What of diagnostic labels?

I am thinking the days when physicians were revered (or feared) are over; and I am glad this is so; at least in my practices.  Personally, I prefer to be seen as who I am rather than a label. I find the use of labels of little use and more often than not misleading when the subject at hand has to do with humanity.
I just met Kate (20 year old) with her aunt (legal guardian) in my office for the first time.  Her aunt said Kate (fiction name) has autism and needed some disability forms done.
I don’t know much about autism; so I asked Kate, “what do you think Autism is”. She said she did not know.  I asked her aunt the same question. She said Kate does not understand many things. I asked for an example.  She could not come up with one. I had a little chat with Kate and met a happy and cheerful person that enjoys video games, easy going, does not ruminate, sleeps well and seems to live in the moment.  (She has no troubles understanding our conversations) She was pleasantly different; but I was not sure what it was. I did discover one thing, that she has aphantasia (inability to voluntarily visualize imagery).  Something neither her aunt or herself realized.
After the visit, I realized I still know almost nothing about Kate.

I think in general labels such as autism, ADHD, depression, borderline, anxiety, schizophrenia are not helpful.  I have yet to meet two individuals alike. I think some of the labels patients wear all their life may actually be self-stigmatizing and obstacles to deeper understanding and healing. Most patients comes to me with unique circumstances, challenges and are genuine open to new perspectives.
I feel as physicians, our resources, circumstances and challenges are also unique.  I have had the privileges of knowing the late, Dr. Roger Brand. Roger was a psychiatrist.  He told me he worked as a GP when he first came to Canada. As a GP in northern rural Alberta, he made over 10,000 house calls.  There were no team care. Dr. Brand was it. Somehow, I suspect even as a sole care provider, Roger provided sensible, optimized, compassionate and comprehensive care that his unique set of resources allowed.
I have had the privilege of meeting other amazing human beings like Roger.

I think as I get to know someone, the label and titles becomes of trivial significance.

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