Mental Illnesses Are Not Adjectives

One thing that I feel very passionate about is the fact that mental illnesses are flung around so frequently to describe everyday, mundane situations, and it makes my skin crawl every time I hear one being used as an adjective.
Its become the norm now that people use mental illnesses to describe how they're feeling in one specific moment, without thinking, so nobody thinks anything of it and doesn't say anything, well, if you don't mind, I would quite like to say something.
I think the fact that people use mental illnesses so flippantly now is a massive contributing factor of the fact that there is so much stigma surrounding them. For example, someone who likes to keep their books in alphabetical order will be described by their friends as "OMG YOU'RE SO OCD" and someone who is worried about their Maths test next week will tell everyone that they're "SO DEPRESSED!" But you need to realise what is actually going on, because that's the thing, your're organised, you don't have OCD, you're stressed, not depressed.

This also leads to so many people not actually understanding mental illnesses properly. If someone tells you that they seriously do have OCD and battle every day of their life with it, you're likely to think that you have it too because you've heard the acronym being used to often to describe the things that you do, therefore, you aren't fully clued up on what having OCD really entails.
Personally, I am so tired of living at a time when people just do not get mental illness but I know that it isn't always their fault, so we need to work at this. It's something I talk about a lot, on Twitter especially, but please, make it your mission to EDUCATE YOURSELF. We all have an extremely beautiful language right at our fingertips but we don't always use it to its full potential, which is sad. There is a whole world of synonyms for mental illnesses out there, so take the time to read up on them and memorise them. Don't just settle for "Ugh I'm so depressed" because its what everyone else is saying. By doing that, you're belittling the illness, causing those who truly do have it to see it as irrelevant and making them more reluctant to open up about it because its just "something everyone has."
We were given language for a reason, words are there to be used, so venture far out into the world of adjectives and realise that mental illnesses are not there to describe how you feel about not having written the essay you have due tomorrow. Illnesses are called illnesses for a reason, some can spend their entire lives suffering with them, so please don't be so disrespectful as to just treat them like a part of your daily routine. Lifelong illnesses are not something to use to describe your 24 hour feelings.

One final thing. Using mental illnesses in everyday conversations can also lead to people incorrectly self-diagnosing, which is incredibly dangerous. Think before you speak, as they say. Just don't do it.

In case you are struggling with getting started on adjusting your vocabulary, then I have put together a list of things that you can say instead of using mental illnesses. Mental illnesses are NOT adjectives. Try using these words and phrases instead because you'll probably find that they describe your situation much more accurately.

"I'm depressed":
1) I'm sad
2) I'm feeling a little bit down
3) I can't be bothered
4) I'm not in a good mood today
5) I just feel miserable today
6) I just want to go back to bed
7) I'm not in the mood
8) I don't really want to talk right now
9) Ugh
10) I just want to hibernate in my bedroom for a week
11) Things are just getting on top of me
12) It's all been a bit too much lately
13) I'm kinda struggling to cope
14) I have a lot on my mind right now
15) I'm not doing too good
16) I've felt better, I won't lie
17) I'm really fed up
18) Feeling quite low at the moment
19) I want to eat my bodyweight in chocolate
20) I don't really feel like smiling
21) I just want to blast my music into my earphones on the highest volume and ignore the world
22) I'm not feeling this
23) I'm just a bit gloomy
24) I'm blue da ba de da ba di
25) I would really like a cuddle right now
26) I just want to do absolutely nothing
27) I want to be left alone
28) You know what I fancy? A good cry
29) I just want my Mum
30) I want it to be tomorrow already

1) You're slim
2) I wish I had a body like yours
4) You're gorgeous
5) Body goals
6) You look great in that outfit
7) That top shows off your teeny waist perfectly
8) Your legs look fab in those jeans
9) You should be body confident
10) You're lovely just the way you are
11) You could be a model
12) (or if you're genuinely worried about someone): hey, have you eaten today?
13) Are you hungry?
14) Would you like to go and grab a bite to eat?
15) Do you think you eat enough?
16) Now, I know it isn't my place to comment on your weight, but I'm worried about you

"You almost gave me a panic attack!":
1) I jumped out of my skin!
2) WOW you scared me
3) You gave me a fright
4) Stop creeping up on me
5) I though you were being serious!
6) You're such a joker
7) Ugh you're not funny
8) I feel like I've just seen a ghost
9) I had me worried
10) Snap out of it
11) Stop being annoying
12) I was terrified then!

"I literally have anxiety!":
1) I feel quite nervous
2) I don't feel comfortable with that
3) I don't like talking to people on the phone
4) I don't like ordering my own food in restaurants
5) I feel a bit uneasy in large crowds of people
6) I like to spend time on my own
7) I don't really fancy going out
8) I feel slightly panicky sometimes
9) I'm quite a shy person
10) I don't enjoy public speaking
11) I feel slightly on edge sometimes

"I'm so OCD!":
1) I'm so organised
2) A place for everything and everything in its place
3) I like to keep things neat
4) I hate it when things aren't where they're supposed to be
5) Tidy house, tidy mind
6) I think its nice when things are in alphabetical order
7) I need to stop caring so much about everything being so perfect
8) I just like things to look nice
9) You're only jealous of how organised I am
10) I feel like I really have my life together
11) Everything looks so much better like that
12) I simply like to be prepared

"I have such bad insomnia!":
1) I can't sleep
2) I've really been having trouble sleeping recently
3) Counting sheep just isn't working
4)  I really shouldn't keep going to bed at 3am
5) I need to learn when to put my phone down when I'm in bed
6) I was tossing and turning all night last night
7) I just don't feel tired during the night time
8) I'm just wide awake
9) I wish I had someone to cuddle at night, maybe then I would sleep better
10) I wish I was still a baby so my parents could rock me to sleep
11) Why can't I get to sleep for hours at night?
12) I'm exhausted

You see, mental illnesses don't always have to be the first words you reach for, and there are plenty more alternatives where those ones came from! Let me know the ones you use most often. <3

Love, Emily :) xx


  1. I really like this, bc I think we use the mental illness to much to decribe how we fell, and I do not like it myself as I am having a mental illness! Thanks! You are an amazing blogger

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog post, Louise! I am really glad you enjoyed it. I definitely think that mental illnesses are thrown around too much, I'm so sorry to hear you are suffering, I'm always here if you would like a chat! I promise things will get better. <3 Thank you for such a lovely comment. Xx