Mentally ill people and their family members are sensitive about misuse of words to label mental illnesses because this contributes to the stigma.
Terms like psychotic and insane are inappropriate except when used in a specific medical or legal contest. Sportswriters and other reporters often use the term “schizophrenic offense or government.” Schizophrenia is a brain disease and not multiple or “split” personality. These terms have very specific meanings and apply only to certain groups of ill people. Words like “crazy”, “nuts”, “wacko”, “lunatic”, “sicko” and “loony” are offensive. Most other diseases do not have this stigma and it hurts the mentally ill and their families when they see or hear it.
Much research has been conducted to understand the workings of the brain and finding more medications, with fewer side effects , to combat the major mental illnesses. People with panic disorders and obsessive compulsive behavior are now being successfully treated with new medications.
The Alliance for Mental Illness is composed of family members who support each other, work to educate the public, work toward removing the stigma of mental illness and promote research for treatment, rehabilitation and cure of the diseases. There are 1,800 self-help groups in the country totaling 250,000 members. Local groups are affiliated state and nationally.
Locally, there’s a group in Columbus, and a group in formation in Greensburg. For further information, call 812-663-6370.
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