I recently watched a documentary on adolescent bi polar disorder which I found to be appalling. In short there were 4 families with children 2 of which were questionable on whether or not they actually had a disorder, 1 that was pretty certain there was a problem with and another that seemed like the parents just didn't know how to handle a temper tantrum. They all decided to go to a doctor and the diagnoses went from ADHD to bi polar disorder. Medicines were prescribed, more medicines prescribed to treat the side effects and then more medicines to treat the side effects from those.
When they were describing the symptoms these kids had; lots of energy, mood swings when they don't get what they want, grandiose fantasies and racing thoughts, the only thing I could think of was:
Isn't that a kid just being a kid?
All medicinal factors aside when it comes to diagnosing children, why are we so quick to want to put a label on people? These parents are describing how their child isn't acting how they're supposed to act because they aren't calm. Did they forget they were a kid too? I remember growing up in a day care and elementary school and for the most part, no one was calm. We were kids. We had imaginations, we made up adventures we threw fits and then were fine once we forgot whatever it was that upset us because our childish minds had short attention spans. Kids being kids. But now those apparently mean you have ADHD or bi polar disorder.
That's one example of labels, how about another.
What about the cliques in high schools? Preps, jocks, goths, nerds, gangsters, hipsters, bros.... Or the latest "percent phase" like the 99% or the 47%, the poor and the rich and on and on and on. Why are so we quick to throw ourselves into a neat cookie cutter label? Why is that label what defines us as people? And people who are from other "groups" are these bad guys.
It feels good to fit in and maybe these labels give us some sort of peace of mind and validation but that's not who we are right?
I wear dark clothes and listen to metal music so you could call me a metal head but is that how I base my life decisions? Not in the slightest. I hang out with non metal head friends, I listen to genres aside from metal and yet I still dress like a metal head so I must be a poser huh? No. I am a friend, an older brother, an over ambitious but under motivated youngster who still has a lot to learn.
I am not rich by any means but I am not the 99% (don't even get me going on that whole thing). I am white but I'm not "white people," I like to think I'm pretty intelligent but I'm not a "nerd," I play video games but I'm not a "gamer."
Labels slow down our progress as a society. Fitting in with a group just means that you've found a box to hide under rather than finding a sense of self that comes only from within yourself and not from friends, parents, taunts, clothes, cars or whatever else there is out there.
How about we spend less time trying to figure out what disorder we have or what group we fall into and spend more time just being ourselves and doing what we like to do because we like to do it?