The book I just startd reading asks a question that I have asked many times. How often do we label “differences” as “disabilities”? Why is it so easy to diagnose anyone and everyone with something from the DSM? My head knows that the difference lies in ability to function at home, work, school and community. My heart says that there is something wrong with not just acknowledging that we are all different. I see my personality and characteristics in all of my children. Sometimes it is funny and other times it is disturbing. I think that a large distinction in Tommy is that he takes personality traits which he has either inherited, learned or both and cranks them up to full volume. Instead of being a little ‘OCD’ he is hyper-focused and perseverant on things being the way he wants them. He has no volume control on his personality. It’s not just Tommy though. I see Noah twitching and I begining evaluating him for Tourette’s. Sarah refuses to change her place at the dinner table and I suspect OCD. Sitting in an Olive Garden restaurant one night I diagnosed another patron as Schizophrenic(“Please stop staring at that woman.”). I sound like a really awful person but in my own defense my harshest criticism is reserved for myself. Every action and thought is subject to self-analysis. “Why did you spend so much time making sure your underclothes matched your outfit?” “Other women don’t adjust their nipples so they are focused at the exact angle(I blame 4 years of breastfeeding for their elasticity – sorry Alice).” “You were too impatient. Perhaps an anti-anxiety med is needed.” It’s not just me doing this. Whenever I am at a support group meeting of any type (I used to attend several as one of my job duties) I hear people listing all the diagnosis of themselves and their family members. “Well I’m bi-polar and my husband has ADHD and we both think his father is bi-polar and. . .” If someone is a wealthy, successful genius they are “eccentric” but if they are poor or illiterate they are “delusional” or “ODD”. If I had never ended up in the mental health field would I see disorders everywhere?