A post the other day made me think of the perception that surrounds certain words and how overall this can effect a person suffering from mental illness in a negative fashion just do to the other person not understanding.
Depression - I hate this word for it does not accurately portray what the mental illness is and people see it in too many different ways. When someone says they are depression it could range from a slight "case of the blues" to "major depressive disorder" even though they are on different planets in terms of severity. Which is why people say stupid things like "just put on a smiley face and plow through it" because they do not understand the severity level a person is at. A lot of family thought I just had a slight case of depression due to lack of communication until I spent two straight months in the hospital then they realized the level I was at. I do it constantly on this site as I never say I have depression but I have severe major depressive disorder with psychotic features so the reader knows exactly where I am coming from.
PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at one time was known as shell shock for the main reason the professionals believed it only effected people who have been through combat situations, mind you this is still true but a lot of the combat does not take place on some foreign land but in our own back yards. The name PTSD gives someone a general idea of what the person is going through as the name implies something bad has happened and the person is struggling through it. Lack of education means the majority of the public does not understand the power and destruction that comes along with this disorder but this is going to change when the number of people overseas start showing up in mass numbers with this disorder then it may get the respect and research that it deserves.
Self Harm - Lately I have heard the term self inflicted violence show up as a term to replace the original one which I guess describes the act but it has nothing to do with the reason behind why someone chooses to do this. Too many people confuse self harm with suicide and the too are connected but not in the way most people think. I self harm to save my life not to take it. Maybe a good name for this behavior would be "release valve effect" because basically that is what you are doing, getting rid of bottled up emotions and stress in a rather negative way for a short period.
Borderline - is just a bad name overall as it does not really mean anything nor does it provide a lot of information. Borderline of what? Stability and Instability? Borderline Personality Disorder is about extremes where there is a yes or no or a black or white answer with nothing (or almost nothing) in between so how does borderline fit in? Lately the new terms are Emotional Regulation Disorder or Emotional Intensity Disorder which I guess is more descriptive but again does not sum up the disorder. "false self image disorder" makes more sense in my books.
There are so many other words that have such a broad base that they lead to confusing and lack of communication when dealing with people with little to no understanding of the disorder. I don't know if the purpose of these words were to describe the issue in a nicer light such as PTSD from shell shock so the general public would not be scared away but maybe if the name matched the severity of the disorder then dealing with Joe Public would be easier.
Old Version - Depression, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Chronic Shell Shock Syndrome, Self Harm tendencies
New Version - Severe Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic features, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Emotional Intensity Disorder, Self Inflicted Violence tendencies
I am still me no matter which way you look at it but if I saw the new version I would at least understand the battle at hand before I ran away screaming.
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder