry, but I’m not contributing my hard earned pennies to Astra-Zeneca to continue to research into new labels to make more drugs to make more money. No thanks. Unsubscribe. A little change of perspective and some fresh air can kick depression in the nut sack. The thing with depression is you have to be able to put it down. If you can’t put it down, then it will grow until it consumes you. It’s not an easy thing. It’s very very hard, but it’s not impossible. 

I remember the days when everyone had a dull day, but they wouldn’t let it define them. It seems like being depressed or having a mental illness is now the cool thing to be, so everyone is jumping on the trend. This in no way means that I’m against people seeking help. You should, but just be mindful of how doctors are labelling you, because a misdiagnosis is so easy to make. Don’t allow that label to define you, because then, you’ll become the label, making a proper diagnosis or even recovery next to impossible. 

I was once searching for a label… 

Years ago, I got a diagnosis of Marfan syndrome. I ignored it and went on my merry life because one day, something will kill me, but I was determined that it was not going to be label related stress disorder. So I forgot about it… Until last April, when I dislocated my kneecap. I was re-diagnosed and given an additional one for joint hyper-mobility. Then I had to change my GP and that whole diagnosis process was up for re-diagnosis. But I was so sure the second one was final because it cropped up ten years later that I allowed it, for a short time, to confine me. I couldn’t do a bunch of things because of a possible heart issue that I may not even have, or I had to be careful of lifting anything because of my hyper mobility. In the end, I just dropped the whole thing. It’s exhausting and I did not want to live my life trapped in a box of my doctor’s making. No thanks. So I have ignored the lot of them. I have a heart that beats in my chest like everyone else’s and I will die of something in the undisclosed future, but I will look back and think that I lived a life by my own rules… not scared of something that may never actually happen. 

I, Désiré, 100% suffer from hermititis, and this is 100% the label I don’t even care about. I reject the labels. They are limiting. I am not a label. I am a complex human being, constantly changing and improving, and a label of today will be irrelevant tomorrow, because I will not be the same person. 

You only get one life so live free of labels, and enjoy your life.