An important issue in biblical counseling is the name we attach to a particular problem. When we call something a “disorder” or “syndrome”, rather than using a Scriptural term to describe the situation, we are doing more than giving it a label — we are saying what the thing ,means. A recent study has found that labels matter, and that labels affect the person who has been labelled
People who perceive dementia symptoms as an illness feel more negative than those who see it as an inevitable part of getting older, a new study indicates.
Research led by the University of Exeter looked at people who had recently been diagnosed with dementia, and encountered symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating or carrying out daily tasks. The study, supported by the Economic Social Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research, and by the European Regional Development Fund, found that people who saw these symptoms as an illness reported lower mood than those who saw it simply as part of the aging process.
Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, who led the study, said: “There’s a big emphasis on earlier diagnosis of dementia, but our evidence raises the crucial question of the extent to which giving a diagnostic label really benefits people. Some people do want their difficulties acknowledged with a diagnosis, but our research shows that many others understand what is happening to them as part of a normal process of ageing. For this group, we may be better targeting support and information based on their symptoms or the type of everyday difficulties they are having, rather than focusing on giving a diagnostic label. This is a relatively small study and we must now conduct further work to confirm this to ensure we are providing the best support in this crucial area of health diagnosis, which has enormous implications for how people adjust and cope with these changes in later life.”