Sunday, January 12, 2020

How can you be "ill" and "well" at the same time? You can't

Something has happened in very recent times. Media are now referring to "mental health issues" rather than "mental illness". I used to wonder: how can you be "ill" and "well" at the same time? Basically, you can't. The labelling was problematic and very stigmatizing. Years ago, we spoke of "cancer victims", even if the person was still alive and recovering. That dire label was dumped at some point for words like "survivor" and "warrior". Language DOES affect the way we think, more than we consciously know. It is somewhat more palatable to say "I have mental health issues" rather than "I am mentally ill". It's supposed to mean the same thing, isn't it? If not, why not? But how miserable that second one is, locking a person into a category of lifelong illness with no possibility of parole.