We often use words in ways that they were not intended to be used. One classic example is the word “cool”. We don’t always use this to refer to something being cold, we often use it in place of awesome, or amazing to show how much we may like something. This is a harmless example of how we use language in creative and various ways. But sometimes our altered use of words is not always harmless.
It is common for us to use terms borrowed from psychology to describe things as well. When we say “the weather is so bipolar today”, nearly everyone understands what we are trying to say, but the misuse of the term bipolar can have negative effects on people who actually experience the illness. By misusing terms like these we portray bipolar disorder as something that is thoughtless, negative, and as something that should be avoided – whether or not that was our intent. This stigma may cause people to feel shame, guilt, or may even prevent people from seeking the help they might need. By recognizing our misuse of mental health terms we can begin to reduce stigma, so people are better able to find the help they may need. If you are experiencing a mental health challenge, and would life further guidance or support in managing your issue. LifeRoots offers a free 20-minute consultation. I would love to discuss how we can build your skills an wellbeing so you can conquer this challenge in your life.
If you would like to learn more about psychology, and how we often use psychological terms incorrectly, check out the video linked below. Here Hank Green from SciShow talks about 4 terms that we use incorrectly.