A Word on Wednesday: Diagnosis

Don’t let them LABEL you! 
Don’t let them LABEL your child!
Don’t believe the LABELS!
The word diagnosis is not synonymous with “label.” 

The medical term, diagnosis, is simple and straightforward. The noun’s primary definition is twofold (a) the process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition and (b) the decision reached from such an examination.


From a point of proper diagnosis, proper treatment can begin. Therefore, a diagnosis isn’t something to fear or avoid. It isn’t a mark or a stain. It is an opportunity. It is a classification. It is an identification.

The medical sciences of psychology and psychiatry are far from sacred and just. Still, I choose to distinguish a diagnosis from a label. A diagnosis offers hope and inspires action. A label seems harsher and static.

I think people are hesitant to accept a mental health diagnosis for a variety of reasons.

(Some of which I talked about earlier this month here here and here)

I found this article about the value of a proper diagnosis in this Psychology Today 2014 article. You can read it here.

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