Alternative jargon buster

Here I’ll put alternative definitions of terms commonly used in mental health settings, or terms that could be used. or suggested jargon for things that happen in the world of mental illness.


  • Fakey“Psychiatric diagnoses that are widely constructed by the public as ‘not a big deal’ or ‘weakness of character’. They are statistically more common and affect significantly larger populations that those with “stabby” diagnoses. [They include] diagnoses such as anxiety disorders, mild-moderate depression, some eating disorders and perhaps PTSD.” (See this post)


  • Madsplaining – Offering unsolicited advice to someone on how they should manage their mental health (see this post)


  • Madwash – A veneer of sympathy or parity of esteem used to hide a festering nest of ignorance and prejudice, or inactivity around mental health issues.  I coined the term “madwash” (inspired by the environmental campaigning term “greenwash”) to describe the window dressing done by an organisation (company, government or other group) to try to give the appearance that mental health matters. Madwash is where an organisation makes a show of sympathising with or of prioritising mental health issues. However, this is merely a thin veneer which is being used draw attention away from lack of meaningful activity, or to distract from practices or policies which, overall, are detrimental to mental health – or which operate in a manner which is opposite to the mental health initiatives announced. Madwash may involve actively making misleading or unsubstantiated claims.


  • Patienting – When someone uses your status as a “mental patient” to try to shut you up: for example, telling you to “take your meds”


  • PEP (Pharmaceutically Enhanced Personality) – stoned or medicated


  • PGift (Pharmaceutically Gifted) – A patient admitted to hospital admissions with an altered mental state as a result of drug use


  • Stabby – “Psychiatric diagnoses which carry a huge amount of stigma and are associated with violence or even homicide. They are often seen in newspaper stories combined with the word ‘killer’. Statistically these are also the rarer diagnoses and affect a minority of the total population diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. These are diagnoses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, certain personality disorders, and those with experience of psychosis.” (See this post)


  • Syndrome – Something doctors call a collection of symptoms when they don’t know what’s wrong with you






One Response to “Alternative jargon buster”


  1. Mental health jargon buster: AMHPs & the Association of Major Holiday Parks « Sectioned - 12 January 2013

    […] Alternatives […]

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