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"Recovery language"

ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,966 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
edited September 2019 in Anything Goes
So in my peer support training i was taught "recovery language" which i am failing to do in my everyday life and espically on here. Which ive come to accept is okay cause i realise when i do it in my head so if ever came to work id be able to change how i spoke. Im just wondering other peoples views on it and if you think changing these words would make a difference :). In my training it all made sense and was like "im gunna use this everywhere" but i dont :/ & kinda annoys me i dont so dk if any point

so a massive one is not mentioning their diagnosis. Since all valid no matter what diagnosis and a diagnosis can make you assume what they struggle with rather than listening to them when can mean different. And because like to see people. Not their diagnosis. I don’t know what other people think of that one? Since people like a label and sayinng things like "low mood" instead of "depression". Could invalidate how they actually feel. But saying just "depression" you get a picture of what that looks like when different for everyone. rather than explaining what it looks like. 

Other "none recovery lanague" being "suicide" & "suicidal" and i was taught to say "having thoughts of dying" ect. because negative assoscations with the word suicide of being "commit suicide" sounding like a crime. I dont really see much wrong with saying suicide if dont say "commit"

Other words being like never saying "crazy" in any content. Which i didnt get at the time tbh. Cause you say "last night was crazy" there is no refrence to MH there at all. And surely saying there is refrence - is stigma in its self?

Also taught not to say "symptoms" say experience cause makes more hoilstic or something and not saying words like "obessed" "overthinking" "manipluative" 

And loads of small ones and Another important one i know ive fogotten. 

apperently all this is suppose to make it indivual and look at the person rather the illness

just wondering what others think and if would make much difference?
Post edited by Shaunie on


  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,966 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    And the important one i forgot is not saying "mental health illness/problems" but to say "mental health challenges". When it is an illness? But then yeah saying is a challenge seems like you can over come. So i do understand these but soemtimes not. 
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,029 Boards Guru
    Hey Shaunie,

    So anything I say is going to be outside the context of peer support (because no idea what that's like and can only think of general applications of this language personally) 

    I think it can be useful not mentioning a diagnosis, there might be a few reasons for this. It could seem like a label and maybe someone might not like that label, or because it could make someone feel invalidated about their feelings if they haven't formally received that diagnosis. Also when you aren't somebody's doctor, avoiding using medical terms establishes that you can't offer medical help- but are there to listen and support. So think that could make a difference there?

    Again 'suicidal' is a bit of a medical term too so can see why in peer support it could be better to describe suicide more generally, that and it could be upsetting for someone with issues around that. As a verb, 'commit' does connote a crime, and this stems from when suicide used to be illegal in England and Wales til 1961.

    Maybe I think not using 'crazy' in any context at all is a bit crazy (I genuinely could not think of a better word :lol: ) same with mental I'm guessing? "Traffic on way home was mental" "Kevin's party was crazy" but within a sector where you're working with people with mental illnesses it's a sensitive thing to not bring up language like that in case it upsets and offends and stops someone from reaching out for help, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

    How are you finding it trying to use 'recovery language' in peer support? Do you do anything to practise using peer support language instead of your own language?
    but idk tho
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,966 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    edited September 2019
    Heyy, yeah i agree with you actually! It makes a lot of sense as to why peer support workers would use it over a doctor.  its not "none recovery" for a doctor to say these. Its just there job.so guess makes sense for different support

    I used recovery with people when i was on work experience and i actually felt like it made a difference. Mostly cause you use less clinical terms and call them a peer not patient and they feel more at your level and feel like youre talking to them like a person, not just looking at their "symptoms" like other professional speak like. Ad the peer tutors said a lot about how they have impacted others. 

    but i still dont know if i should make an effort to use that lanagage here , and if makes difference in this sort of place or difference for me. Since they said apperently can help yourself as lanaguage affects thoughts, thoughts affect langauge ect. Cause im always saying these ah. And dunno if would make much difference for myself if i was to say "thinking a lot about...." rather than "obsessed with..." or "a bit of a slip" instead of "relapse" (less like a restart) or say "mental health challenge" rather than illness or not speak about diagnosis.

    I can see it kinda helping since recovery is not about reducing "symptoms" but about finding hope and yourself more. And feel like thats kinda what recovery lanaguage can do. But idek
    Post edited by Shaunie on
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,029 Boards Guru
    Shaunie said:
    but i still dont know if i should make an effort to use that lanagage here , and if makes difference in this sort of place or difference for me

    I think it helps when talking to other people that using the language they use themselves is comfortable (i.e. if someone uses a word, like 'suicide' then using 'suicide' when talking to them should be okay) and if you're not sure how to phrase certain things it might be better to play it safe and be more general.

    So if they you weren't sure if they're comfortable with 'suicidal' you could say they had 'thoughts about ending their life' instead, or whatever you're comfortable with.

    Though recovery language might be what is encouraged to use in peer support, anywhere else you should use language that you're comfortable with using (or whatever type of language is encouraged in that space i.e. here it might be language set out in the guidelines) and you don't have to say anything you're uncomfortable with.
    but idk tho
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,966 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    edited September 2019
    Hey. Thank you!

    also another one i forgot is "recovery language" also includes not saying to someone "im sorry to hear...." but to say " i hear you feel...." ect
    Because apperaently theres a differences between giving empathy vs sympathy and that people dont want sympathy or pity. Which actually yeah sometimes people in real life have been like sorry to hear that , and im just thinking yeah i dont need your pity. I dont feel like that online though. 
    Dunno if anyone can give me their opinions on that?:/ do you mind when people say "im sorry to hear...."?

    this is actually the only thing i have done constantly since my training and dont think i said im sorry for how someone feels since my training incase they feel its pity. Im not sure if people would tho
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,966 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    .... i just googled on if we should say "im sorry ...." when someone is struggling and read a lot on why we shouldnt. This site being most interesting


    Defo. Not going to be saying "im sorry...." anymore. Cant unread that now and makes all sense. 
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