{Mental Health} Don’t Call Me Crazy

Crazy.

I hate that word.

I specially hate that word when it’s used in reference to mental illness.

Please don’t call me crazy. I hear people toss that term around all the time and it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I instantly cringe and want to crawl into myself. Hearing the word makes me feel judged and it takes a swipe at my self esteem.

The worst part? There have been plenty of times I  call myself crazy. I say it in jest, but the end result is the same. I really shouldn’t. It’s a derogatory terms for a medical condition I have no control over.  It’s pretty insensitive of me to call myself as crazy.

When someone calls a menatlly ill person crazy, to me it’s a put

A few nights ago I was at my monthly book club. I really enjoy this group. I have been going on and off for almost eight years. This month we were talking about “The Dinner.” A number of the characters are unstable and at least one of them is diagnosed with some sort of mental illness. As we discussed the book, the term “crazy” was tossed around over and over again.

Each time someone referred to a character as crazy, I felt a little sad. They weren’t trying to hurt my feelings, and I can’t really fault them for not being sensitive to me, since only one of the ladies in the group knows I’m bipolar. But that’s the point. Sometimes, we’re only thoughtful about the words we use when we know there’s someone in the room who might be offended or hurt by our choice. But, what about all the times know nothing about the company we’re in? Are we thoughtful and kind with out word choices? Do we use words that we’d be happy our children would repeat?

We live a world full of people, people who have different struggles and different stories than our own. We often forget that not everyone fits into our idea or perception of how they should be or how their story should unfold.

Don’t call me crazy. Don’t call people with mental illness crazy. Use the approptiate terms. Find out what exactly they are struggling with. Have compassion for their condition. And if you can’t, then just hold your tongue.

Really, what I want people to know is this: words matter. The things you say can be kind and uplifting or cutting and hurtful. Be thoughtful about your words and please, don’t call me crazy.

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