When I worked in the alternative school settings one of the first things that troubled me -was when I introduced myself to the first 40 or 50 kids that I would be working with . 

In order to get to me -they were  expelled from high school (public) then also expelled from the next level alternative education program. What shocked me the most was not their attitude or the way they spoke or how they dressed.

It was  how they introduced themselves. Without fail at some point in the introductions on our one-on-one greeting with me,  the youth would include their  “label” or diagnosis from psychiatrist. 

For example – me ” Hi,  my name is Mr. P.” – most times they would begin with  “I’m Ryan I have intermittent explosive disorder” . 

Of course the younger kids couldn’t pronounce their diagnoses or didn’t really remember what it was,  but it was clear that they all had assumed the label assigned to them. They had allowed a space in tbeir God given  identity  to be occupied by a man made identity –  what another human being ( in a position of authority) had stamped them with. 

As the kids got more educated and what that label meant with the requirements were too be given that diagnosis and label they begin to fulfill the prophecy of the label they were given. I believe that there’s only a few reasons why. The first reason is that they were already in position of vulnerability.

It’s no different for us adults today regardless of our environment. Everyday in the feeds on WordPress  you see people constantly referring to their PTSD or Bi- Polar as almost a badge of honor.

The interesting part is most of the time when I go back and look at their name of their blog or what they do -they might be an artist or a poet or somebody involved in sports but completely  unrelated to their diagnosis. What do they choose to bring up and talk about ? Those are man -made, man- given labels.. So in order to test yourself  and find out who YOU believe you are, and just how much of your identity you have sold off to the devil – so to speak..

I will ask you this question and you have five words to answer. Number one two three four five and you’d put one word at each number.

Name the five things that describe who you are the best. One word each and remember now- if you find yourself struggling to decide whether you should put a positive attribute like I’m a nurse or I’m a carpenter- because you’re thinking well I’m depressed person or I have PTSD be assured that you have allowed your identity space to be sold out.

The good news is if you can take that back. You can only allow certain amount of time and effort to be dedicated to that. The most successful programs I have ever run and as far as I know that anybody has ever run in any area of mental health -addictions or behavioral health are those that absolutely focus on the skills and strengths of the person. Only when necessary do they pull out the “negatives ” or the weaknesses. Our society tends to highlight the weaknesses and we want to highlight it because it was on Dr. Phil , and in some cases we get rewarded socially for doing that. But the rewards are short term and short lived. So when you take this little 5 question quiz and if you had any trouble naming  five positive or even neutral attributes,  then you should re-think where you got that label and how to cut it off . 

Just a thought for today because they tell me I’ve always been a problem solver due to my ADHD.

 I don’t know. I think Im getting senile. I just saw Dr. Oz talking how about what vegetables help with that..I will tune in next time

Lol

.tj

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Who Am I- When Im Not Making Sure My Label Is Getting Its Publicity? 

2 thoughts on “Who Am I- When Im Not Making Sure My Label Is Getting Its Publicity? 

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