The Language of Mental Health
The English language is constantly growing and evolving, and so is our usage of that language. We don’t refer to people with mental illness as “lunatics” anymore. At least we shouldn’t. But there was a time when that was a commonly accepted term.
Even language that we think to be more enlightened can fall out of favor. Person-first terminology has become popular in recent years. That’s where you don’t say “Tom has depression.” You say, “Tom is a person with depression,” in an effort to convey that Tom is a person above anything else. But the person-first has detractors as well, who argue, among other things, that one’s personhood shouldn’t require reiteration and that doing so could call it into question.
We’re joined by Helen Zaltzman noted wordsmith and host of The Allusionist podcast. And we speak with Dr. Ksera Dyette, a therapist in practice in Boston.
Listen to The Allusionist podcast wherever fine pods are cast. Follow Helen Zaltzman on Twitter @HelenZaltzman and on Instagram @helenzaltzman. Learn more about Dr. Ksera Dyette and Cup of Tea Counselling by visiting beacons.ai/cteacounselling. Follow Dr. Dyette on Instagram @cteacounselling and on TikTok @drdyette.
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Help is available right away.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.
International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines
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John's acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/the-hilarious-world-of-depression/
John is on Twitter @johnmoe.