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It’s very disconcerting to hear or read terms like “crazy,” “lunatic,” “madman” “psycho” and “schizo,” among others, used in any context.

Those of us who work in the rehabilitation field with individuals experiencing psychiatric disorders and brain injuries have labored long and hard to eliminate this kind of pejorative language from public and private discourse. It serves to inflame stigma, increase discrimination and limit opportunity. It is every bit as offensive as other deeply insulting terms that we would never use.

Moreover, let us not damage or destroy our friendships with each other by using these terms as personal putdowns in our private or online conversations. There is a strong divide in our country at this time which will only be further exacerbated by using language like this. Let us focus on expressing our feelings or views without insulting or demeaning each other.

We all love and cherish our country. Let us work together to heal it. The very first step in that direction is watching our language.

The next step is listening politely to each other. I’ll focus on that in a later post. Let’s start by talking respectfully to each other

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