Fighting Stigmas, Enforcing Changes, Passing Classes

Copyright 2012 © Created by Caitlin Cunningham Disclaimer.


There are some terms and phrases that you will hear over and over again. Here is a brief run-down.

“Mental Illness” This is such a misnomer because it is neither mental nor (in my opinion) an illness. It is physical because it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is no more mental than epilepsy. It isn’t an illness either. “Illness” implies that you’ve caught something contagious. I am not contagious. Moreover, it implies that my thoughts and feelings are “sick” or wrong.  I use it on this site because it is standard and generally non-offensive.

“You are not your diagnosis” This is in response to the tendency for society to say “that person is bipolar.” No one would ever say “that person is cancer.” I am more than just bipolar. I am not “mentally ill” I have a mental illness.

“Mad” Some groups are pushing to reclaim this word. Traditionally it has been used in a derogatory sense but not all people with mental illnesses see it as a negative.  For more information about this project please visit

“Nothing is a greater impediment to being

on good terms with others than

being ill at ease with yourself.”

        Honore de Balzac