“My room always has to be clean; I am so OCD.”
“He is such a Psycho.”
These are the exact phrases that we often hear people using in everyday (casual) conversations.
There are certain things that we need to get more serious about and the language we use is one of them.
Mental illness is still a taboo subject. There is a great deal of stigma associated with mental illness. People with mental illness face many prejudices. The language that we use reinforces negative biases and adds to the stigma, making it even more difficult for people with mental illness to seek help and support.
Terms like “Psycho” and “Crazy” are acceptable in our society. Words associated with mental illness are casually thrown around. Phrases related to mental illness are used in ways that are not literal. The internet memes and jokes about mental illness further perpetuate stigma and stereotypes. Casualization of terms related to mental illness is a serious problem that this society is facing today.
Mental illness is real. The struggle is real. It is not something to be joked about. Tossing the words around casually and inappropriately shows our ignorance. People may think that throwing these terms around so casually is harmless but it can damage the self-esteem of those experiencing ‘real’ mental health conditions. The language that we use prevents so many people from opening up and expressing their struggles.
Language is a powerful tool. Every word we speak has immense power. Therefore, it is important to be careful of the words we speak. It is important to educate ourselves and increase our self-awareness. It is extremely important to be respectful and thoughtful. Language matters.
“Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.” – Robin Sharma
-( Farheen Rashid, Mental health social worker )