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Labels, traits, illness, syndrome - whats in a name? Thursday May 25, 2017

Recently I commented on a blog about HSP, highly sensitive person, that I saw it as another label. The writer, AVFTFS, explained that she didn't see HSP as a label but rather as a trait... She sees it as a trait she was born with, like having blue eyes. Something that is neither positive or negative in itself but just is.

I found this fascinating and wondered what is the difference between a label, a trait, a characteristic, a personality type, an illness, a temperament, a disorder, a syndrome, and what difference each word makes or if each word is treated the same by individuals or society.

"This notion - that mental illnesses are largely inborn personality traits that get pushed into extreme territory by life experience - has just gotten some high-tech confirmation from researchers." Melissa Healy

I think the above research that mental illnesses start as personality traits may remove the stigma that a mental illness has. I have noticed people seem to be saying more often they have a depressive trait, a personality type, a unique character rather than using the word mental or syndrome or disorder or illness.

So if you a have a characteristic, trait or any personality quirk not described as an illness, it seems there is less stigma as people have more confidence in gaining help even if the help would be similar if it was labelled as an illness.

Does it matter what we name things as long as we get help? I think that it does. I am sure if I had been told I had a personality trait that meant I had big mood swings I think my life would have been different. Would it have been better, who knows? I think I would have suffered less stigma and sought help much sooner than I did.

What do you think?

Does it make a difference having a medical label rather than a personality type?

Should we treat people's symptoms and not label them at all?

What do you see as the difference between the different words - illness, trait, syndrome, characteristic, personality type etc?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 2:57am

Leah, do you mind if I mention a couple of things, before I answer your blog. Just want to say that sometimes I write a reply and it does not go through because I have been logged off. I have learnt this happens and try and remember to save it in case I lose it, but I know others have had this problem. The other thing I wanted to say was that when people send photos, if you are on a desktop or laptop, these photos do not appear (in my experience) only on the Ipads and Iphones do photos appear. So back to your blog then.... I will put my response separately but I did reply to a couple of blogs recently and lost my replies.

Carol Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 5:57am

Just done it to me too .. my reply has disappeared gr....

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:01am

Carol, Have you ever noticed how the best comment is always lost and the ones that you don't like as much are saved!! I hope you get send your comment as I am looking forward to it. Thanks.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:03am

Molly not sure about the photographs as I can see them on my laptop. I am sure more technical people will be able to solve this. Thanks for airing this.

Marmaladegirl Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:20am

My ex-husband used to tell me I wasn't ill,that the symptoms of my depression were just my bad personality traits. This made me feel that it was my fault and that I should try harder to be a nicer person. I didn't seek help because I was ashamed of being such a terrible person. I tried to hide my illness and it got worse. However, I do agree that how you describe it is very important - it affects how you see and feel about yourself; it affects how others see you and it affects your journey to being as well as you can be.... So yes, be very careful with the words you use! Thanks for a great, thought-provoking blog (as usual!) Leah. Have a good day. Marmaladegirl x

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:52am

Hello Marmalade girl; your experiences are similar to mine (see my comment below). I am so very happy to know that I do not have bad personality traits, just an illness that can be managed with drugs. Thank God for the drugs.

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:56am

I definitely don't see the photos on my desktop, but when on my iPad they are there. Not sure about lap tops, haven't owned one for a while. But moving on, yes I agree, the best comments we make are the ones that disappear lol .....and marmalade girl totally agree and relate with your comment, love Molly xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:42am

Marmalade girl, Thanks for your poignant reply. You have shown how a personality trait was harmful for you. Thats what I love about comments because I learn so much and see things from a different perspective.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:43am

Mary It is funny I was told I had an illness yet I wished I had a personality trait, Careful what you wish for.

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 3:18am

Gosh I read your blog Leah carefully and I don't know how to respond. I am honestly stuck for words. Ok so I will try, I do not think we should be labelled. I mean I have been given a diagnosis but I see it as a label and I am not too keen on that. I won't try and tell people as it sounds just like that, a label. Personality has to come into it doesn't it, what affects one person, does not affect another etc - I actually bought that book HSP that someone recommended. Haven't got very far with (well I don't get far with many books these days) but all the time I was thinking 'is there such thing as an HSP'. Probably not. Yes you have given me alot to think about with your blog. It might help me sleep or it might keep me awake - who knows ! What a complex thing the mind is. A very good blog Leah, but it overloaded my head !! Can we just have one question at a time? Lovely Leah (patronising) but thank you for more thoughtful thoughts in this mad world xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:14am

Molly Gosh not sure what to say! I bought the HSP book and have not read it mainly because I can't find where I put safely. Why should there be one question at a time? Do multiple questions cause stress? Is a choice of questions confusing?!!! Just my attempt at humour. Seriously your comment has mad me reflect on a few points. Thanks again Molly your comments are always welcome.xx

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:01am

Didn't read it because you can't find where you put it made me laugh my socks off. :-)

John Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:35am

Hi Leah, a welcomed piece of writing. I approach the issue of terms from the three frames used in literary writing and criticism: first, second, and third person perspectives. I've read first person accounts of the relief the writer felt to get a diagnosis they felt matched their experience. And other first-person accounts of the exact opposite.

In my own first person experience, I've traced my challenge to something studied as success-triggered mania (STM). I've since tweaked the idea to be more specific to my experience: succeeding-triggering mania. This is a self-description and as best I can determine I work to resolve it.

Even the leading researcher on this hasn't yet found what "works." And here, I suspect, she'll be frustrated for quite a while. In emails to her and finding where she's surprised in her treatment approach I saw that she herself didn't suffer from STM. That's very useful to know.

Stigma, in my way of thinking is third-person perspective where someone feels "tagged" by people they have no close or working relationship with. Formal social support systems organized by public and private institutions are famous for this. ####

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:45am

John Thanks for your thoughtful post. I have not heard of STM .

