person standing on lawn next to sign "please keep off the grass"
Mental health, Stigma

“Rules” for Talking About Mental Illness

Just to get things started, I will say that I am "mentally ill", I "suffer from" depression, and I'm a little bit "crazy", although the degree varies over time. Now that we've got that out of the way, there are a lot of people who like to take a stand against language that is thought… Continue reading “Rules” for Talking About Mental Illness

Mental health, Suicide

How picky should we be about suicide-related language?

Language matters when it comes to talking about suicide, particularly when it's mentioned in the media.  Sometimes, though, I wonder if getting too nitpicky about language is counterproductive.  After all, as stigma researcher Patrick Corrigan says, stigma gets attached to labels but is not a product of those labels. On Twitter, I recently came across… Continue reading How picky should we be about suicide-related language?

Man weighed down by stigmatized words
Mental health, Stigma

How do you respond to stigmatized language?

Crazy.  Psycho.  Schizo.  Nutbar.   Mad.  Retard.  Lunatic.  Loony tunes.   Insane.  F***ed in the head.  Bonkers.   Whack job.  Batshit crazy.  Certifiable. These are just a few examples, but when it comes to derogatory, stigmatized mental health-related terms, there are many of them and we hear them often.  Sometimes we even use them ourselves.… Continue reading How do you respond to stigmatized language?

Mental Health @ Home glossary of Psychiatric Terms - mental health word graphic
Mental health

A glossary of psychiatric terms

Like any field, psychiatry has its own collection of terminology.  Some of it is self-explanatory, but some of it isn't.  I believe that knowing the jargon helps to narrow the power gap between health care providers and patients, so I wanted to talk about some of the terminology that's commonly used.  Some of these terms… Continue reading A glossary of psychiatric terms