Mental health terms that are nothing to joke about


Quite often, we’ll use terms in our everyday conversations, not understanding their actual meaning. Here are terms that you should think long and hard about before throwing them around.

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The meaning is an informal and offensive word for psychopath or psychopathic; a mentally unstable person. Psycho is someone suffering from chronic mental disorder where sufferers have no empathy for other human beings and animals, and also exhibit antisocial behavior. Serial killers are often diagnosed with this disorder, but there are more people who are able to keep a functional life while suffering from this. So is your friend really psycho?


So if someone is moody, we’re quick to say they’re bipolar. Well it’s actually a mental disorder characterised by periods of mania, alternating with periods of depression. It’s really no fun for those who suffer from it. The depression can be debilitating and the highs can be so euphoric that it hurts. So think hard before you throw that term around.


Obsessive Compulsive-Disorder is characterised by persistent intrusion of unwanted thoughts or the performance of actions, perfectionism, indecision, conscientiousness, concern with detail and rigidity. There are people who can’t leave the house because they worried if they closed all the windows or they so scared of germs they continuously wash their hands or sanitize. The disorder can deny the person from experiencing life to the fullest.


A lot of people like to drink, but what is an alcoholic? Alcoholics Anonymous says this is an “illness that represents the combination of physical sensitivity to alcohol and mental obsession, which regardless of consequences, cannot be broken by willpower alone.” Alcoholism is an addiction, just like drug addiction. It compromises your health and wellbeing to an extent that it rules and destroys your life. It’s a disease, not something to make fun of.


Loosely used to refer to schizophrenia, a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality they have wildly eccentric behaviour of episodes in a self-contradictory way. Sufferers often hear voices in their head; something that could really affect their quality of life.

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