Orangeblossom Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:41am

A dear friend, who has been my role model for many years, frequently repeated the advice "resist labels". Yet without a formal diagnosis it is really difficult to access any help/support/ for someone, like extra time for exams. We had to battle hard to get a diagnosis for our son who is severely dyslexic, clearly on the spectrum with distinct autistic tendencies

Orangeblossom Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:23am

I also know that having a label can be difficult for some people as they hide behind their label as our son did. He made it an excuse sometimes to not work at developing coping strategies. As long as we label ourselves & not extend it to others maybe that may be a good solution. I know that Tom sometimes hid behind his label. I can understand as he has had so many difficulties to cope with.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:48am

Orangeblossom Thanks for your reply. It is a fine balance between not wanting to be put in a box with a label yet needing a diagnosis to get help. It is sad and interesting to read about your son. I resisted my label for many years then blamed it for everything.

Isabella Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:53am

We are all labelled - that's what 'society' does, it's what we all do to each other, consciously or otherwise. I think it is more the reaction we are talking about - people's reaction to mental illness. I volunteer in the maternity world - very few pregnant women are ill, yet birth struggles to be viewed as normal. My husband has cancer - we dread explaining to people - immediately people get that 'pity' look (you know what I mean!). But we are 'programmed' with our responses - that's what we must battle to change. You've made me think, Leah, maybe we have to explain even more to people - help them understand - not just let them have their reaction. After all we are the experts! Thank you. Xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:50am

Isabella Thanks for your contribution. I agree it is not the label but people's reactions to it. The trouble is we live in society and not a vacuum and we will experience certain reactions from people whe they hear certai words.Thanks again for giving me a lot to think about.

Pennie-Lynn Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:10am

I view my various diagnoses, both mental and physical, as a starting point for treatment and understanding. They do not define me, but they do succinctly explain a lot about me and my journey. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness, not a normal part of mental health. I wouldn't classify my diabetes as a variation of a normal genetic physical trait, so I won't reclassify my mental illness either.

I think it would be a lot harder trying to explain mental illness to someone without being able to use labels/diagnoses/names. We already see the confusion caused by words like "anxiety" or "depressed" serving as both illness names and normal mood descriptions. Saying, "I have some personality traits that make life harder," may lead to less stigma, but only because it deliberately downplays the scope of what we're actually dealing with.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:55am

Pennie-Lynn Thanks you made some very valid points. My label of bipolar does not define me but I have had it for over 40 years and back then it was not a starting point for treatment and understanding but it was a cause of stigma and shame. There are people on moodscope who have never had a label but have similar symptoms to people who've been diagnosed. Thanks for giving me food for thought.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:52am

Very well said Pennie-Lynn. I was going to leave an independent comment but what you said is exactly every point I wanted to make but probably much better said than I would’ve done. I read a great analogy once that said getting sick is like traveling in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and diagnoses are like road signs or a map. Without them you’re lost in an unfamiliar world with no help in finding your way. I don’t distinguish between physical and mental illnesses. They're all illnesses and they're all really physical because they all result from what's inside us.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:10am

Tracy Thanks for your comment. I like your analogy except what if the road map and road signs are in a foreign language? This would add to your confusion . I feel we should talk about health and not mental and physical health. Thanks again for your contribution.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:29am

Haha. Good point. It's not my analogy but one I read awhile ago so I think I may have butchered it a bit because I can’t remember now how that was explained. I agree that it should all be health, in fact, I think it is.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:42am

Tracy, I like the analogy but I can be pedantic at time. Sorry.

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:17am

Grrrrr. I too wrote a long comment, and was logged out before I posted, such that it was lost. This happens on my phone but not on my pc. About to switch on my computer and write it all again.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:56am

Mary W You have just confirmed my point that only long clever posts are lost! Look forward to your new one.

Jul Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:28am

Hi Leah. I can only talk from my own experience and I am absolutely certain that my depression is a reflection or an intensity of my basic character. Life experiences along the way have chipped into my personality and the way I have dealt with them or even attracted them is a direct result of how I am deep down. Your blog is interesting. This subject fascinates me and I would love to find out more. Some personalities fare well in this world and some fall by the wayside or struggle to fit in and conform. It helps me to see myself not as depressed but as certain personality type. However I can see that labels can be very helpful to many people and I am writing purely from my own experience of life. Julxx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:58am

Jul Thanks for your fascinating post. I think we all base our opinions on our experiences. It works for you seeing depression as part of your character and life experiences.

Sally Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:36am

Hi Leah. Another poser! No easy answer, because if I had been told at 18 that this was it, for life, I think I would have considered it a life sentence. Instead, when much less was known...or imparted, at any rate!, we were somewhat in the dark. It was a one off, a hormonal imbalance, and so on.
However, if ther'd been more openness and information had been widely available, I think the shame and feelings of inadequacy would've been lessened, and I would have sought help earlier than my forties.
Chicken and egg, possibly.. I shall probably never know.
I do think "we come as we do" and personality type has a lot to do with how we fare in life.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:04am

Sally Thanks for your reply. It is hard to know what we would have done when we were younger. I was diagnosed at 16 far too young and at a time of ignorance I just denied the label for many years. , I agree with you if there had been more openness and information for me, I wonder if I would have been into denial for so long. I was 16 who knows.

Oli Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:45am

Thank you for the blog Leah - I find this area interesting.
It's always the context of the word that is important. Language use defines us as a species. Logical relations between words come to be treated as solid facts rather than contextual beliefs - and typically not even recognised as belief. There is a lot in and between words!
For example, an illness is something A has and B doesn't. B is well; A is ill. Ill (has the logical relation) of being less good than well. B is good; A is not-good.
Contrast with trait. A has a trait; B has a trait; C has a trait. All people have traits. A is equal to B and C.
Apologies for compressing the argument almost beyond recognition!

