The Words We Use

words_can_hurt_or_heal1As children, many of us learn that there are words which, for a variety of reasons, should be avoided.  Not only can the use of these “taboo” words result in a terse scolding, but one might also find oneself with a mouth full of bubbles, thanks to a bar of soap. Unfortunately, some words or phrases are commonly used without a person recognizing that they are equally as offensive and/or hurtful as those seen as taboo.

In a recent blog post, JR Thorpe identifies nine mental illness phrases that should not be used.  According to Thorpe, “There are generally two reasons for eliminating mental illness terms from your common everyday vocabulary. One is that they’re plain offensive; the other is that using them in an inaccurate way spreads misinformation and creates misconceptions about a condition’s seriousness.”  Click here to read Thorpe’s article and discover how many of the words/phrases noted are part of your vocabulary.

What About Physician Stories?

We often hear patient stories – how an experience affected the individual, lessons learned, fears faced, tears shed etc.  However, it is less common for us to hear physician stories.  What do doctors experience?  How do they feel?  What fears do they have?  In a recent article found in The Globe and Mail, psychiatrist David Goldbloom shares with us what it is like to lose a patient to suicide.

As I listen to Stan’s message on my voice-mail, I organize some stuff on my desk. Stan’s recorded voice sounds uncharacteristically small and hesitant. He tells me that earlier this afternoon Daryl jumped to his death from his apartment balcony.

Everything is suddenly still.

I play the message several times, listening closely for something I may have missed, but my thoughts are inexorably drawn to my meeting with Daryl two days before, seeing his wrinkled, checkered shirt, his unshaved face, his slow smile.

I sit at my desk, staring out the window, trying to think of the orderly steps of notification and documentation dictated by our policy and procedures manual. Then, in the privacy and silence of my office, I hold my head in my hands and weep. 

Click here to continue reading.

We Talked – Bell Let’s Talk Day

The Bell Let’s Talk Day generated 122,150,772 tweets, texts, calls and shares, which is a new record. This, in turn, will see Bell donating $6,107,538.60 to mental health. Although the official Let’s Talk Day has passed, the conversation must continue. As Ian Mendes states in his recent tweet,