Mental Health Month: Common phrases that fuel mental health stigma

Mental Health Month: Common phrases that fuel mental health stigma

Millions of people suffer from some or the other form of mental disorder every year in the United States, but very few step forward to seek treatment. One of the barriers preventing them from seeking support is associated stigma prevalent in the society. Preconceived notions and prejudices about mental illnesses not only prevent people from seeking help but also scare them from accepting the problems.

In a bid to destigmatize mental disorders and encourage everyone to come forward and talk about the issues, every year, May is observed as the Mental Health Month across the United States. During this time, experts, scientists, doctors, therapists and people from various walks of life come together to debunk the myths surrounding mental health conditions through various campaigns and ground-level initiatives.

Unfortunately, stereotyping mental health issues, discriminating someone basis their mental health and perpetrating violence against them are not the only ways to belittle those who are suffering. By using mean words and phrases, and making fun of people with mental problems one can hurt their feelings and emotions as well. Obscene language and discriminatory words also fuel stigma.

Given below are few examples of phrases that help in spreading the mental health stigma:

  1. This weather is so bipolar: Used to suggest unpredictable or inconsistent weather conditions, the casual use of “bipolar” is intended to mock the rapid mood shifts – from extreme mania to deep depression, characteristic of bipolar disorder.
  2. You’re so OCD: It is commonly used to snap at people who like to be extremely clean, disciplined and/or perfect. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is much beyond an obsession for cleanliness as it can cause uncontrollable intrusive thoughts of violence, religion or other extremities in the patient.
  3. I’m so triggered: The word “trigger” is a serious alarm for mental health patients. It was specially developed for patients of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to describe their struggle and also identify the factors that cause the disorder. However, its casual use to communicate excitement or stimuli takes away the associated intensity and seriousness.
  4. They’re so psycho: Often used as an insult, use of this phrase also perpetuates stigma. The word is an abbreviation of the term ‘psychosis’, which is a severe mental disorder that causes impairment of thoughts and emotions due to which the affected individuals often lose contact with reality.
  5. I’m so depressed: Depression is a serious mental disorder generating suicidal thoughts and attempts. However, using “depressed” to express mere sadness, disappointment or tiredness demeans and undermines the pain, danger and discomfort caused by the condition.
  6. I’m going to have a panic attack: Panic attack is a type of an anxiety disorder. Untreated anxiety disorders can interfere with everyday living and impair the quality of life. However, non-medical use of the term takes away the seriousness of the problem.
  7. Jokes about suicide: Suicide is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths and disabilities across the world. Although it may occur as a conscious act of taking away one’s life, experts opine that in majority of the cases, a mental health struggle always play a role in causing suicidal attempts.

Recovering from mental disorders is possible

Mental disorders can strike anyone without any discrimination. A person of any age, gender or community can experience mental health issues. It’s important to understand that such disorders are medical conditions with proper causes, effects, symptoms and treatment, similar to any other physical ailment. An early diagnosis is key to early recovery.

A good and effective mental disorder treatment program primarily includes medications, therapies or a combination of both, depending on the duration and severity of the condition. If you are looking for state-of-the-art inpatient mental health treatment centers offering holistic treatment, contact Sovereign Health today. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with an expert to known about the best inpatient mental health treatment suited to your needs.

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