PS -- for those losing their posts: write; select all; copy. [Ctrl-A; Ctrl-C on a Windows device]. If you lose your work you have it saved to memory so you can just log in again and paste.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:06am

Oli Thanks for your clever reply. I will need to go back and remember my logics and equations. Thanks for your advice on how to save and not lose posts.

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:48am

Hello Leah,
For the first time ever, reading a Moodscope blog, I was provoked into absolute fury!
But - given that we are rarely angry at the thing itself, but at the painful memories it recalls, I went inside to see if I could locate these memories and analyse what had caused so furious a reaction.
Growing up, my family constantly complained that I could never be the same for two days running (they called it two minutes at a time). Either I would be up in the clouds or down in the dumps. This was distressing, as this experience was normal for me and I didn't know why either. I couldn't control it, but it was obviously ALL MY FAULT!
Receiving my diagnosis ten years ago, was the most tremendous relief. Now I knew what was wrong. Now I could proceed with treatment. Now I had something concrete to work with. Most of all, I could stop struggling with the guilt because it *wasn't* ALL MY FAULT!
So I'm very clear; my bipolar is not a personality trait, it is an illness, or possibly a condition like autism (and I hope this comparison does not anger anyone in turn). The medication manages my symptoms, but I will always be bipolar.
Personality traits can be worked with and managed. It be a struggle, but I believe self improvement is a moral obligation. My personality traits include impulsiveness, thoughtlessness and ...what was it again?... Oh yes, forgetfulness! With age I am learning to think before I act or speak or write (this comment is a case in point - had I gone with my first reaction, I might have hurt people, and caused more anger). I am learning techniques to manage my forgetfulness (not fast enough for my husband, though). I do not believe, however, that I will ever be able to control the bipolar without medication.
I am happy with this label. I don't like having the condition, but - given that I have, I like having a label because it gives me a platform to talk about it, to get mental health, and bipolar especially, "out there".
So, I am white, female; blonde with blue eyes. I am in my fifties and overweight. I am educated, middle-class; married with children. I am also bipolar. All these are categories, and to each category there must be attached a label. Labels are inescapable, rebel all we like (and that too is a label). I believe we must learn to live with them.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:11am

Mary I did not meant to provoke fury I suppose I was just looking at different ideas. I had the opposite experience of you diagnosed at 16 at a time of ignorance and shame and stigma so I went into denial for a long time and maybe started my uneasy relationship with labels. Ten years ago was not the 1970s and there was so much more information around and lots of self help and organisations to promote awareness about mental health. Maybe if you were diagnosed 40 years ago you may have had a different experience and vice versa for me. I admire your passion and your honesty in sharing your experiences.

A View from the Far Side Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:09am

It's interesting how our writing affects people, I think it's okay if it brings stuff up in them, they can either choose to ignore why it's there or work to look for why it does so, as you did Mary Wednesday. Why I like Moodscope is that you can do that with the diverse blogs some of which resonate, some of which don't. I'm writing a memoir at the moment and was talking about a certain aspect with a friend, then gave her the chapter to read. We were in a cafe and she started crying, sobbing, telling me how wonderful it was and talking about what I'd written. In between comforting her with napkins grabbed off the counter, and apologising for making her cry, shamefully a bit of me was thinking - well I must have some skills as a writer to make that happen. (It was a chapter about my mother and how through discovering two letters to a doctor in my medical notes made me realise how fantastic she was and how much on my side she was - I already knew she was amazing, but we clashed as teens when I had bulimarexia and this was written during that time.) Hope that's not too much info.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:14am

AVFTFS I would like to read your book. I think creating emotions with words is a wonderful skill. I appreciate your honesty. I find I can never predict how people will relate or respond to my blogs or other blogs. Thanks for your reply it has added to the discussion.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:57am

Mary, I had somewhat the same reaction for the very same reason as you. But Leah, I was diagnosed when I was 12 in the early 80s, so I don’t think it's necessarily when Mary was diagnosed. There may be more awareness now but the shame response to a diagnosis is probably just as prevelant. I think it has more to do with who we are as individuals outside of our diagnoses than it does with the era we were diagnosed in.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:05am

Oh, and Mary, I’m also autistic and your comparison sits just fine with me :)

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:06am

Tracy Thanks for your comment. Maybe things were different in the UK than Australia. I think who we are as individuals is important but the age ant the time when diagnosed is all part of it. I suppose I have reread my blog several times and am still unsure where the fury comes from. I was just opening up a discussion. I respect everyone has a different experience and it can evoke emotions. For me my age and the times were important but I realise for others other issues were important. I respect we are all entitled to our opinions based on our experiences. Thank you Tracy for sharing your experiences and I respect your opinion.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:18am

Tracy I only saw your second comment to Mary after I sent mine. I think the two labels are very different and would exp;ain differences in my opinion. Thanks again.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:21am

Shoot. I keep thinking of things after I hit reply. Apologies. I just wanted to add that the word "label" used in the way we're using it here is defined as "a classifying phrase or name for a person or a thing, especially one that is restrictive or unwanted." It's essentially a pejorative word for name. We name things and it's the same as labeling them. We have to name things to make sense of the world, to learn, and to communicate effectively with each other. These labels/names often summarize more complex ideas or conditions that would take far too long to say every time. So a label is just a name, it's just a function of language that we view as restrictive or unwanted. We can’t really change having the name or label. We can hide from it or deny it, I guess. But we can change how we feel about the label and change it into just a name. And really, reducing stigma is exactly that. It's changing someone's view of a label into seeing it as just a normal word. I hope this made sense. I have a hard time explaining things coherently anymore.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:24am

Leah I wasn't saying autism is the same as bipolar, just that it is also a condition/illness/whatever too and that it isn’t negatively effected by being compared to bipolar.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:30am

Thanks for clarifying that. Tracy.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:34am

Sorry Tracy I saw your longer comment second. I think you are very coherent. I think a Label is a label but its context gives it meaning. The thing is Doctors have got diagnoses wrong and then people are given an incorrect label and that can have awful consequences. Thanks fo all your contributions.

