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Significance of Utilizing Psych Terms: Embodying the Power of Language


I received an important question recently:

"Is it important to know psych terms? Does it have an impact on diagnosis, etc? I don't want to: I don't want to describe my symptoms using official terminology; I want to be able to describe my symptoms using my own words and my own interpretation of what I am experiencing at the moment. Am I wrong for thinking that way?"

I, too, have struggled with this: how do I balance validating my own experiences & being original in the sense of staying true to who I am, while also investing in this mental health treatment stuff?!?

Balance is a constant struggle in life. For those living with severe mental illness, that challenge becomes astronomical—even debilitating.

To answer this particular question, it is important to take a step back & look at the blueprint of the problem rather than the specifics.

What is language? It is a construct that allows for communication. What are words? Words are merely a combination of letters that is matched with a particular definition that allows for better communication. Are learning terms/ using psych terms important? Yes & No. No—because at the end of the day, NO ONE can truly/ fully DESCRIBE your experiences or DEFINE who you are. At the end of the day, words are just words, & what matters is YOU & your BEAUTIFUL soul. Yes—because those terms provide us tools for explaining things that don't make sense to most people. For example, anhedonia means "the inability to experience pleasure." This is helpful because people can easily judge depression (& other mental health symptoms) & assume that I'm just being "ungrateful" or whatever it is; they do not understand that I am literally INCAPABLE of EXPERIENCING those positive emotions of "having fun" or whatever it might be:) Words are POWERFUL. It is important for us to control them & to never ever allow them to control or negatively influence us. Terms are useful to DESCRIBE our experiences & our struggles. Never allow those terms or a diagnosis to define who you are or what you're worth.


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