Skeptical about the term ‘mental health’ and ‘psychological disorders?’

Mental health issues are still very much a stigma in society today. What I have come to accept is that many people are terrified of psychology and the use of heavy psychological terminology. Many people do not want to be put into a category or be given a ‘diagnosis’ that is seemingly a label that they have to carry for the rest of their lives. I see it every day in practice, parents being afraid to say that their child has ‘ADHD,’ or is struggling with ‘depression,’ and teens worried about being labeled an ‘addict.’

My philosophy is, call it what you want. At the end of the day the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders) was created by humans to categorize common symptoms that were being observed among other humans (remember, the DSM has not always existed). The way I see it, if you are an individual that struggles with an issue and are seeking help, you should be able to get the help you need and work towards your own betterment. The ‘diagnosis’ is not the most important aspect, but getting better and being able to function in your day to day life is the single most essential goal.

Now there are people who feel that having a diagnosis has or will provide relief, being able to identify that what they are experiencing is in fact not just ‘in their head’ but a clear medical condition. 

Whatever the case may be, my hope as a mental health clinician is that the field of psychology can move in a ‘positive psychology’ direction where we focus on individual’s strengths with the purposes of encouraging them to manage their lives more effectively and to have hope for a more stable future.