Thanks, Steve. “You appear to experience a lot of feelings of anxiety, and it seems you want to find a way to make sense of and get a handle on those experiences?” is precisely what I say–almost verbatim! To answer your question: I believe we need a concept called “mental illness” because a careful philosophical inquiry into the meaning of “disease” reveals, in my opinion, that a person can be ill in the literal sense in the realm of “mental”–Szasz’s interpretation of Virchow notwithstanding. However, I agree with you that diagnosis often does more harm than good–and sometimes much more harm. I do believe that some people can be aided by diagnosis in the sense that they can conceptualize their problem more easily and identify with others who have similar experiences. And calling it something might give them hope that some “treatment” might help. I don’t believe that either of these points necessarily undermines personal responsibility, though a practitioner who operates from a solely medical-paternalistic or deterministic approach can very easily use the disease concept to justify coercion. This widespread practice must be stopped.