I am experiencing something very strange. I have gotten myself so worked up that I feel detached from my body. My chest hurts, I’m so fuzzy and this is just horrible! I’m going to attempt to distract myself!
In Canada it is Mental Health Week! There has been some discussion already on what to call people who have a mental illness. Some prefer to be called mentally ill and other’s want absolutely no associations with medical definitions!
I think it’s great that we have so many words that we can use to describe ourselves! How we label ourselves in regards to mental health is just as personal as the language we use to describe other parts of our self!
This does lead to confusion because I may be okay with calling myself one thing and you may hate it! How do we solve that? By asking! What do you like to be called? That’s the language you should use and it will change depending on who you talk too.
I have my own preferred terms/labels that I will use to talk about myself.
- Mental Health Issue
- Emotionally different
It doesn’t bother me to identify as the actual disorder in the sense of I should not deny an aspect of myself. I call myself a singer because I sing. So I should be free to call myself borderline if that is what I am.
Also how you use these terms/labels makes a huge difference. I prefer to use “with” or “experiencing”.
- “I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.”
- “I am experiencing a mental health issue.”
I am a huge fan of reclaiming language which is why I don’t even mind describing myself as “crazy”, “freak” or “fucked up”. Embracing these terms is a slippery slope since they can easy be used against you.
I try to remember that words only have power over as for as long as we let them. Call me a “chair” enough and I may begin to think “chair” is a degrading word. Directly identifying with the illness we’re usually told is dangerous but I feel what makes it so dangerous is everyone hating that you’ve been diagnosed with it. Identify as “crazy” is bad because we’re told that being “crazy” is undesirable.
It’s stigma’s fault, not mine. I will always be who I want to be regardless of what everyone else thinks. It’s easier that way. It may be painful but I can’t continue to try to be what others want me to be but that is way more painful. It just doesn’t work that way.