Different ways of saying ‘mental illness.’

I have heard many people who are ill say; ‘Isn’t there another word for mental illness?’ OR, ‘If only there was another way to say mental illness or mentally ill.’  These are some labels I have collected after reading all kinds of nasty uses of ways to describe someone with a mental illness. CRAZY, WACHO, SCHIZO.

no more stigma 5

no more stigma 6

no more stigma 10

no more stigma 3

no more stigma 4




labels 3

This led me to peruse dictionaries, study the internet, visit psychiatric hospitals and talk to mental health workers including psychologists and psychiatrists about changing the way they describe these people,  and this is what I came up with.

How about saying: a person with a mental illness, a distressed person, someone with mental health issues, a psychiatric survivor, someone diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar illness, a person with a mental health history, or even a mental health client. BUT the best seems to be the the term ‘a mental health consumer.’ Why? Because,  this person is part of the mental health system so, to all intents and purpose, he/she is a consumer.

My final choice will probably be to call that individual ‘a person’ as he/she has a name, is a human being, so the other descriptions are not really appropriate, are they?


3 thoughts on “Different ways of saying ‘mental illness.’

  1. watbled

    Why say, “mental illness”? You don’t say “I have a physical illness”. You say “I’m sick”. Why distinguish? Sickness is sickness and no-one is responsible for BEING sick. As in all disease you have to cope with it, treat it (or try), live with it or die with it. You should never be ashamed of it. We are not in the 19thC we no longer have to hide mad Granny in the attick or lock away the “mentally retarded” uncle so that NO-ONE knows! How shameful!! If someone has a brain tumour and the comportement problems that may go with it no-one is ashamed. Why be ashamed of schitzophrenia, chronique depression or anything else. A rose is still a rose be it by any other name… No shame – help, comprehension, patience and above all acceptance.

  2. Pingback: National Health Awareness Week…..Let the world know your’e there! | Let me tell U a story

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