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
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?
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?
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
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” That may have worked in the school yard at recess, but language has tremendous power, both to communicate and to miscommunicate. Take the word “depression” for example.