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:37am

People get things wrong, even doctors. And the results can be tragic, but it doesn’t mean all the good that can come from getting things right shouldn’t be attempted, does it?

Tracy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:39am

Grrr. I forgot to say that I’ve had a good time talking about all of this. It's been very interesting. Thank you Leah. I’m going to get offline now though. Have a great day. Oh, and I’m American, though I wish I were in the U.K. sometimes these days.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:43am

Thanks Tracy, I have enjoyed our discussion too.

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 12:10pm

I have just come back on line (sorry to have missed you Tracy and, my word, if this is you being incoherent then you must be out of this world on a good day: WOW!). The fury, Leah, (and it is entirely personal - i.e. it's me, not you) comes from the idea that depression/bipolar could possibly be viewed as a personality trait. I hope my comment made that clear. That was the way it was viewed by my family for a long time. I was always the "fragile" one, the one they worried about because I wasn't "normal". But, as I said - I had to deal with the guilt and uncertainty and anguish of that "abnormality" for thirty-five years. Had I known it was a condition/illness - even back in the 70s, I would have been spared the guilt. Guilt for me is a huge trigger. I don't care about the negative connotations; I don't care if it's a stigma: I'm Bipolar; that's that and it's out of my control. I can seek ways to manage it - I can hope and pray for a cure to be found, but it's not "all in my head", it's not just me being lazy and trying to get out of things; it's not me getting hysterical and allowing myself to get out of control. Anger issues can be addressed; I can learn to control them. Impetuousness can be guided. My bi-polar cannot be controlled. If it could, then I would have done it in those first 35 and then latterly 46 years. I had counselling, I did all the therapy. The only thing that has worked for me (at least so far) is the drugs. Gosh - as you can see, I'm still angry. Actually - some of that is getting used to this new drug, because it's throwing up all sorts of issues for me - one of them is anger - I am getting angry about all sorts of things. But probably because I am now in a emotionally stable place to deal with them. I hope this makes it clearer as to why I had this extreme reaction to your post, which asks valid and important questions. The fact you have 64 comments (so far) speaks for itself. Your questions provoke a reaction. Some reactions more emotional than others.

Marmaladegirl Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 3:36pm

It is good to receive a diagnosis. After my comment earlier you said your situation was like mine, but that depends whether AFTER your diagnosis people continued to insist that you weren't ill, it was just your personality. I hope my ex doesn't read Leah's blog cos he would LOVE to see the Melissa Heally quote and would see it as proof that he was right all along. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and then clinical depression but the ex's aim was to control my mind and my life. Insisting I was just a crap person (& lucky to have him) was one way to do it. The strange thing is that I believed him! Anyway, it dawned on me in the end and i managed to make my escape! Look how many comments there are on here to this one! Leah has really hit on a good one! Hope all well with you. MG P.S. One of the labels you ascribe to yourself is 'overweight'. You looked just right to me when i got the pleasure of meeting you! Xx

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 4:46pm

Thank you, Marmalade Girl; you are most kind. I shall treasure those words.

A View from the Far Side Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:21pm

I looked up the article in question; Be interested in your views on that Mary Wednesday and others.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:52pm

Mary Thanks for second comme nt. I understand how my blog would strike a raw nerve with you. I suppose I was just thinking threw different ideas prompted by AVFTWS's comment about HSP. I never imagined it would bring up such deep emotions. Sure I want a discussion and people to think about issues but anger and fury is not an emotion I have imagined I would evoke. I suppose because I was diagnosed so early and in the 1970s, I still had people saying it was my fault that I was lazy, rude, ungrateful, too young to be depressed, too fat to be depressed because back then depressed was associated to lack of appetite ont over eating. I can feel your pain and anger at the thought that bipolar was a trait. I was just imagining what my life may have been like but no one knows the answer to that. I have said before I feel my bipolar is a chemical imbalance and I know that has been disputed but for me once I started taking Lithium things improved and if I have a low salt diet I notice my moods deteriorate. Thanks for your passion. Leah

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:57pm

Marmalade girl AS I wrote to Mary above, I still got people after my diagnosis saying I wasn't ill. In fact some years ago I went off medication with drs okay for a while and had people say , well you have outgrown it now! When I had to go back on medication Idid not want to tell people I was 'immature' and had not outgrown it. I am sorry for your ex's attitude . That quote is just one person's opinion it is not a fact. Thanks for your contributions as they have made me think . Take care

Jane SG Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:47am

Hi Leah, this comment struck a chord with me as, having never been diagnosed with anything, I blame myself for my mood swings and I believe I'm being immature and that I should 'do better.' This then puts a lot of pressure on myself. Me putting pressure on me! Thanks so much Leah xxx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:45am

Thank you Jane, Do you think we put more pressure on ourselves sometimes than others do? I know I am my harshest critic.xx

LP Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:06am

Hi Leah,
I haven't looked up any definitions of the terms you've mentioned, so my comment is based on my current understanding of those terms, medical or psychological experts out there will have a better understanding. It's an interesting question, I'll have a go!
An illness suggests to me something that can get better.
A diagnosis suggests something that has been assessed and identified.
A trait suggests to me a partial feature of something that someone is born with(?)
A syndrome is genetic with some consistent features.
A characteristic suggests to me a partial feature that has developed(?)
A personality type suggests a description of how an individual in general tends to behave, respond, interact.
Another term I've heard of is a personality trait, a partial feature of a personality type.

