Mental IllnessLet’s get rid of the words “Mental Illness” and “Mentally Ill.”
They’re toxic words, loaded with very negative emotions. They bring to mind images of people with weird and bizarre behaviors, who are very dangerous, and who should be locked up to protect the rest of us “normal” people.
Unfortunately, they unfairly stigmatize millions and millions of our fellow citizens who suffer from little more than a chemical imbalance in their brains. That’s really no different than people who have, for example, thyroid problems — nothing more than a chemical imbalance in their thyroid glands. In nearly all cases, both problems are easily resolved with medication.
Let’s face it. When we talk about illnesses of our bodies, we use very specific words: cancer, heart attack, dizziness, over-active bladder, emphysema, tuberculosis — to name just a few. So, why can’t we use the word “depression” as a specific condition rather than referring to it as a mental illness. After all, depression is something that most of have had, or will have, at some point in our lives.