What’s in a label? And do I need one?
As a society, we have a tendency to label, put people in boxes and stereotype them based on the way they act, where they come from and even the way they look.
People tend to use stereotypes to make decisions about colleagues and friends with little information about the person. As a result, labeling people can be emotionally damaging and harmful to all of us. For instance, stereotypes and labels force people into constraints that they struggle to escape out of, limiting their abilities and chances of success.
But what about labels such as Depression? Anxiety? Or even Dyslexia? For some these labels help to gain a better understanding of the world in which they live, enabling them to move forward with their lives safe in the knowledge they have discovered.
For Mental Health Awareness Week, Sid shares his experiences on what labels mean to him:
What’s in a label? And do I need one?
I struggle with stuff and I know I’m not alone. But I’ve been finding it really hard to process certain amounts of information and make sense of things around me lately. I love learning and discovering more about this amazing world and all the things in and around it. But, and this is a big but, the more I get to know the less I get to know and understand about myself.
2018 was definitely the hardest year of my life. But strangely enough, it had the greatest amount of learning in it. My Dad had passed away in November 2017, after a long battle with cancer, and we hadn’t had the closest of relationships. I was a mix of sadness, relief and contradiction. It got me thinking about my relationships and how many of them have not been ‘ideal’. I have been married twice so that’s not a great advert for my personal credentials. If I wanted to be a better Dad, partner, friend, boss, worker, and human being something had to change. But I had no idea how to go about it or what to do. I know I write books and stuff about things like this but believe me it’s much easier to help others than help myself! Cobblers children and all that…
On April the 22nd 2018 Laura and I saw the wonderful arrival of our wonderful daughter Beatrice Rose. Two days later I was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. I had been ill for months but had no idea what it was. On the first night in the hospital, I really didn’t think I would make it so I wrote to a friend to ask him to make provision for Laura and the children. Luckily I survived the night and made a concerted effort to work less and be a better human being. I bumbled through 2018 but still struggled with me and how I was with others.
In 2019 after a disastrous Christmas I knew that change was needed. I did what Jim Carey talks about in his amazing speech Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation and asked the Universe for help. I needed to understand why I was the way I was and needed a label. A few days later I met a friend for lunch in Hawarden and spoke to her about the struggles I was having. She listened and passed me a leaflet she had just picked up about Dr. Stephen Brown and the Brain Cinema. Dr. Brown specializes in EEG (electroencephalography) and HEG (Hemeoencephalography) technologies and helps people of all ages with their anomalies. I called him on my way home and felt a huge sense of relief.
I’ve been undergoing treatment with Dr. Brown for two months now and my life has improved massively. We’ve discussed Asperger's syndrome, autism, anxiety disorder, depression, paranoia, and many other labels. What is clear is that all of our brains are different and for me, it’s not about the label but how I cope with the way my brain behaves. Thanks to Dr. Brown I have a greater understanding of why I struggle with things and how to process personal information.
Here’s to being a better Dad, partner, and human being.
It isn't about the label, it's about how we choose to live our lives. Taking control of own actions and taking responsibility for our own situations can make all of the difference. The only way for us all to choose happiness is to forget about labels and instead embrace the amazing differences we have. We should all do our best to focus on equality and togetherness as we tackle this crazy thing called life!
"We are a bunch of freaks, misfits, and weirdos, and what a wonderful world it is too" - Sid Madge
At Meee, our passion is people. We equip them with greater self-awareness, self-confidence and resilience so they can meet the inevitable ups and downs of life with grace, while learning to use them as stepping stones to a better tomorrow. All of our Coaching and Training programmes focus on the human being, not the human doing. Our Meee in a Minute books give readers quick in-the-minute tools and life hacks to shift thinking and help gain access to their best self not just in a crisis, but every day. Everyone deserves to be more Meee. Get in touch to start your journey to finding your Meee.