Advanced search

To be sick to death of people using the word 'Schizophrenic' wrongly?

(35 Posts)
AndyWarholsOrange Fri 02-Jan-15 10:03:37

If it was in 'The Sun', I'd just think it was par for the course but 3 times in the last 2 weeks, I've read/heard the term Schizophrenic used as meaning having a split personality or being torn/undecided about something eg 'I feel a bit schizophrenic about it' in The Times, The Guardian and on Radio 4.
Schizophrenia is a horrible debilitating mental illness Not having a Jekll/Hyde personality or being in two minds about something. I'm sure everyone here knows this, I just can't believe that people who should know better are still using it in this way.

echt Fri 02-Jan-15 10:31:04

On a par with depressed when a bit pissed off, or bi-polar when a moody knob end.

Or, and this gets on my tits royally, "a bit hormonal".

On the whole, I'd pass by the metaphorical use of schizophrenic.

whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 02-Jan-15 10:34:04

I agree with you that a journalist should know better than use a term like this incorrectly. However, it wouldn't offend if a member of general public used as it would be down to ignorance, but if I knew them well enough I would correct them. More education is needed in understanding mental illness in general.

whathaveiforgottentoday Fri 02-Jan-15 10:35:06

My personal favourite is 'a bit OCD'

IamGrimalkin Fri 02-Jan-15 10:39:07

You are definitely NOT being unreasonable.

I came on to say what whathaveiforgottentoday said about OCD. That really annoys me.

RonaldMcDonald Fri 02-Jan-15 10:42:55

Schizophrenia is not a horrible debilitating mental illness but it can be if undiagnosed unaided or incorrectly medicated

Ludways Fri 02-Jan-15 10:47:12


The OCD thing gets my goat. My BIL is diagnosed OCD and it is far from being over particular about cleaning the house, which is when I hear it most.

AlpacaYourThings Fri 02-Jan-15 10:48:22


Shinyshoes2 Fri 02-Jan-15 10:53:38

I totally agree.
My mother was diagnosed as bipolar ( manic depression ) in 1984 she has been hospitalised 3 times
The 4th times she was sectioned, she was diagnosed as schizophrenic
Untreated its a horrible horrible illness and I'll never get my real mum back, not the mum I knew before the illness took hold
She's medicating now ( fingers crossed she doesn't come off the meds again)

AndyWarholsOrange Fri 02-Jan-15 11:35:26

I think this is a particular issue for me because I work in mental health with people with psychosis. some of whom end up with a schizophrenia diagnosis. The last statistics I saw said that only 13% of people with schizophrenia work. Yes, it can be treated but not always 100% successfully and a lot of people have side effects from the medication like sedation and weight gain. Also, many people have negative symptoms eg extreme lack of motivation which don't respond particularly well to medication.
Then there's the media portrayal where practically the only time you read about schizophrenia is in relation to violence. It's definitely the most stigmatising diagnosis to have - I can't think of a single celebrity who has schizophrenia whereas it's almost become a bit trendy for artistes to be 'a bit Bi-Polar'.
I just think the media should know better.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 02-Jan-15 11:39:39

I totally agree my bro was diagnosed with this and I get really annoyed when some writers and journos use it flippantly and wrongly.

IneedAwittierNickname Fri 02-Jan-15 11:40:37

Yanbu . I work with adults with schizophrenia. I also agree re the violence thing. When people ask what I do their 2nd question is nearly always "isn't that dangerous?" Ffs sad

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 02-Jan-15 11:42:54

from my small experience it would seem that people diagnosed with this are most danger to themselves.
that is another thing that pissed me off too ineedawittieretc

I get annoyed with mental health diagnoses being bandied around indiscriminately in general. YANBU

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 02-Jan-15 11:52:11

just recently I have noticed a certain type of person shouting about being
'bi polar' it really fucking annoys me.
These kind of people are the same ones who were once 'oh I am crazy meeeeeee' before "bipolar" got fashionable

OriginalGreenGiant Fri 02-Jan-15 11:53:22

I don't think I've ever heared it used like that before really.

IMO, by far the most misused term re mental health is 'psychopath' or psychopathic.

Anyone that does something terrible is labelled a psychopath, by people I know and in the media when in more cases than not it's not the case.

sosimple Fri 02-Jan-15 11:54:05

YY YANBU. I have severe depression and I'm tired of hearing people saying they have felt it when it's clearly a case of just being a bit down.

Also, not a mental illness, but 'a bit Aspie' is another common flippant comment in relation to a very serious, debilitating condition (which my DS suffers from very badly).

iklboo Fri 02-Jan-15 11:56:15

Oh yes. 'A bit bi-polar'. What - like only every other Wednesday? Or if the celeb has something to flog? angry

Itscurtainsforyou Fri 02-Jan-15 12:00:34

YADNBU - it drives me crazy when I hear either schizophrenia (or OCD, bipolar etc) used in such a flippant way.

The way schizophrenia is used to describe Jekyll & Hyde particularly winds me up because it is WRONG. J&H could be described as multiple personality disorder (which is fortunately quite rare) but certainly not schizophrenia. I end up shouting at the TV/radio/newspaper/book if I ever come across it used in this way.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 02-Jan-15 12:01:28

yes and it is used a lot like that isn't it curtains? really effing annoying

ChocLover2015 Fri 02-Jan-15 12:10:14

OP I could say the same about your use of 'death'

Cantbelievethisishappening Fri 02-Jan-15 12:17:38

There will always be something that someone says related to some sort of medical condition that someone else will be sensitive to/object to/find offensive (and yes I have had first hand experience of a loved one who was diagnosed with schizophrenia)

Dawndonnaagain Fri 02-Jan-15 12:18:18

You could ChocLover but the point in hand is a much more valid one.

OP you are not being unreasonable.

thecatfromjapan Fri 02-Jan-15 12:29:28

I'm with Choclover. Several of my friends are dead and I can absolutely assure OP that she really isn't "sick to death", and that being actually "sick to death" is quite grim.
However, I understand that she is using the phrase metaphorically, and I am a liberal, with an even temper, do I don't care.

Having said that, there was a period when a friend had been diagnosed with a serious, life-limiting illness and I really was irrationally angry. People who said things like: "I'm so ill ..." when all they had was a cold ... I wanted to kill them. Really.

I guess you must be in that kind of place at the moment. I wish you peace and comfort.

thecatfromjapan Fri 02-Jan-15 12:31:30

I'm not joking about wanting to kill. I have never felt anger like it before or since.hmm
It did pass, though.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: