From drug addiction to road rage, medical organizations love calling various human behaviors diseases. And why shouldn’t they? It’s great rhetoric for drawing attention to their respective organizations and it makes it a lot easier to get funding for various studies. And the best part is if something’s a disease, people don’t commit it, they suffer from it. The irresponsible become victims.
The possibilities and benefits of disease labeling are so alluring, I’m sadly not surprised that a British psychological group now claims there is real sickness to being lovesick. Psychologist Frank Tallis wrote in the Psychologist magazine, “Many people are referred for help who cannot cope with the intensity of love, have been destabilised by falling in love, or who suffer on account of their love being unrequited.”
Having your heart broken is painful, no doubt. We’ve all been there. But saying there are people who literally “cannot cope,” are “destablised” and “suffer” cheapens the pain of real victims with real diseases. It also bids dollars away from finding a cure to legitimate illnesses in order to study and “treat” these scares. If I had something to gain from this chronic mislabeling, I’d call it a disease. Instead, I’ll just term it cruel.