An Open Response To The Man Who Thinks I Need A Warning Label
Alex S

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on what you’ve written here and in the piece referenced by this one. It’s been my experience that a mental health diagnosis can be overwhelming for everyone involved both due to the symptoms experienced and our perceptions about what will happen in the future based upon that diagnosis.

It’s helpful to remember a diagnosis is a tool used by mental health professionals to develop treatment plans so we can have an improved quality of life.

While I can appreciate how people do not like to be judged especially when they believe the judgments are unfair and based upon limited or inaccurate perceptions about you, I believe people are innately judgmental. It is reasonable to question the quality of our own judgments, those of others, and put them in perspective. Even if we should have a rational understanding of these issues, judgments can still have an emotional impact on us which can be a struggle to cope with.

To have good friends, I believe you have to be a good friend. As you’ve pointed out, we’ll all benefit from seeing past labels by trying to get to know each person as an individual especially if we recognize and appreciate their strengths.

Although not specifically mentioned, I do believe developing and maintaining healthy boundaries in all of our relationships will strengthen and maximize them. Mutual respect, understanding, and empathy are the cornerstones upon which healthy boundaries are built. There may be times where we will have to accept that a particular relationship is unhealthy for us and we will have to move on. This doesn’t mean you or the other person are bad nor that either one of you can’t change.

Unlike the buildings used in the analogy, people can change over time which will hopefully be in a positive way where the quality of our judgments both in how we conduct ourselves and how we perceive others will improve.