I have a health condition known as vita pedestrum. At times it can be a struggle to cope with it but at other times it can be a source of happiness. Many people in the world have the condition and for some it develops into dolor in asinum syndrome.
Those of you who have a smattering of Latin or have googled to see what this health condition is will by now know that vita pedestrum is a “pedestrian life’’; a normal, average life. The side effects, e.g. poor quality of life etc. lead it to become a “pain in the arse.’’ In three sentences I have used an ancient language to medicalise life. I made you think that life was an illness by describing it in words that most people wouldn’t understand.
There are many people who have genuine illnesses, particularly mental health problems which need a diagnosis, but we also have a tendency these days to medicalise ordinary feelings and want a diagnosis of anything in order to move forward. We should perhaps look at the “dis-ease” (hyphen deliberate) within ourselves and work forwards in understanding why we feel the way we do and not seeking a diagnosis then tracing our steps backwards. As people we feel a need to be told that something is wrong but we should be prepared to accept that life and the way we approach it can alone be the heart of the matter.
Emotional dysregulation is the latest umbrella term used in the latest version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM 5) and put simply it is an emotional overreaction to any given set of circumstances with regards to a wide range of mental health conditions and illnesses.
Does such a thing as emotional dysregulation exist or is it yet another term to medicalise feeling and emotions that could be considered normal in the circumstances in which they present themselves?
This leads me to ask why we have we become so obsessed with medicalising life experiences. Is it that we feel a need to be ill in order to be a part of society? Does it make us feel better to hang a name onto whatever we are feeling? If we have X Syndrome or Y Condition does it some how excuse us from coping with our lives? Or are we under the spell of social media and glossy magazines that underline our insecurities and tell us whatever we think we’re good at we’re not good enough.
If it it’s any or all of these then it’s time we moved forward in a new way. It’s not time to listen it’s time to ask the right questions.