“Don’t use us as an adjective…” These are the words that we can hear from mental illness if they can really talk.
Now a days, public are being more open about mental health and mental illness. They are more aware of the conditions and the suffering of a person having such diagnosis. But the question is: do they really understand? Or they just think that they understand? I said so because there are situation where when people saw someone as being so clean and keeping things in order, they would blurt: “Oh, you have an OCD!” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Maybe that person just want everything in order and some people around him diagnose him already. There is also an incident when they saw their friend on a diet and they would just tease her having Anorexia Nervosa. When in fact, she just simply on a diet and doesn’t have any disorder. Sometimes those kind of people leads them in really believing that they have those disorders but the truth is they are victims of lack of knowledge.
We cannot just simply diagnose a person just because we saw something on him that represents a certain disorder. We have to accept the fact that we are not in the right place to use those terms to describe a person. Those terms are not designed to use as an adjective, they exist in the rationale to help those person in that condition. In addition, we should always be careful because using them as an adjective may worsen the situation and hurt them. Furthermore, we may not be aware but we can shatter their self-esteem through using their conditions in describing them. Before we know it, we already cause them their own life. We may not want to include suicide here because some of you may think that, “it’s too much, I just said she has depression and now she killed herself because of that.” But that’s true. It is possible. It’s like a domino effect. We can harm them more than we think.
It’s never easy having mental illness and all but another factor that makes it more difficult for them to conquer their own condition is the people around them. The way the people around them always see them as the person having depression, OCD, eating disorders, and other disorders.
It’s not right to always see them that way. They deserve to be described as someone they really are and not someone with disorder. They are just unique but they are not less. That’s the biggest challenge to us. To stop using disorders to describe someone. Every time that we will be tempted to diagnose them and use disorders as an adjective we should think again and think of the effects to them.
“Don’t use us as an adjective… we are not describing words. We are terms that should only be used by the experts in the field.” These are the words that we can hear from mental illness if they can really talk. Instead of using the disorders to describe, when we see a person having a symptoms of those disorders, we should encourage them to visit an expert in the field who can help them.