"See what gross inconsistency is tolerated."
-Henry David Thoreau
In today's society it is common to use mental disorders to describe something unrelated. We often do this without thinking. But when you do this it may be hurtful to someone with this mental disorder. It belittle's the struggle that people with the disorder go through. For example, if someone is very particular about how they arrange their belongings you may call them "OCD." In reality Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when a person experiences recurring thoughts (obsessions), creating anxiety. This anxiety is relieved by performing a ritualistic behavior (compulsion). Therefore, it would be completely inaccurate do describe a neat person as having OCD. Also, it makes it seem that people with OCD don't have a real disorder, they just like things neat and clean. The same goes when you call something "gay" meaning that it is bad. It creates this connection that being gay is bad, even if you don't intend to mean this.
Why should I care?
1. When you say things like this you are adding a negative connotation to the condition.
2. Someone with that condition may get offended
3. You will sound smarter if you use other words in the place of the slang
4. You wouldn't go around saying "that is so cancer" so why should it be different for a mental disorder?
So What Do I say instead?
Instead of saying... Say...
Bipolar Mercurial,Capricious, Two-faced
OCD Particular, Finicky, Scrupulous
Gay Silly, Bad (It really depends on how you use it)
Depressed Glum, morose, pessimistic
Retarded Imbecile, dull, moron, slow
It is simple. Just don't turn other people's conditions into adjectives!
"For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever."
-Henry David Thoreau
You might ask "How will me changing help anything"
Sure, just because you choose to alter your vocabulary, doesn't meant that the rest of the world will too. However, it is a step in the right direction. Just one person taking these phrases out of their vocabulary means one less person who may overhear you saying something and be hurt by your words.
It changes the way we look at the world. Instead of going through life just doing or saying what everyone else says, you will be making the decision to be conscientious of other people's thoughts and feelings. If you think something is wrong, don't do it/say it. This can apply to anything from saying offensive slurs to abiding by an unjust law.