One of the things that annoys me most about the media is the misconception they allow to breed by the misuse of psychiatric terms. Up until recently I included crazy in that word pool. However my psychologist made a great point when she said that it isn’t a term that is used in the psychiatric field and so it had no bearing on the stigma. I still think it’s a word that has certain privileges but it’s not the stigma fueled argument I once had.
I do however have an issue when technical terms for mental illnesses or their symptoms are used to describe everyday things. There are so many more words you could use instead of them, and if you can’t think of any then I suggest you buy yourself a thesaurus. I’ve put together a list of words that are commonly misused, their real definitions and few words that should be used instead.
Psychotic: Definition Characterised or afflicted with psychosis.
It does not mean that any person who is acting in a way that is unfamiliar to you is psychotic. Psychosis is a serious mental condition in which the affected person can hear voices, is out of touch with reality and may experience hallucinations.
Words you can use instead: Strange, unfamiliar, odd, different.
Manic: Definition: pertaining or affected by mania.
It should not be used to describe a sales campaign. Manic is similar to psychotic in that a person experiencing symptoms is often out of touch with reality, hears voices and makes risky choices that are out of character.
Words that can be used instead: exciting, fast paced, quick, enthusiastic.
Schizophrenic Definition: a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations.
It is completely different to someone with split personality disorder. It is also not a word that needs to be used to describe a work load or a music album.
Words that can be used instead: unsettled, range of emotions, feverish.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Mental disorder in which an individual experiences obsessions or compulsions, either singly or together. An obsession is a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an unreasonable idea or feeling (such as of being contaminated through shaking hands with someone). A compulsion is an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act (such as repeatedly washing the hands).
It is not a joke to be used about having a clean house. It’s not something to aspire to. It is something that a lot of people struggle with every single day, and it does not always manifest itself in the stereotypical way that the media portrays it.
Words that you can use instead: clean, cleanliness, germ free.
Do you have any words that you would like to add? I would love to hear them!
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.