61 minutes | May 16, 2022

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.

Thank you to all our listeners who support the show as monthly members of Maximum Fun

Hey, remember, you’re part of Depresh Mode and we want to hear what you want to hear about. What guests and issues would you like to have covered in a future episode? Write us at depreshmode@maximumfun.org.

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

The Depresh Mode newsletter is available twice a week. Subscribe for free and stay up to date on the show and mental health issues. https://johnmoe.substack.com/

John's acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here. https://read.macmillan.com/lp/the-hilarious-world-of-depression/

Find the show on Twitter @depreshpod and Instagram @depreshpod.

John is on Twitter @johnmoe.

Play Next