I think terms like these have their uses.
If treatment or management is necessary, research may have shown what has been successful.
What helps to alleviate difficulties or symptoms.
What is possible and what still needs to be researched.
How people can manage any associated difficulties they may have and how they can be supported if necessary.

Labels have to a negative connotation when it comes to people. It suggests some permenance.
We are individuals first, made up of a whole range of biological and environmental factors, influencing how we have developed and changing all the time.
Any one of the factors may be identified and named, but are not who we are as individuals.
Labels can have sorts of connotations, associations and generalisations.
Assumptions can be made that may not be true.

I saw a young girl on TVs recently who had travelled in a wheelchair pushed by her sister on foot from Syria to Germany. She wanted to be interviewed on the sofa, not in her wheelchair, not because she was ashamed of it but because she wanted people to see and hear her for who she is. She had ambition sparkle and an adventurous spirit....

Thanks for another great topic Leah! I seem to have responded with an essay :)
Good wishes to you and all. LP xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:14am

LP Thanks for your detailed essay. The terms I used are defined differently by individuals. Some people like a diagnosis so they can get help some like the idea of a personality trait as it helps them makes sense of things.

Orangeblossom Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:30am

Thanks for the blog Leah. It has been very thought-provoking & encouraged lots of vigorous discussion which is very helpful for me. I appreciate all your comments very much.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:15am

Thanks Orange blossom Thanks for your kind words.

the room above the garage Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:52am

Morning all! Sorry if my reply is rushed (fresh physical start and new teacher this morning and I'm 'excited'. I am not nervous at all. Just 'excited'. Anxiety tip from tv programme :-) I digress... I think I have a personality or type that is quiet, highly sensitive, thinking, over thinking, cautious and wary (added mix of Oscar worthy performances of bright, cheery and winning smile), sometimes it spills into anxiety and sometimes when I'm holding on to too much it spills and I'm left with a major depression. Sometimes it's not my mind but physical...the season, the dark, a very physical depression. They feel different. In short, I've been embarrassed by my feelings which has led to stigma. Leaps forward in my depression have come from other peoples acceptance. But that is from a very small group. I could talk this one over for a long time...really interesting Leah! Thank you so much for it, love ratg x.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:19am

RATG Fresh physical start sounds intriguing and sweaty!! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I value your insights into your own experiences and feelings, something I find hard to do.

Holly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:38am

I saw that programme too! Hope being 'excited' helped you :)

Dragonfly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:05pm

Dear Ratg. I understand what you mean about depression feeling different sometimes. It's not just about being negative, upset, down; rather this all consuming 'thing' that is as unwelcome and uninvited as any physical pain - in my experience anyway. I'm so pleased that you've been helped by other people's acceptance x

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:59pm

Dragonfly, Thanks for your comment on different types of depression. I also think each individual experiences things deeply.

the room above the garage Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:42am

Hi Leah, it was sweaty and today I'm struggling to leave lift even a cup!!! Booked some one to one yoga to get me moving (I haven't exercised in a few months and I know it's key in keeping me reasonably ably balanced. It was strenuous and fast at times but the lady was a breath of fresh air and I had so much energy afterward. Sometimes you just meet people who feel like a gift. Hello Dragonfly, great to see you :-) I agree and that's what makes it such an takes on all forms...and we need to arm for them all! Hi DID!!! A great tip! Love ratg x.

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:46am

Ratg I am so impressed by your dedication and enthusiasm to get fit. X

A View from the Far Side Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:01am

Wow, I inspired a post, how cool is that. All I can say is that reading Aron's book was a life-changer and has impacted on every part of my life in a positive way. I looked up Melissa's article and the nature paper it referred to and think it's very helpful - just helping a bit more with the puzzle of why we are the way we are. Loved all the definitions that someone else posted.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:10am

Thanks AVFTFS, Yes this is all due to you!!I am finding people's reaction fascinating. I can see this can be a touchy issue. Thanks again

Holly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:50am

Another interesting blog post! Relevant to me a lot because I don't have a diagnosis, so all I've got to go on is my personality, emotions and past experiences to help me understand why I act or react in certain ways.

I have been curious about getting a diagnosis as it could help quite a bit with trying to explain things or get help. But I do worry that I would define myself by a label and that I may use it as an excuse or it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I think it would be awesome if we could have a balance of having labels but keeping an open mind and not defining ourselves by them.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:59am

Holly Thanks for replying. I think that sometimes it is not about defining oneself by a label but being defined by others. I don't define myself by my label but some people do, as soon as they hear bipolar they stop seeing Leah and see the label. Getting an early diagnosis did not help me as it was at a time when there was ignorance and stigma around. Thanks again for adding to this discussion. All the best.

The Gardener Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:28am

Leah, so interesting - all those descriptions in the second paragraph. Labels, not only on the lines 'give a dog a bad name' can be financially dear and be used as a 'cop-out'. Because I was so involved in our business I took out an insurance for sickness - would have cost a fortune to replace what I did. Anyway, carted in to Westminster Hosp as an emergency as 'manic' the company immediately wiped ANY illness could possibly termed 'psychiatric' off the policy. I also had suspected appendicitis, never was, doctors confirmed it, Insurance knocked that off (reputable company, so we knocked them off - it was a very expensive premium). Mr G, never, I think, positively, treated any disagreement as totally my fault because I was 'depressed' again, look no further. Nothing to do with mental illness, but a 'syndrome' - I am intolerant to all dairy produce (except butter) and now to the shrimp family (due to over-indulgence akin to a surfeit of lampreys). This means telling any hostess so as not to refuse every dish I am offered and going in to detail in restaurants. English pubs had a habit of putting cheese on everything, even Shepherd's Pie - I'd never have dreamed of checking, then the awful embarrassment of sending it back. RATG, I think you have that lovely mix which makes up a nice, normal human being with a few 'quirks'. Been to lovely mass, lovely day, going to lovely restaurant, Mr G as miserable as sin. Comes from the worst label in the dictionary 'Alzheimer's disease'.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:40am

Gardener Insurance company's still have a problem with understanding mental illness. Thanks for your detailed reply. Food intolerance is recognised more these days and many people have notice a relationship between moods and certain foods.

