Negative Mental Illness Terms: Think Before You Speak

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

There are some things that should be left unsaid, including negative terms for mental health. Learn what some of them are and what to say instead at HealthyPlace.

Negative Mental Illness Terms: Think Before You Speak

In the today's world, people tend to say phrases that may be hurtful; many times, without even thinking about it. Sometimes, these phrases target specific populations – like those struggling with mental illness. Statements such as, "You're acting bipolar" is one phrase that seems to be greatly overused. Other sayings such as, "You're so gay" and "That's retarded" are also just as hurtful and need to be recognized and stopped.

Why are these negative mental illness sayings thrown around with such ease? (Worst Thing To Say To A Person With Bipolar Disorder) It may be due to the lack of knowledge about mental illness. In addition, kids and teens have become so numb to the words they utter, they are ignorant about the ramifications. When someone struggling with bipolar disorder hears - "he's been so bipolar lately" - that comment may send them into a depression and lead to fear about ever opening up about their demons.

These derogatory comments minimize mental illness. It's crucial to think before you speak. And if you hear someone spewing those phrases or comments, maybe next time you'll think about pointing that out.

Articles Related to Mental Illness Terms

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: What effect do comments such as, “You’re so bipolar” or “You’re so gay” or “You’re so retarded” have on you? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Family Members’ Attitudes About Mental Illness
  2. Waking Up with Anxiety. Why Can’t I Just Get Out of Bed?
  3. Tips on Dealing with Bipolar and Exhaustion

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. Please share the newsletter on any social network you belong to. For updates throughout the week, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Instagram.

Thank you,

Community Partner Team - America's Mental Health Channel
"When you're at, you're never alone."

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2014, November 17). Negative Mental Illness Terms: Think Before You Speak, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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