JULY IS BIPOC MENTAL HEALTH MONTH AND A GOOD TIME TO REFLECT ON HOW WE USE THESE TERMS, AND THEIR IMPACT ON PEOPLE OF COLOR.
BY ISHA WEERASINGHE July 31st 2023
At least twice a day, I hear the phrases “It’s driving me insane!” or “That was crazy” to describe everyday occurrences.
Words like “crazy,” “mad,” “insane,” and “nuts” have been completely absorbed into our lexicon, and we don’t think twice about using them. Casual use of these terms, however, can be stigmatizing and dehumanizing for people with mental health conditions.
People often don’t think about the origin of these phrases or their true meaning. They often reinforce society’s negative view of people struggling with their mental health and can lead to fatal consequences.
Casual use of these terms, however, can be stigmatizing and dehumanizing for people with mental health conditions.
Several decades ago my mother was diagnosed with a serious mental health condition — undifferentiated schizophrenia — bringing this issue close to my heart. Her experiences motivated me to pursue a career in mental health policy and devote my energy to eradicating stigma and expanding access to culturally responsive care.
When someone casually says, “she’s so crazy” in an off-handed way, they could be talking about someone like my mom.
TO CONTINUE READING: https://wordinblack.com/2023/07/the-damage-we-do-when-we-throw-around-terms-like-crazy/