Quick Thought

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Gah, he's just acting so Bipolar today! Up one minute, down the next!"
"This popcorn is so addicting. Seriously, I just can't stop."
"I'm just so depressed they canceled that show."

We all do it. I've done it innumerable times. Whatever I'm saying is just a touch more funny or emphatic if I add one of those words.

It's not just that it minimizes my experience with Bipolar disorder. (It does, just a little. Okay, sometimes a lot.) Worse, it minimizes the way we react to those things.

Oh, you're addicted to popcorn? Just stop eating it. Oh you're addicted to drugs? Just stop taking them. Just stop.

Having mood swings? Just think about how other people are feeling and calm down. Being happy is a choice.

Except not, right?

Because it's just not that easy or as simple as we make it seem with our words.

And sure, most people probably don't mean any of it. I'm not on a quest to ban these words from existence, barring diagnostic phrases. I won't hate you or think less of you if you mention someone being "bipolar" in a conversation when they really aren't. And I just wasn't thinking when I said "addict" or "bipolar" or "depressed" either. But when I never think about what an addiction truly is, or what it means to call someone bipolar when they're not, when we are faced with those disorders for real, are we truly prepared for how to deal with them?

{And I do mean deal. Not dismiss.}

Your words have power, sometimes more than you could ever be aware.

Choose them wisely.

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