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The Tale of Two Labels.(apologies to Dickens). Friday February 27, 2015

It was the best of labels, it was the worst of label, it was the label of compassion, it was the label of shame.

A few weeks ago I read an online article all about what it means to be a talkative introvert. I was so amazed at this information as I had often said that even though I talked a lot - well okay I sometimes talk very much indeed, I also saw myself as an introvert.

Whenever I would tell people this they would laugh and laugh and shake their heads in disbelief. This article seemed to be describing me and I felt comfortable with nearly all but 2 of the 28 descriptions. I embraced the term and shared it on Facebook and with my family and friends, now backed up by the online reference material!

A friend told me that she thought I would be the last person to willingly embrace another label when I had been in denial for over twenty years trying to disown a medical label. To me Talkative Introvert was not a soul crushing label but a freeing, friendly term that explained who I was.

At 16 when I was first given the manic/depressive label which turned into bipolar label many years later. I did not embrace the manic/depressive label at all as I found it suffocating, judgmental,restrictive,uncaring and when it morphed into bipolar I felt it was heavy, awkward and in no way described who I was.

Today while I don't fully embrace the label bipolar - whatever that means, I do acknowledge it and am no longer in denial.

Labels I have said are for Jam jars so why am I so ready to acquire another label - which I feel is a term and not really a label!!

Talkative Introvert is a quirky, welcoming, fun term. I can't imagine any parents to be saying, they hope their child isn't a talkative introvert. I think I would be comfortable in any social situation being proud to say I am a Talkative Introvert.

Many people are grateful after years of misdiagnosis and confusion they finally have an explanation for their behaviour. They are relieved to have a label and do not find it restricting. Maybe the willingness to embrace one term or another is more about the individual and the society in which they live than about the term itself.

When we start to define ourselves by a label we give our ourselves or others give us, it can start to affect how we behave and maybe limit our choices.

So what now - I will always be wary of labels but they can be fun - maybe I am a Talkative Moodswinger!!

As Oscar Wilde said 'Be yourself everyone else is taken.'

It was best of labels it was the worst of labels.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 7:01am

Hi Leah- a great post.In medicine they say that giving a disease condition a name is half the battle won.

Anonymous Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 7:05am

I enjoyed reading this. Really interesting and fun post. Thanks x

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 8:33am

Great fun, Leah. Thank you. From one TI to another!

Julia Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 8:47am

I don't like labels either but wondered how you Leah and other talkative introverts regard yourselves when in the depressed phase of bi polar. Or are you just as talkative then?! I liked your blog Leah. Just trying to understand bi polar. X

Charlie Bransden Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 9:06am

Brilliant, can I join please? T.I's unite,(if that's not an oxymoron!).

Elizabeth Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 9:43am

Do you like math or physics? I seem to have met many talkative introverts at school :)

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 10:06am

I can't answer for Leah, but when in the down bit I retreat completely. I don't have the energy to engage with others. Introverts gain energy being by themselves and disperse that energy when with others. When I don't have any energy to spare I can't be with other people - even close friends who understand.

Leah Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 11:04am

I am like Mary, too. Julia and thanks for your comments. Also when I am well, I can be very talkative and also moments of being quiet . Ok my partner may not agree but I am generally quiet in big social settings.

Thanks Mary. I couldn't have put it better.

leah Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 11:06am

not sure this is a group . Thanks for your comment.

Leah Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 11:08am

Elizabeth thanks for your comment.
Not good at either? Why do you ask? I am more a wordy book person.

Leah Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 11:11am

Hi anon, thanks for your feedback. I guess I feel that sometimes giving a label especially a wrong one, may start a battle! Just my opinion, I agree that for some people a label really helps them.

Anonymous Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 11:35am

i am not bi polar per se but the depression levels swing and social situations and close friends are avoided during down times when i retreat, like Mary, and am relatively non-communicative. But if forced into a situation, i still manage to be animated and engaging and end up completely whacking myself out....which makes recharge even harder. Have always wondered why! 'Positive Introvert' is an insightful label which answers the question. Thanks for the fun post, Leah. susan xx

Anonymous Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 3:40pm

I agree with you Leah - being labelled from the outside can end up with 'being fixed' from the outside. We all need to know and understand ourselves from inside to develop. Telling anybody else how they feel is a bit odd!

Julia Fri, Feb 27th 2015 @ 4:36pm

Thank you Leah and Mary. Also Susan. I am like you Susan in that I get exhausted when socialising particularly when depressed. I expend so much more effort and energy trying to appear animated. I really liked your blog Leah. It's given me different things to think about!

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