A valid point in the debate concerning over-diagnosis of psychological ailments (of interest to our blog because “labeled” individuals are increasingly prescribed medication as a first-choice treatment):
“The diagnostic label describes neither a person nor any underlying pathological condition (“dysfunction”) the person necessarily harbors but, rather, some behavioral pattern associated with that person’s current level of functioning. Yet once a label has been assigned, it may close off further inquiry. […] Once an individual is labeled, he or she may accept a re-defined identity and play out expectations of that role. […] The person so labeled may decide that he or she is the diagnosis and may thus adopt it as a life career.”
Butcher, J., Hooley, J., and Mineka, S. (2010). Abnormal Psychology (14th ed.). “Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis” (p.134). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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