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Top 5 Phrases We Need to Retire

There are stigmatizing phrases everywhere we look. They’re at coffee shops and on t-shirts. It’s almost impossible to avoid them. However, you can think about the words you use and what they really mean. If you hear someone say one of these phrases, point out to them why what they’re saying is not okay. What we say matters. Let’s start acting like it.

1. “Cute but psycho”

Everybody loves a good graphic t-shirt. They often have funny or catchy phrases printed on them. However, “cute but psycho” isn’t a funny or catchy phrase. It is making light of those dealing with psychosis. Is the person wearing the t-shirt dealing with hallucinations or delusions? Probably not, so let’s get rid of stigmatizing sayings like this one.

2. “The weather is so bipolar”

Mental illnesses are not adjectives and they should not be used as such. Bipolar Disorder is real; it’s just as real as cancer or diabetes. We don’t use those disorders as adjectives, so why do we do it with mental illnesses? The weather might be unpredictable and quickly changing, but this isn’t Bipolar Disorder. Let’s hang up the phrases that use mental illnesses as adjectives.

3. “Post-concert depression”

I think the phrase people that use this saying are looking for is “post-concert sadness.” I’m not sure if the people who use this phrase know what depression is, but it’s not something that happens because you’re sad a concert has ended. Situational sadness is not depression. Let’s stop pretending it is.

4. “I’m so addicted”

Being “addicted to chocolate” or “addicted to a television show” makes light of those suffering from actual addictions. Just because you like something doesn’t mean you are addicted to it. Addiction is a real disease that impacts people and families all over. Making light of addiction is wrong. Stop using this phrase.

5. “If this doesn’t happen, I’ll kill myself”

Making suicide jokes are never okay. Just because you didn’t get a good grade on a test or lost something you cared about doesn’t mean that you will be suicidal. Don’t pretend you are — it’s not cute or trendy. Suicide is a serious act that takes the lives of so many people. It takes and ruins lives. Stop joking about suicide.

Collectively as a society, we need to be better. We need to be more attuned to what we say and how we say it. The words we use matter; let’s start acting like it. If you are dealing with these very real diseases, please seek help. You are not alone.