The “Power” of Naming our Disease

Currently, I am reading a book called, The Ascent of Humanity. In it, the author talks about language as a way of separating us from nature, but also how we think that to label things allows us power over them. It is as if, the author postulates, that by naming something we can control it.

I think of the relief that so many people get by having a name for their illness. I think of those that don’t know what is wrong and how powerless they feel to not even have a name for their illness.

Of course, the author states, we are not really in control by naming any more than we are without. I think this need for a name is sort of an instinctive response to when language really did have power and naming something gave us some control of it.


  1. Interesting and OTOH once some folks have a name they become that condition and they pigeon hole themselves into the projected outcome of that condition. One of the many things I love about Chinese Med is that the diagnosis sound like the weather and the weather always can change. OTOH…..

  2. Thanks Diana. What interesting food for thought and perhaps another post…! 🙂


  1. […] Changability of Life url='';I had a comment on my Power of Naming Disease Post which made me think. Diana said that in Chinese Medicine, they don’t name the disease as a […]

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