Casual, slang, and negative references to mental illnesses have become somewhat common in our culture. Often, people don’t intend any harm when they use them, but the fact is, they can be harmful to people with mental illnesses.
Click on each quote to hear real examples of the impact that words can have.
Phrases that reference mental illness terms in a negative or disrespectful way are born out of the stigma attached to mental illnesses and their use makes it harder to move beyond that stigma. And, if their use makes anyone feel uncomfortable, sad, or upset, even when that is not the intention, the respectful response is to refrain from using these comments.