Words Have Meaning, Pt. 2

Continuing in Mental Health Awareness month we are talking about phrases we may use in a way that can demean the real struggles that people go through with mental illness. For example, someone may say they are so depressed that they didn’t get the car they wanted when they turned 16. What about the real people who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder who can’t get out of bed in the morning and about to lose their jobs. What about the families that just went to their son’s, brother’s, or father’s funeral because he committed suicide due to depression. There are people that might say the weather is so crazy lately, it is just this bipolar Texas weather. Think about how this makes light of people who have ruined their credit because during a manic phase they made poor decision and bought way too much stuff. Also think about the daughter who can’t understand why her mom snaps or yells at her because she can’t control her intense moods. Sometimes we use the term “OCD” in a way that down plays the serious symptoms that can be a part of that illness. I have heard, “oh, I am so OCD because I like my desk straight”. Most may not know the life crippling symptoms that can come with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A person who washes their hands 20 times a day until they are raw or someone in psychiatric facility who needs help getting their obsessive thoughts to be more manageable. The next time you use one of these terms, think about the people who struggle with these illnesses and maybe choose a different phrase.