Mental Illness Labels

My list of mental illness labels is a long one. I have been diagnosed with postpartum depression, bipolar disorder 1 with rapid cycling and mixed episodes, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, self-harmer and suicide attempt survivor. The labels used to define my mental illness are a mouthful, but they are only labels. Words used to diagnose a person (me) who is so much more than this long list of words and labels. Those words helped to treat my illness, but they should be used for nothing more and nothing less.

However, I must always remind myself how my mental illness labels also helped me become a better person. They taught me so much more about life. I learned so much about living and dying, life and death, that I never could have learned in any other way.

My labels taught me to look for the positives in life and to appreciate the smallest of pleasures. Those labels helped me see another side of life and people I could not have learned without the labels I was given. Those labels helped me see the good in people.

My mental illness labels showed me how strong I really am. They give me the strength and understanding to know I can conquer anything I put my mind to. Those mental illness labels helped me to be resilient and persevere in ways I could never have ever imagined and in ways most people could not even fathom. Those mental illness labels helped me become the person I am today and reach new goals in my life.

I am happy and thankful to be alive. I appreciate the newness of my life. I appreciate having a new beginning and a chance to start over. I must make a positive difference and become a better person — the person God always intended me to be.  I am on my way. Thank you, God.

By the way… the labels I prefer to use for myself are:

  1. Mother (my favorite)
  2. Christian
  3. Survivor
  4. Sister
  5. Friend
  6. Aunt
  7. Daughter
  8. Cousin
  9. Former Special Education Teacher
  10. Mental illness advocate
  11. Writer
  12. Blogger
  13. Good
  14. Kind
  15. Compassionate
  16. Honest
  17. Resilient
  18. Healthy
  19. Well
  20. ALIVE

Can you think of any other labels? What labels do you prefer to have or use to call yourself? What labels best help to define or describe the great person you are?

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Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved


  1. These labels you list at the end are all great and fit you really well. I am still caught up in mental illness labels a lot, but I’m learning to embrace myself as I am. May I write a similar post to this one on my blog (with a link back to yours, of course)?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you listed out what you would prefer to be labeled as… i know mine include loving partner, step mother, assistant, friend… i referenced labels and how they have helped me and my doctors in my writing today as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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