Monday, 12 January 2015

Things That Are Not Ok

I found this on Tumblr today and it really struck such a chord with me. In this day and age, I think the majority of people can say they've dealt with issues of the mental health variety in the past, are currently dealing with them or have someone close to them who has. I'm no different. I have borderline personality disorder which was diagnosed about a year and a half ago but it went undiagnosed for about a decade before I actually worked up the courage to sort my mental health out. I won't go into detail but it's safe to say that after everything, phrases like those depicted above make me flinch.

In the English language (and I'd imagine in all other languages), we have a vast, colouful, descriptive vocabulary available to us and yet people still end up throwing words like 'depressed' around in the most nonchalant way, entirely void of context. Admittedly most people don't realise the damage they are doing by using words like 'depressed' in an incorrect context. This cycle needs to be broken because this is not alright.

Think before you speak. As my mammy was oh so fond of telling my brother and I, don't use words you don't understand. Know the correct definitions of words. Do not under any circumstances use mental health disorders and issues as adjectives. Don't belittle these problems.

I'm all for normalising mental health issues, that's definitely something that needs to happen but this is not the way to do it. We shouldn't be afraid of these words and terms but we absolutely need to be sure we're using them in the right context.

If you're someone who says things like the phrases in the picture above, please think about what you're saying. Please try find an alternative way of saying how you felt without belittling anyone and their situation. I cannot stress how important it is to educate yourself on these matters to avoid accidentally using harmful language or behaviour. You might not even realise the potential damage or triggers in what you're saying (and that's not your fault) but the thing is that once you are aware it's so, so important to correct your behaviour.

Be conscious of your words and their effects. Think before you speak. If you're aware that you've been using something in the wrong context then make a conscious effort to change that. Be educated, be mindful, be informed.

#posivibes til the end.