Your Words Have Meaning

people should not be using medical terms as lightly as they do

Olivia Sherlock, Story Editor

“She’s so bipolar.” “He’s such a sociopath.” “Oh my gosh, I am so OCD today.”

These are all sentences I hear weekly walking down the halls at school. I understand that the motives of these comments could be harmless, but the repercussions are not. 

Using real medical terms in a derogative and uniformed way is harmful to the person being put down by these words. More importantly, it is also hurting those who genuinely do suffer from said disease. 

When mental health is not accepted or taken seriously it makes it harder for people to accept that they need help.  

Bipolar is a word often thrown around when someone has a swift shift in mood. But a person with Bipolar disorder suffers from a lot more than just mood shifts, it can be debilitating to everyday tasks. 

Comparing someone being angry and happy on the same day to someone with a serious disability is ignorant and offensive. People work hard to overcome mental illness and taking away from their strides towards health by belittling it to how your neurotypical friend acts is not okay. 

Self-diagnosing yourself with ADD when you happen to have a lot of energy isn’t cute, it’s just hurtful to the people who genuinely suffer from it. While you can have distracted or confused moments, that is not equivalent to a neurological disability.  

If you are not a doctor diagnosing a patient then stay away from using serious medical terms to joke around, or even bully people. 

People claim to want to normalize mental health but then talk about it in a way that belittles it. 

If you don’t have a mental illness don’t say you do. If you do not have a degree to diagnose people with mental illnesses then don’t do that. 

It should not hurt you to not be able to use words people find offensive, and it shouldn’t be hard to be respectful to others. 

If someone corrects you don’t double down and defend an insensitive comment, learn, grow and be better.