The Gardener Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:35am

Despite above - have nail polish, high heels, hair put up, jazzy skirt - we shall overcome

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:41am

Gardener What a lovely image you have written-all the best. You shall overcome.

Sheena Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 12:13pm

Leah - your post has Star quality! So much of how I think about illness, diagnosis, and labels is there. As old age approaches I can honestly say "This is me". I am (inside, the personality, very much the same person that I recall being as a toddler, child, adolescent, wife, parent). The difference is that at last I have given myself the 'permission' to be that me, which diagnosis, labels and other peoples unfounded opinions curtailed and was very stressful. What an admission!!!!! So much labelling and other things depends upon who is doing the labelling and whether they have asked the 'labellee' for an opinion too. Sheena

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:01pm

Sheena Thanks for your kind words. I like your comment " I have given myself permission to be that me". That is true who does the labelling ? Howothers interpret the label? How the person being labelled feels? The context/time in which one gets a labelled.

Jul Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 12:13pm

Dear Leah. Please don't feel that you provoked anger by your blog. Mary used the word but only she can explain what she meant. She did say that the anger was directed at painful memories so by implication I would suggest she is not angry at you or your writing. Your blog is perfect for me and obviously has resonated with many of us in a very positive way. The subject matter fascinates me as I said and I remain convinced that personality and life events have influenced my current health issues. I am rushing now all of a sudden.I wanted to write more. Suffice to say your blog is great. Julxx

Dragonfly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 9:57pm

Dear Jul, your 2 comments reflect quite closely how I feel about my own situation: personality + life events = depression! I think it is the case that personality type can leave one more susceptible to mental health problems, but only in some instances. I'd say that Mary (for example)is wholly justified in railing against those who held her responsible for her illness. It's such a complex and emotive subject, almost along the lines of the nature/nurture debate. I loathe my depression, but I also know that I'm loving, emotional, kind, loyal and generous among other things. If my depression is inherent to some extent, that suggests that there is no 'cure' as such, any more than there would be for my other personality traits - only that it can be managed and, more importantly perhaps, accepted. I'm still not there yet with the acceptance, nor sadly with finding the right help x

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:04pm

JUl Thanks for your reassuring words. I can understand where Mary's anger comes from. I feel we are an emotional group here and sensitive at times. I have been overwhelmed by the wonderful comments and raw emotion expressed. Everyone has a theory that's suits them as they know themselves the best. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. Xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:07pm

Dragongfly Thanks for your insightful comment. There is some research that says that personality and life experiences do make some people more susceptible to mental illness. Thanks for your honesty and I hope you can find the acceptance and the help you are seeking.xx

Cyndi Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 12:24pm

I most often say I "experience" depression/bi polar, etc, rather than "I have depression/bi polar". I never say i "suffer" from it. I also experienced cancer - twice (one breast at a time). I did not "suffer" from it. All are just one more experience in life. I am more than my illness(es). Labels, traits or characteristics (I hardly see a difference) are just categories to simplify one's description of an experience. It is like if there is an earthquake, a label,. One says I lived thru an earthquake, rather than I experienced the ground shaking uncontrollably, buildings toppled, items came off shelves. I experience depression, rather than I feel really down, tearful,no enthusiasm, urges to hurt myself, etc. I do say I have a mental illness, that at times is in remission, and at other times I experience it's symptoms. I do say I had cancer, rather than, I had rouge breast cells reproducing exponentially invading "healthy " tissue. I am not ashamed of either. They are just things I experience in this thing called life. Recovery from both (mental illness/cancer) is a journey, not a destination. The secret to happiness is to find some joy in the journey.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:10pm

Candid I like your words" the secret to happiness is to find some joy in the journey". I can understand how using the word experience rather than have or suffer can help. You have expoerienced a lot in your life and everyone experiences things differently. Thanks so much for your detailed and personal comment that has given things to think about.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:11pm

Oops auto text changed your name. Sorry Cyndi

Poppy Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 1:05pm

Good morning from across the pond! I live in Texas, and have the benefit of reading the earliest replies and the trend of the comments. This really adds to my cognition of the day's blog.

I suspect that researchers will find that some mental health "issues" are truly a broken function of our psyche. Other "issues" will be recognized as an extreme manifestation of traits by some known or unknown cause. But no matter what the physiology, our personality will consequently affect the manifestation of the differences we with mental health "issues" harbor.

We all know people who have mental health issues who seem to shoulder any subsequent burdens with grace and aplomb, while some, like me during my most recent episode, are mired in self pity. Such is the beauty of the human race—all shapes, sizes, colors, and make up.

If the reality is the that some of us are living life on an extreme end of the spectrum, outside the range we have defined as normal, whether this be physical, mental, or spiritual, we will incur labels. There's no escaping this, as our brains naturally seek to group, categorize, and, as neurologists and learning specialists like to say, chunk information.

And if this labeling is inevitable, then I think this begs the question, how do we best work with the given and inevitable instead of fighting against the natural current.

Labeling is not all bad. Labeling, in and of itself, is neutral. It's what we choose to do with it that matters, whether we are the labeled or the labelee, so to speak. I was labeled as gifted as a child in elementary school (early grades in the US). As an adult, I have discovered that I'm not particularly and especially intelligent, but I guarantee that label has had—and continues to have—positive effects on me. I believe myself capable of great achievements. However, it has also been a burden of late as I look back over the last 9 years of my latest depressive episode and berate myself for forsaking my abilities and God-given talents while wallowing in distress, anxiety, and self pity.

