I don't know that I've ever identified why it bothers me when people say they don't want eating disorder patients to be "labelled." I could sympathize with the concern that people would be pidgeon-holed and depersonalized but still, I chafed at this idea because it seemed to miss the point. It felt like push-back against applying available science and a way to protect every indefensible myth someone wanted to protect.
This resistance to labelling and naming disorders was both understandable and diminishing.
But today, a wise woman I know explained it perfectly and clarified my own belief, one I hadn't realized:
"for some people, having a label (or multiple labels) is therapeutic. It helps move from "What is wrong with me?" to "How can I fix it?"
That's it! I see labeling as the first step to getting to work. I see labels not as objectifying or stigmatizing or depersonalizing: but as recognizing a pattern that can then be addressed. The label is not a value judgement, or a summation, or telling us all that much about a person's whole picture - but an identifiable pattern shared with others for which there is some data and some solutions for some people. A label is a first step, not a limitation.