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Change our choice of words

I've been guilty to loosely use some of the words mentioned in this article too.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at the Gleneagles Medical Centre writes quite a detailed article on how our loose usage of words that are associated with mental illness can throw a bad light on them.

He writes that we are to "respect the diseases ....and, even more so, the patients who are labouring under the immense debilitation of these unfortunate illnesses."

He continues to tell is that derogatory terms and negative references to mental illnesses commonly used in media as well as animations and cartoons that portray mental illness in a negative light will cause young children who are exposed to these negative terms growing up believe it is 'linguistically appropriate to use them in such a manner' when it is not.

He adds that "the resulting shame and social stigmatisation associated with having a psychiatric diagnosis" is likely one of the the main reasons why those who do suffer from these illnesses refuse to seek help and treatment.

Could we all make an effort to being more careful with our choice of words to not further stigmatise mental health conditions and diagnoses? Can we learn to respect various health conditions - physical or psychological - that may afflict our family, our friends and ourselves?

Read the full article here.

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