The Illogical, Dangerous, and Disempowering Jargon of the Depression Industry.

Part 3 of 3

18-22 Minute Read

The Illogical, Dangerous, and Disempowering Jargon of the Depression Industry.

Part 3 of 3

18-22 Minute Read

This is Part Three of the Article Series ConquerMyDepressionToday.com has prepared on the illogical, dangerous, and disempowering jargon of the Depression Industry and how it relates to mental and emotional distress.
Here is a summary of what was covered in Part’s 1 & 2:

 

Part 1:

  • Began by setting up the background for this discussion about jargon
  • Reviewed the sources of the troubling jargon (IE: the combination of the jargon of science and statistics with the jargon of health).
  • Outlined the $200+ billion (yes, billion with a “b”) that relies upon this jargon each year, and all of the other participants in the traditional and conventional Mental “Healthcare” Industry that use this jargon too.
  • Provides great detail about how the jargon of science and statistics is illogical and dangerous (and therefore disempowering) to use when describing human behavior.
  • This is largely based on the Fact that if someone was raised under a bridge, they will have a much different set of life experiences. You must view behavior in context with the life experiences someone has been exposed to.

 

Part One is available here.

 

Part 2:

  • Detailed why it is not logical to use the word “disorder” to describe the mental and/or emotional distress most people experience when they have not been exposed to trauma and/or abuse.
  • Shares 27 likely causes of depression (and potential sources of joy)
  • Outlined a golden opportunity that depression can create
  • Described the difference between self-esteem (and self-worth) vs. self-confidence, and how the jargon of the Depression Industry creates a dangerous and direct attack on these three invaluable resources

 

Part Two is available here.

 

Please also remember that, given the influence that the scientific method and statistics has on the Mental “Health” Industry, a lot of the jargon of the Mental “Health” Industry focuses on “normalcy”. IE: what is “normal” and/or “orderly”. Statisticians love this stuff.

 

The influence of statistics creates a set of terms, phrases, acronyms, and abbreviations (aka: “jargon”) that is used within the industry, with the three most problematic terms being words “disorder”, “dysfunction”, “abnormality”. All three of these relate to “normalcy” in some way.

 

Why Does Jargon Matter?

As was shared in Part 1, the answer to the question of, “Why does jargon matter?” is simply answered by this profound Fact:

 

Words do not describe your reality. They create your reality.

 

If someone is running around saying, “My life is absolutely terrible!” all the time vs. “I have been getting a little frustrated lately.”, how much will that affect their reality? How much mental and emotional distress will each person feel?

 

I elaborate about these effects in “The Sally Story” included in this article.

 

We do not need to review the whole story now. The cliff notes to that story is the powerful Fact that words do not describe our reality, they create our reality. The Fact also is:

 

The more often you use disempowering language the less empowered you will feel. The more often you use empowering words, the more empowered and resilient you will feel.

 

Ultimately, the language you use to describe the mental and/or emotional distress you are feeling creates a certain reality for you. The reality you create can lead you to create an empowering reality (IE: “Your challenge can be conquered!”) or a disempowering reality (IE: “This is how you cope and manage with your challenge”, or “This will not go away.”).

The Jargon is Disempowering

(and therefore dangerous and illogical to use)

Let’s now reintroduce the second set of terms that create the problematic jargon of the Mental “Health” Industry (and the Depression Industry too).

 

These are the terms that have to do with “health”.

 

“Health”

Maybe you have caught it and/or wondered about how, throughout this article and Part One of this Article Series on jargon, quite often  the term Mental “Health” Industry is used, with “Health” in quotations.

 

Want to know why that is?

 

If you say, “No!“

 

TOO BAD!

 

You’re getting it now whether you like it or not!

 

(… Fort those that read Part 1, does this sound like a “Bobby Exercise”? …)

 

If you said, “Yes!”, thank you for your interest.

 

Here’s why “Health” is in quotes. . .

 

Ponder Another Question

To show you why it is in quotations, let’s start with an interesting question to ponder:

 

Is mental and/or emotional distress really, truly a “health” issue?

 

Let me share my personal ponderings on this question as a prelude to the final set of disempowering jargon.

 

As the Bobby Exercise indicates, “healing of wounds” often occurs when helping people overcome mental and/or emotional distress. Thus, I can see there being a case to use the word “health” for these types of distress. Health and healing often are intertwined with each other.

 

So, yes, the logic that “healing of wounds occurs, therefore it makes “health” okay to use” does make some sense. However, using that logic, technically it would be more accurate to call it the “Mental Healing Industry” instead of the Mental Health Industry.

 

Yes, healing may be more accurate and it would be great if all of society adopted this new terminology. However, making this “technical adjustment” is definitely not the most concerning thing about the jargon commonly used in the industry

 

There is another reason why I put “health” in quotations for the most part throughout this article series.

 

It has to with another concerning perspective and mindset that is used as common jargon within the Mental “Health” Industry (I guess I will stick with that term for now) that is well intended, but disempowering.

 

What Causes Mental and Emotional Distress?

First, let’s go over a brief, high-level background of one of the main causes mental and emotional distress.

