If you happen to know a person that might be suffering from a mental illness such as being depressed, schizophrenic, manic, or hyperactive disorder, please be aware and know that labeling a person can lead to stigma and these branding words can hurt.
Labeling can brings shame to those who want to seek help. In fact stigma leads to discrimination and everyone knows that discrimination against race, religion, culture or even ones appearance isn’t right.
Stigma prevents a person from getting the treatment and support they need to lead a normal life. Fact is that 1 out of 5 Americans live with a mental disorder and they won’t get help right now because they live in fear of judgement, isolation and discrimination.
It gets worse: Such labeling prevents a person from getting jobs or advancing in the workplace or even living in their own neighborhood. Sadly, the average television viewer today sees a mental disability as one who’s violent. Such inaccurate portrayals leads people to fear and in some cases can lead to violence. The stigma that comes from having a mental illness is real and damaging to those who live with this disorder.
The truth of the matter is all people should be treated with dignity and respect including those who have been diagnosed with a mental condition and labeling a person is just wrong and hurtful.
Here are some words you should avoid using:
Mentally ill, Emotionally disturbed, Insane Crazy, Odd, Abnormal, Psycho, Maniac, Lunatic, Looney, Wacko, Cuckoo, Mental, Deranged, Mad, Loopy, Out of it, Slow, Nuts, Disturbed, Demented, Screw Loose, Brain dead, High or low functioning, Delusional, Case, Issues, Schizophrenic.
When in doubt simply call a person by their name.
Ignorance and discrimination bring serious obstacles for those with disabilities, lets not make it worse.
“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”