There’s been an ongoing discussion among bloggers who write about mental illness about using the term “mental health” v. “mental illness”. Bipolar Burble blogger Natasha Tracy explores why the former term can be insulting to those of us with mental illness while Kaitlin Bell Barnett jumps off on Tracy’s post to explore the meaning of illness and health and whether illness can turn into health with medication.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the past week. I was recently asked how to identify myself: as a mental health activist or mental illness health activist. I said mental illness awareness activist, but the editor editing my post didn’t use that terminology.
It might seem like nit picking to even discuss this, but the language we use about ourselves reflects on us both within the consumer community as well as in the larger society. Illness mostly gets a bad rap…it’s a pejorative, seen a personal weakness, and, often, a character flaw.
I cannot write much at the moment to better inform and discuss this issue that the two bloggers I mentioned above. I just want to bring both posts to attention.