Making meaningful use of labels is our responsibility, both to ourselves as members of this community of kindred souls and to society at large. My therapist of many years tells me that you train people how to treat you. How right she is!

(I am reminded to select all and copy at this juncture —I too have lost partially written posts).

I never miss a day reading the MS blog. The posts and comments serve as fodder for useful reflection.

As a closing note, I consider myself an Anglophile, intrinsically drawn to my English brethren. It certainly must be a trait as my ancestors are almost all British. However, I do scratch my head sometimes in confusion trying to understand some of your expressions and word usage. ;)

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:17pm

Poppy Thanks for you your well thought out blog. You have made many coherent points. I am from down under so the other side of the ocean! I like your words" making meaningful use of labels is our responsibility both to ourselves .....and to society at large". I have heard that phrase You train people how to treat you" i think that is another topic!! I suppose it is putting all the responsibility back on the individual which may not always be fair. Thanks again for your comments and I hope to read more of your words.

The Gardener Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 1:36pm

Just returned from lunch - poor old brain can't cope with enormous response, and the 'trails' therein. But, labelling. Three tables - one, a ten-month baby - demanding, yes, but easily pacified with a menu to chew and hugs. Then, us, elderly, Mr G continuing his day's miseries despite lovely weather and kindness all round us. The worst off? A table of six, two friends of ours, and a teenage boy obviously with severe mental problems, probably with parents for the long week-end. His label, mentally deficient? Injured at both? Whatever, life-long misery for parents, no future - life-long care and expense for somebody - money and love can do nothing for him. Come home shattered - but counting my blessings like billy-oh. Poppy, your ancestors had a perfectly good language when they left our shores - then what happens? Pants, side-walks, twangs, elongated vowels, and, re talents, everybody has them, however small - use them! You never know what is lurking there. Enough rubbish, Mary had a word for it, rambling - in my defense, a week of acute pain and a sleepless night.

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 4:47pm

In my defence, Gardener - I think I did compare you to a rambling rose, which can bring nothing but delight!

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:21pm

Gardner I embrace the rambling narrative that people describe ny writing and speaking. I agree rambling roses are delightful. Thanks for your reply. My Brian is having trouble working out who I have not replied to but am so pleased that people have been moved to comment.

The Gardener Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 6:09pm

Yes Mary, you did. Just been to other garden - the rambling roses have rambled off their base - and are running wild - feels just like me - no way I can attach them - Manchester was mentioned in prayers this morning, I do flowers tomorrow - will use the roses as a tribute - we have three way twinning this week-end

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:22pm

TG What lovely image roses running wild and as a tribute.

Kelly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 7:48pm

I prefer the illness model by far. Depression has nearly killed me a few times so it's hard to see it as anything but. When I'm well I do not want to die...yes I have a possibly naturally lower baseline than many people but still a depressive episode changes my personality...I can see it even now on the way out of one...depression makes me much more reserved than I usually am, quieter, more pessimistic by far.

The other thing about regarding it as illness takes away my shame in having it. It's not my fault anymore than getting cancer would be. Yes, some things might have predisposed me to it....but I didn't cause it. It also helps me when I need to seek medical attention for it. Having the label is nice when I have to put words to what's going on with me to be able to make an appointment.

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:26pm

Kelly Thanks for explaining your point of view. I am glad that for you having depression as an illness takes away your shame. I have explained that that didn't work for me in the past and also in past few years people I have said to me" I could have chosen depression but chose not to".So having it seen as an illness does not lays stop ignorance. I am glad the illness model works for you and i appreciate your contribution. Thanks

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:39pm

Wow, I might have read this wrong but depression is not a choice! Anyone who says so, has never experienced it. I am sceptical about diagnosis of some things but depression does not even need a diagnosis to those that suffer it. They will know only too well that they have it because it is the worst feeling ever, ever, ever, it's not a case of being sad, it is debilitating. With you Kelly all the way. Leah, it didn't work for you?? In that case you have never experienced depression !! Now I am bloody angry !! What absolute tosh ! Xx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 1:56am

Molly sorry you misunderstood what I said. I said people have said to me ( I never said it) that they could have shosen depression. NOT me. I was trying to explain , obviously very clumsily and not very well, that even with a label of illness, people will say mean and ridiculous things. I have never ever thought or said it is a choice. That was something someone said to me. Of course I have experienced depression- all I am saying is a label does not stop stigma and ignorance. I have had 40 years with the label of bipolar and was reflecting on what people said to me despite the label. In my defence I could have worded it better but I have written maybe 50 comments and maybe it sounded confused. I am sorry Molly that you misunderstood what I said. I am having no luck today as I seem to be making everyone angry. xxx Maybe I need to stop writing.

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 2:23am

Yes I did misunderstand Leah and i am sorry for that, i did re-read your post and see what you meant now. Dont ever stop writing! But one typing error can unfortunately make us misconstrue the whole post xx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 2:35am

Molly, I am queen of typos. Xx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:49am

Hi Leah, DO NOT STOP WRITING!! Your blogs are so interesting and they get people thinking and talking which is good. Mary was angry at her circumstances and Molly misunderstood your point. Your are a very good writer and it's so nice you take the time to reply to everyone's comments - I know it's not a five minute job! Thanks Leah. Carolinex

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:48am

Caroline Many thanks. I will keep writing . I like the response I get and helps me.

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 8:36pm

Is a personality disorder different from a personality trait ? I too was relieved to have received a diagnosis, after many years of not understanding myself or my Behaviour. Depression yes, that was there all along, since I was a child. Then I was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder which is more well known as borderline personality disorder. The name was changed in the UK due to 'borderline' being deceiving as it does not mean you are on the borderline. It is similar to bipolar but the mood changes are more frequent (for those that don't know) so when we talk about personalities, and how this might be classed differently to an illness, how come the word 'personality' is in my 'label' ?

