Language Matters

Mental illnesses are already heavily stigmatized.


Using the terms in these images as ADJECTIVES diminishes the struggles that people face, and leads to dismissive behavior towards someone who is struggling. Consider using alternative terms to eliminate harmful language!


Graphic - text reads Bad -> Acceptable handicapped -> disabled  lame -> not funny  spaz -> eccentric  crippled -> immobile  blind -> unperceptive

Do you have any other examples of

"not this -> that" language??


Bad -> Acceptable

  • handicapped -> disabled

  • lame -> not funny

  • spaz -> eccentric

  • crippled -> immobile

  • blind -> unperceptive



Graphic - text reads Instead of: Crazy/ Insane/ Psycho   Use:  Absurd Unreal Bizarre Unreasonable Outrageous Ridiculous.  Example: My prof is psycho, he gave me an F for no reason!  VERSUS My prof is so unreasonable, he gave me an F for no reason!

Instead of: Crazy/ Insane/ Psycho


Use:

  • Absurd

  • Unreal

  • Bizarre

  • Unreasonable

  • Outrageous

  • Ridiculous.

Example: My prof is psycho, he gave me an F for no reason!

VERSUS My prof is so unreasonable, he gave me an F for no reason!


Graphic - text reads Instead of: Depressed  Use:  Distressed Burned out Upset Despondent Discouraged  Example: I am so depressed without my cellphone  VERSUS I am so upset, I don't have my cellphone with me.

Instead of: Depressed


Use:

  • Distressed

  • Burned out

  • Upset

  • Despondent

  • Discouraged

Example: I am so depressed without my cellphone

VERSUS I am so upset, I don't have my cellphone with me.


Graphic - text reads Instead of: Bipolar  Use:  Up and down Moody Unpredictable Capricious Vacillating All over the place  Example: my prof has been so bipolar with grading lately  VERSUS my prof has been so unpredictable with grading lately.

Instead of: Bipolar

Use:

  • Up and down

  • Moody

  • Unpredictable

  • Capricious

  • Vacillating

  • All over the place


Example: my prof has been so bipolar with grading lately

VERSUS my prof has been so unpredictable with grading lately.


Graphic - text reads Instead of: OCD  Use:  Perfectionist Quirky Precise Detail-oriented   Instead of: Triggered  Use:  Activated Provoked Stimulated Charged

Instead of: OCD

Use:

  • Perfectionist

  • Quirky

  • Precise

  • Detail-oriented


Instead of: Triggered

Use:

  • Activated

  • Provoked

  • Stimulated

  • Charged


Graphic - text reads Instead of: Addicted  Use:  Interested In Hooked Consumed by Attached Absorbed  Preoccupied Example: I'm trying to use my cellphone less because I swear I'm addicted! VERSUS I'm trying to use my cellphone less because I'm so consumed by social media and texting!

Instead of: Addicted

Use:

  • Interested In

  • Hooked

  • Consumed by

  • Attached

  • Absorbed

  • Preoccupied

Example: I'm trying to use my cellphone less because I swear I'm addicted! VERSUS I'm trying to use my cellphone less because I'm so consumed by social media and texting!



Graphic text reads Instead of: ADHD  Use:  Inattentive Distracted Absent-minded Scatterbrained Flighty Hyper Example: How did I forget today's test??? ADHD activated.... VERSUS How did I forget about today's test??? I've been so distracted lately...

Instead of: ADHD

Use:

  • Inattentive

  • Distracted

  • Absent-minded

  • Scatterbrained

  • Flighty

  • Hyper

Example: How did I forget today's test??? ADHD activated....

VERSUS How did I forget about today's test??? I've been so distracted lately...