Stigmatizing language, like using the word “crazy,” can have a significant impact on individuals living with mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. Despite this, mental health conditions continues to be stigmatized, and language plays a significant role in perpetuating that.
Using the word “crazy” to describe someone or something can reinforce harmful stereotypes and reinforce the idea that mental illness is something to be ashamed of. This can lead to individuals not seeking help for fear of being judged or labeled. A study by NAMI found that 63% of individuals with mental health conditions do not seek treatment due to fear of stigma.
Furthermore, describing someone’s behavior as “crazy” can be dismissive of the fact that they may be experiencing a mental health condition. Research has shown that individuals who experience mental health conditions face discrimination in many areas of their lives, including education, employment, and healthcare. A study by the National Survey on Discrimination found that individuals with mental health conditions face more discrimination than those with physical disabilities.
It’s essential to use language that is respectful and non-judgmental when discussing mental health. Instead of using words like “crazy,” try using terms like “unusual” or “unexpected.” The use of person-first language, such as “person with schizophrenia” instead of “schizophrenic,” is also important in reducing stigmatization.
In addition to changing our language, it’s also important to educate ourselves about mental health conditions and the impact of stigmatization. By understanding the facts about mental health, we can combat myths and stereotypes, and create a more inclusive society for individuals living with mental health conditions.