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Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easy to think from all the diagnostic labels that there are separate, distinct groups of people who suffer from separate, distinct sets of psychological symptoms which can be labelled depression, or panic disorder, or some other diagnostic term. In fact almost all psychological symptoms can be found very widely distributed throughout the general population. For most such symptoms there is a gradient of severity. Somewhat arbitrarily, when symptoms reach a specified degree of severity, health professionals state that the symptoms now qualify as a specific psychological disorder. This process of "splitting" symptoms into diagnostic disorders is helpful in a number of ways, but it can be unhelpful too. Most of us suffer from most psychological symptoms at one time or another. These symptoms qualify as a formal psychological disorder because of their severity (for distress and dysfunction) rather than just because they are present.

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