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Psychology Paper

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Labels for the sake of professional classification have proven to be invaluable tools. They help psychologists describe psychological disorders, find initial causes for disorders, help outline possible future complications, and in turn aid in the development of beneficial patient treatment. Without being able to label these disorders, then the studies and treatments involved would be confused and disorganized. However, labels do have significant negative effects that can greatly hinder the outlook and opinions held by professionals, patients, and the general public. One must be aware of both positive and negative effects in order to use labeling and treat those who have been labeled in a way which will not shadow one’s thoughts and actions. Keeping this in mind, one must view labels as a way to describe the disorder, but not the person. While psychologist can use the DSM-IV-TR- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth addition, 2000 “text revision”) -to diagnose and classify disorders, it is easy for one to fall prey to a biased thought process when offered suggestive ideas and words associated with a diagnostic label. This negative effect of labels can be seen in the famous experiment conducted by David Rosenhan. This experiment involved “patients” who were actually associates of Dr. Rosenhan. These “patients” entered into mental hospitals and reported that they had experienced auditory hallucinations. Though these patients showed no other observable deviations in behavior, each where admitted into the hospital or mental institute and then released after a short time with the label of ‘schizophrenic in remission’. This goes to show that associating certain words or phrases with a label can create its own ... ... middle of paper ... ...f having a psychological disorder made her feel more special and unique than others. This type of treatment only added to her anxiety and made it even harder for her to stay calm at school. After having a panic attack in class her teachers began to treat her different, as if anything the said or did would break her. Being treated like an invalid only made her feel worse about herself. For the longest time she dreaded having to leave the house and would often make herself sick over the prospect of going to school. This once again shows that labels can be extremely beneficial when used to diagnose and treat a disorder, however one must remember to only use the label to describe the disorder and not the individual possessing the disorder. Doing this will allow one to keep a focused, sympathetic, and open mindset about both the diagnosis, treatment, and the individual.
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