I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (Psalm 139:14).
We label people by the characteristics they show all the time. We think of a particular person as being a bully, a nerd, a musician, or an athlete (Psychology Today, 2018). This label may be a reasonable reflection of who they are right now, but it also carries a belief that the behaviour reflects a person’s essence (Psychology Today, 2018).
The truth is, not only do we dislike the labels given to us by family, friends and acquaintances; we dislike the labels given by counselling psychologists through the terms depressed, schizophrenic, bipolar, narcissist and the list goes on. Could this be a reason why you have never visited a counsellor? Do counselling sessions seem like a death sentence to your character or no hopes of becoming well? You are not alone and its pretty normal to feel this way; as society influences the idea of only attending a counsellor where one is mentally ill.
Let me let you in on a secret: seeing a counsellor prevents you from becoming mentally ill; instead of causing you to become mentally ill. Being proactive in matters of mental health is important; as the saying goes ‘prevention better than cure’.
So, what if you visit a counsellor and you come across a label you were afraid of hearing? It doesn’t make you less of a person. That only happens when we compare ourselves to each other. After all, we all have our labels, but you may not be able to see them by just looking at the person.
You are not your label! Think of it this way, knowing your mental status helps to erase the label overtime or cope and lead a healthier lifestyle spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically and mentally.
In essence, labels are not death sentences and neither do they define you for the rest of your life. Look at them as helping you and after all only Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2), not your ‘label’.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
Author: Jonnelle O’Connor