"The Weather is Sure Bipolar Today" - Using Mental Illness Terms

January 25, 2014 Natasha Tracy

I think we've all heard it - people using mental illness terms to describe something other than mental illness. But if you say, "The weather is sure schizophrenic today," is that okay? How about if you say, "Man, that girl sure is bipolar," after your friend gets angry with you. Is that okay?

In this video I look at ways that people using mental illness terms outside of talking about serious health issues and discuss whether this is acceptable or not.

Video - Using Mental Illness Terms for Non-Health-Related Matters

Breaking Bipolar Blog

People are going to disagree with me on this one, I have no doubt, but in some cases, I think it's okay to use words like "bipolar" to refer to something other than bipolar disorder proper. I don't find this offensive and I wish people would just relax sometimes.

On the other hand, there are times when it's really not okay. Watch this video for more.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2014, January 25). "The Weather is Sure Bipolar Today" - Using Mental Illness Terms, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, March 2 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

March, 1 2014 at 6:34 pm

It's like saying "your jeans are as ugly as cancer". Who says that? no one.

phil jordan
February, 4 2014 at 12:47 pm

The only word that upsets me is retard. I can be very vocal and aggressive over that.

January, 29 2014 at 8:14 pm

I see your point. It is very hard for me to hear though. I hate when people refer to the weather as bipolar. It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. I want to relax about it but my body and brain have a reaction every time.

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