Mental Illnesses Are Not Adjectives

This is a subject I’ve always had a spot in my heart for but I never knew how to put it into words. I hope this post will make you more conscientious and aware of mental illnesses.


To understand what this statement means it might be beneficial if I give examples of when mental illnesses are used as adjectives.

  • “That’s so retarded.”
  • “He/She/I/Whoever was acting schizophrenic.”
  • “The weather is bipolar.”
  • “They’re crazy.”

You get the gist. Using mental illnesses in a phrase that degrades them or making them the forefront of a “joke”.

The thing is….it isn’t funny. Not if you have experienced a close family member/friend being diagnosed with a mental illness or even if you have one yourself.

A family member of mine was diagnosed with schizophrenia over 10 years ago. It was hard for a long time. But, our family was very supportive and loving and I believe that combined with prayer, great doctors, and the right medicine is what helped them so much. We never gave up on them.

Even though you might not understand what they’re going through, you can still be supportive. You never really know what someone goes through unless you’ve really experienced it yourself. And don’t forget how the person was before they were diagnosed. They are still there. And they need your support now more than ever.

So please, please do not use mental illnesses as adjectives. Every time I hear someone say the word “schizo”, “bipolar”, or “retarded” degrading, I feel so hurt but also saddened because they (and society as a whole) just don’t understand. They haven’t been affected by something that heart wrenching. They haven’t seen someone they love suffer.

Think before you speak. Mental illnesses are not adjectives.


* for the sake of privacy, please do not leave comments pertaining to individuals names regarding mental illnesses 🙂