A View from the Far Side Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:19pm

Good question. I'd say it is different - a trait is a way to describe an innate characteristic or appearance, whereas a personality disorder is a classification of illness. I understand that yours is caused by trauma and it is possible to get better from it, once the underlying trauma/s are brought to the surface and dealt with. I have a much-loved relative currently diagnosed with this, so I've been finding out more about it. Thanks for sharing. Go you Molly, AVFTFSxxx

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:00pm

My illness is not caused my trauma, as far as I am aware, and there is no cure for it either so I think you might have been misinformed there xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:30pm

Molly Thank you for your honest and informative post that raises more questions. It is interesting having the word personality in a diagnosis. I have not thought about that. I will need to read about that. Thanks for explaining about your diagnosis. Xx

Leah Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:33pm

AVFTWS I am more confused. We say personality trait and we say personality disorder so is there a difference. Thanks for your contribution

A View from the Far Side Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:46am

Hi Molly, argh, I should have caveated that with can be caused by trauma - I found this when searching for personality trait - "That said, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, a growing body of evidence suggests that traumatic experiences in childhood can cause biomedical changes (Klaassens, 2010), which put people at risk for developing borderline personality disorder (Hodgdon, 1992). So, the distinction between personality disorders and clinical syndromes is not always clear-cut because there are biomedical explanations for a number of personality disorders as well." It comes from here:

Molly Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 6:17pm

This is interesting, I will take a look. Most things I have read are unclear about what is the cause. I have always believed that having an unsteady childhood has contributed to my problems but how much of it is in the genes, and then we come back to personality....thank you for your responses AVFTFS and for yours Leah xx

Leah Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 9:56pm

Molly and AVFRTFS It is a complex and fascinating issue working out what causes ilness, disorders even personality. You can have people experience the same childhood and all experience it differently. Thanks Molly for sharing your thoughts.xx

LP Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 10:08pm

I liked that last bit of your post Molly.
LP :)

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:01pm

Thanks LP :-) xx

Molly Thu, May 25th 2017 @ 11:51pm

I would just like to clarify that there is a difference between people who have severe depression and to those that maybe suffering a mild form of it, in which case it might be circumstantial and they might need their doctor or a loved one to tell them as they cannot work out why they feel so low. This type of depression will usually be temporary, but some of us are stuck with it for life and this is not a choice. Anyone who wants to give logical advice, forget it. We are ill, it is permanent, we will have some good days and some bad days. But a choice?????? I know what I would choose !!!!!!!

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 1:48am

Molly you have explained it so well. I think the words depressed and depression are sometimes used loosely and not clinically. I often hear people saying I was so depressed my football team lost I was so depressed I did not win the Lottery. That is not depression- may disappointment. Also people think depression is just being sad.

Molly Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 2:39am

You have hit the nail on the head there Leah and apologies again for the confusion earlier. What gets me is that people think you can snap out of it, here we go, some suggestions from people "take a walk" "smooth the dog" "eat something" "the sun is shining" "you have everything to be grateful for" "could be worse" etc etc. I should not have doubted you Leah but was also intrigues me is that I thought my depression was part of my BPD or my BPD was part of my depression. I am learning here - as it appears to be two different things. I do NOT trust a psychiatrist who spends one hour on me to 'label' me but a double edged sword there because I pushed for a diagnosis and feel happy to have got one but right there, I think, is the whole point of your original post. Just because someone tells me that I have this or that, with some fancy name, does not mean anything, an OPEN opinion is required and I think your openess is refreshing and liberating Leah, so thank you. Molly xx

A View from the Far Side Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:59am

Hi Molly, again, as I understand it a personality disorder relates to a cluster of illnesses or mental states - at least that's what I understand in relation to the information given when my late husband was diagnosed. There's a book I've been meaning to buy since discovering about my relative: Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship. Do you know of it, have you read it? If so would you recommend it? i'd also say that everyone's diagnosis might be different according to their life experiences. I have to say I'm getting brain ache with all this right now. I'll try and post more later, because I'm intrigued about this personality trait/disorder business and how we define ourselves.

A View from the Far Side Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 8:10am

I'm only getting brain ache as I had a bone transplant in my cheek, ready for a tooth implant two days ago and hardly got any sleep last night. This is such an interesting thread though. Just feel really involved in it.

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:50am

Thanks for explaining brain ache I say that when I am tired and didn't realise it was a real thing. Thanks for your comments.xx

Molly Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 6:27pm

Thank you for this AVFTFS - I have not heard of that book, but I will look it up and maybe buy it. My husband struggles with my moods and takes things personally whereas it is usually me spouting off about something for the sake of it - dealing with my own anger rather than actually being annoyed about whatever I am moaning it could be a good book for him to read and so thank you. Sometimes these conversations can give you brain ache as we get involved in trying to explain our feelings or understand others and it is a complex issue after all. I hope that you you feel better soon and your implant goes ok - horrible, anything to do with teeth. With love from Molly xx

Leah Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 10:01pm

AVFTFS Thanks again because your original blog and comments inspired this blog. I think it is fascinating and I am sure more research will be done on it, All I have to do now is to find where I out that HSP book!! I hope you got more sleep. Thanks for all your contributions.

Jane SG Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 7:35am

Hi Leah, I took some time last night, after reading your very interesting blog, to read all of the comments. It was all very interesting. Thanks Leah xx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:50am

Thanks Jane xx

Leah Fri, May 26th 2017 @ 9:51am

What a 24 hrs. I am glad I got people thinking .Thanks for all your comments. It is not too late if you have not commented or want to comment more. I am fine.

Molly Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 6:27pm

A great response Leah, a really good subject, thank you xx

Leah Sat, May 27th 2017 @ 10:03pm

THanks Molly for all your comments. It is a subject that seems to touch many people. Xx

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