Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks…

Seriously people. The next time that I hear”Oh I must tidy up, I’m so OCD today” or “Oh she’s up one minute and down the next – she’s so bipolar!” I am going to stuff my walking stick right up that person’s asshole and turn them into a fucking lollipop. I swear I am.

Listen up people. Suffering from mental illness is no triviality and neither is it a fucking joke. I have struggles with several mental health issues, OCD and bipolar being two of them, so it really does set my teeth on edge when I hear someone coming out with an off the cuff, totally fucking moronic comment like that.

When we said we wanted mental health disorders to be spoken about more, we didn’t mean for you to appropriate them into your everyday conversations.

Lately (and unfortunately), it is becoming something of the norm that mental health disorders find their way into everyday discussions, and not in the way we’d like them to. I can’t count on my hand how many times I’ve heard someone who’s had a minor inconvenience or mishap go on to complain about how ‘depressed’ they are. Not only is it infuriating, but it’s hurtful.

For those diagnosed with depression, you’ll know it’s not something that suddenly happens after something goes wrong, or you’ve had a ‘bad day.’ It’s a constant state, you’re trapped in it, and it is definitely not something that can be used as an adjective.

No, Sarah, just because your boyfriend hasn’t texted back in three hours, doesn’t mean you’re not depressed.

You are upset, sad, down, blue (see ‘unhappy‘ in the thesaurus for more synonyms) but you are certainly not depressed.

However by comparing your sadness to a mental health disorder, what you’ve done is silence the kid three seats down from you who’s been dealing with this disorder for months, who’s struggling to wake up every morning, who’s on medication just to get them through the day.

You’re comparing a moment of sadness in your life, to a lifetime of theirs.

But it’s not just depression that is used as an adjective, it’s next to all mental health disorders. I remember sitting in class once whilst a group of teenage boys were stalking a girl’s Instagram page. They reached a picture of her where she looked skinny, slim, and thin, and all they could think to say was, “Wow, she’s so anorexic!” I was thinking to myself, “Really? Out of all the words to call her, you had to relate it back to a mental health disorder?”

The list goes on; calling someone who organizes their work neatly on a table ‘OCD’, calling someone who’s mood has changed from the last time you saw them ‘bipolar’, not getting a good nights sleep and complaining that you must have ‘insomnia.’ They are not adjectives, they are our real mental health disorders that real people face. We have not come forward about them for you to simply misdiagnose yourself after one incident.

So next time you feel the need to compare your sad moment. tidying of your room or unexpected mood swing to a mental health disorder, open a thesaurus. There are plenty of synonyms; use a different one.

26 thoughts on “Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks…

  1. hcyip

    Good post. It is annoying how people trivialize serious mental disorders by using it to describe minor incidents. I hear depression being used casually a lot and it’s really disheartening. I hope you can get this message out to more people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks… | By the Mighty Mumford

  3. THANK YOU so much for your comment about OCD and straightening your desk. My family thinks I’m OCD because I want them to pick up the crap they throw around the living room — one of them is 67, the other one 39! You’d think they’d grow up sometime, wouldn’t you? Why is it so terrible to want things picked up and put away? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so totally agree with all you say. Some mothers even use these terms for their young children, when children are out of control for lack of of discipline. It’s not funny when you wake and can’t get out of bed, everything is so dark, you wish that you haven’t woken, there is nothing to keep going for, your body does not work your mind is where?. There is no purpose to life, I won’t take any medication, I just have to fight my way through. Try and climb that large black wall in front of me, it takes time but I make it. All the very best to you.

    Reblogging “It’s something you have to fight through” .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I reckon people use these terms to describe ‘ordinary’ feelings as a way of dramatizing them. Some of this is down to the egoism, and resulting isolation, which our cultures encourage. Big subject, agree we need to be careful with the terms. Use down (or even down in the dumps) rather than depressed, for example …

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Taru Gupta

    More people need to know this. As a psychology student myself as well as someone who has suffered from clinical depression for a long time, it is agonizing to hear someone use serious medical terminology so casually in conversations. What is even more upsetting is with a growth of awarness of mental disorder and their active symptoms, people have started turning them into a joke. Using words such as ‘OMG I want to die’ or ‘I crossed the road without looking’ in a nonsensical form makes me want to throw up because those words were once my reality. I just wish that with an openness to mental health also comes an understanding of the gravity of words that people seem to throw around lately.

    Liked by 1 person

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