Jesse J. Anderson


Why I Am Trying to Stop Using Words like Crazy, Insane, Etc.

Language is always evolving.

When I was growing up, kids often used "retarded" as a casual negative word. Today, we know how hurtful that was and it would be appalling to hear it used that way.

By making words a pejorative, we stigmatize the thing that they are attached to. It becomes easier to think poorly about the source of the word, even if that's not the intention when using it as slang.

As mental health awareness has grown, words like "crazy, insane, etc" have taken on that same feeling to many people who suffer from mental disorders.

I know it seems harmless to many. Honestly, myself included. Despite having a mental disorder, I don't get offended by someone saying "crazy". It doesn't seem like it has anything to do with me.

But I am all too aware of the negative stereotypes of ADHD and other mental disorders.

Using these slang words can associate negativity to mental illness. When I tell someone I have a mental disorder, I do become more associated with those negative words.

If I hear someone say "that was crazy", I am not silently judging or correcting them.

But it does feel like things are trending that way.

I know it will be hard to undo the habit of using these words.

In trying to use them less, I'm discovering just how often they are used by others... which is wildly more common than I thought.

So I'm putting in the work now.