Here's The Real Problem With Casually Using The Word 'Depressed'

Words matter.

We need to change the way we talk about mental health.

People often use words associated with mental illness, like “depressed” or “OCD,” in casual conversation as a way to express annoyance, make a joke or explain their feelings. In truth, this is hugely disrespectful to the one in five American adults who experience a mental health condition in a given year.

It’s actually demeaning to those with true illnesses that can’t easily stop these behaviors,” Dan Reidenberg, executive director of the suicide awareness organization SAVE, previously told The Huffington Post. “If we trivialize them into something else or we make that become the person’s identity, we have done everyone a disservice.”

Artist Annie Erskine explains it best in these comics for CollegeHumor: The words you say matter when it comes to mental health. Take a look at the illustrations below:

CollegeHumor/Annie Erskine
CollegeHumor/Annie Erskine
CollegeHumor/Annie Erskine

Head over to CollegeHumor to see the rest of this spot-on series. Bottom line? Mental illness isn’t a punchline, it’s a health condition.

Before You Go

Anxiety Comics