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OCD, bipolar, schizophrenic and the misuse of mental health terms

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Linkage

(not sure if this was best placed here or in health)

This really is a topic that urks me, and unlike the person that was interviewed for that article, I don't think its over-PC to suggest that its offencive (maybe not the correct word, but its certainly not right) to misuse medical diagnoses (especially mental illness and other so called invisable conditions), often in a way which totally misrepresents people with those conditions.

If you described someone as a cancer (to mean that they suck the life out of someone or something), they'd take offence, and many would see it as disrespectful to people who have suffered that illness. Yet, it seems ok to re-inforce negative and false stereotypes of mental illness, and use them totally out of context.

Even the use of the term "mental health" is used wrongly (IMO anyway). 1 in 4 isn't affected by mental health issues, because we all have mental health, and thus surely we are all affected by issues concerning keeping our mental selves healthy. 1 in 4 may be affected by mental ill health (or even mental health concerns if you want to keep it user friendly and positive), but thats very different, and although it might seem like I'm just being pedantic about how a sentence is structured, I think it makes a huge difference to the way people view and how these conditions are stigmatised by the media and society.

Whats your views?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    BBC wrote:
    The weather isn't just changeable, it's bipolar.

    Has anyone ever heard the weather described as bipolar?

    The stock response to anyone who attempts to dictate how I can and can't use language is to be told to go suck a fuck. I didn't read anything salient in the article to make me take stock of it.
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    Has anyone ever heard the weather described as bipolar?

    The stock response to anyone who attempts to dictate how I can and can't use language is to be told to go suck a fuck. I didn't read anything salient in the article to make me take stock of it.

    Never heard of bipolar weather either.

    Don't know which way to decide - it gets people talking but used in the wrong sense urks people. I'm not particularly surrounded by it, so I can't say I've ever thought about it til now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It offends me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe Jon Kelly and Denise Winterman would like to highlight the issue that some people with these conditions can't even get fucking treatment from our good ol' shitty NHS.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The weather one (I've never heard anyone using that either) isn't a problem, in my book. People use the word "cancer" in the metaphorical sense all the time, and nobody gets upset about that. And I'm sure we all know several people who've died of cancer.

    I have a bit of sympathy for the idea that using these terms to describe something mildly similar to the real illness could undermine people's perceptions of the illness. People saying they're depressed when they're a bit sad, or have OCD because they always eat a Kit Kat in the same way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    RubberSkin wrote: »
    Maybe Jon Kelly and Denise Winterman would like to highlight the issue that some people with these conditions can't even get fucking treatment from our good ol' shitty NHS.

    seconded
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have a bit of sympathy for the idea that using these terms to describe something mildly similar to the real illness could undermine people's perceptions of the illness. People saying they're depressed when they're a bit sad, or have OCD because they always eat a Kit Kat in the same way.

    Yeah, because (to continue your cancer analogy), no one says, "I've got a really bad headache, must be brewing a tumour".

    The two most common reactions to mental health difficulties are to mock them or to fear them. So people laugh at OCD and are afraid of schizophrenics. Both of these reactions are stigmatising. Journalists buying into them shows not only a lack of sensitivity on their own part, but also a lack of responsibility on the part of their editors.

    As with everything, part of removing the stigma comes from humour within the community, but self-defining humour is very different from mocking.
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