Why Do We Have to Name Everything?
Everything we feel or do is a syndrome now. Have you noticed that? It seems like every personalty trait can be described as a disorder. Morbid jealousy disorder, paranoid personality disorder.
There’s even one if you can’t make up your mind: Abluia. Do we really need a name for that? Can’t we just say she’s really indecisive? Why does someone have to have a personality disorder, why can’t they just be obnoxious?
It seems like if you can name something, it makes everything okay. “It’s not her fault. She has abluia disorder!” “It’s not his fault! He has borderline personality disorder!” There’s even something called Chronic Disorganization. You’re not messy, you suffer from Chronic Disorganization.*
And does anybody else think ADD is way too common a diagnosis? If a 6-year-old’s attention wanders, you stick that label on him. We used to call that being 6 years old. I was working with another teacher’s 4-year-old piano student and he told me it was difficult to get her to focus. She was very restless, and he went on like that for several minutes. I said, “What you’re telling me is, she’s 4 years old.” “Umm,… well,… yeah, I guess so.”
Look, I know all of these conditions can be extreme enough that they really do interfere with the person’s life. I know brain chemistry is the same for all of us, I’m willing to accept that some people’s is off enough that self-control alone may not cover it. But I just object to the idea that naming something legitimizes it. Or really, makes any difference at all.