 

Think about the following hypothetical scenario:

 

Imagine you are in an employment situation where the type of work is okay, you don’t mind doing it that much, but clearly it is not the most invigorating work you could be doing (maybe it's a 6.0 out of 100 or less?). Also imagine that you genuinely think you will NEVER get a raise, nor a promotion, nor extra vacation days. Imagine you genuinely think the possibility for these three things is completely hopeless.

 

If you were in this scenario, how optimistic will you be about that job?

 

How satisfying would that job be?

 

How much distress will you experience in that job if you are not hopeful about your prospects of prospering further with that employer?

 

Probably a fair amount of distress, right?

 

… Maybe this scenario isn’t hypothetical for some of you?...

 

Now imagine your company gets bought out by a different entity, you get a brand-new boss, and they implement a new “pay for performance” structure that you know you’ll thrive in. And to them, performance doesn’t solely mean sales. To your new owner, performance is measured by whatever tasks your job requires you to perform. This means that those who perform the tasks of their job the best well get rewarded the most. Oh, and to minimize internal competition, teamwork is a part of the new compensation plan too.

 

Remember, this is in your mind. If that scenario above didn’t resonate with you, just think of a new entity coming in and implementing a compensation plan you know you’ll enjoy.

 

Then imagine if the acquiring entity also says, “Those that stick with us for the next year will get another ten days of vacation at the end of the year, and an additional two each year they stay with us.”

 

If that happens, how hopeful would you then be?

 

How much would your stress level go down?

 

This scenario highlights two things:

 

  • Hopelessness creates distress.

Eliminate hopelessness, and you eliminate certain levels of distress.

  • Permanence contributes to hopelessness.

IE: in the first part of this scenario, you thought you would NEVER get a raise, never get promotion, and never get more vacation time. You thought those things were permanent, and that the outlook was hopeless. Then, something unexpected happened which showed that those things were only temporary. In other words, permanence was eliminated, which also eliminated certain levels of emotional distress (primarily hopelessness) too.

 

Many, MANY mental health professionals know this.

 

This is part of why they justify calling different forms of mental and/or emotional distress a “mental illness”.

Side Note #1

The Seven Sources of Distress and Despair (and Depression)

There are a total of seven main causes of mental and emotional distress. I prefer to call these “The Seven Ghosts of Despair (and Depression)”. The ghosts are basically broken up into two sets. The first set involves the three P’s. More specifically, these ghosts are any beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and statements that anyone has or makes about how their pain is:

1. Personal

2. Pervasive

3. Permanent

 

Beliefs about their pain meeting any one of these “three P’s” often leads to a second set of ghosts.  This set of ghosts consists of beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and statements about how their pain, life, and/or situation is:

4. Hopeless

5. Powerless

6. Worthless

7. Pointless

 

If anyone feels their situation is hopeless, or that they are powerless to overcome their challenges, or that they are worthless (see self-esteem, aka: self-worth, in Part 2), or that everything is pointless; the odds are very high that they will experience some form of mental and/or emotional distress and/or despair. This is true for something like a physical health (IE: if they believe they’re powerless to get the body they desire, they’ll experience despair). It is also true for life in general (IE: if they believe the outlook for them to enjoy their life is hopeless, they’ll experience some form of despair and/or emotional distress).

 

Sometimes the second set of ghosts shows up before the first set. Many times the first set of ghosts leads to the second set. Each person’s mindset is different, and should be viewed on a case-by-case and situation-by-situation basis. Just know that if one of the ghosts appears, another one may show up very quickly if the first ghost is not dealt with properly.

 

The full details of each of these ghosts and how to conquer them is beyond the scope of this article. I am sure I will detail it in a future article. Until then the cliff notes to these Seven Ghosts of Despair (and Depression) is that if you eliminate these ghosts from your mindset, you go a long way in eliminating mental and emotional distress and despair.

 

This article will focus mainly on permanence and hopelessness.

Rationale (and shortcomings) of calling Mental and Emotional Distress a "Health" Issue

Two Sets of Rationale For the term “Health”

There are two sets of rationale as to why these items are considered a "health" issue.

 

First Set of Rationale

As a reminder, the first set of rationale for calling mental and emotional distress a “health” issue was reviewed in Part 1. It goes something like this:

 

“Using the scientific method has worked to find cures for various forms of physical distress. We call many of the forms of physical distress “health issues”. If we treat mental and emotional distress in the same way, maybe we can create cures for this type of distress too. Let’s call them “health” issues as well.”

 

This logic then introduces the use of the scientific method and its “normalcy-related” jargon to analyzing mental and emotional distress. The shortcomings of normalcy-relate terms were reviewed thoroughly in Parts 1 and 2.

 

Second Set of Rationale:

Let’s get to the second set of rationale often used to support why mental and emotional distress is often called a “health” issue. This is the set that likely has pure intentions at its heart, but still has some serious shortcomings.

 

The logic something like this:

 

“It is a Fact that getting people to realize that their distress is not permanent automatically limits the amount of distress (and hopelessness) people feel. Thus, we want the client to realize their mental and emotional distress is only temporary. Seeing as many forms of physical illnesses are only temporary, equating their distress to a temporary “illness” should help them experience lower their levels of mental and/or emotional distress.”

 

Eventually what they do is they apply this second set of logic and tell clients and prospects something along these lines:

 

“Mental and/or emotional distress is a lot like a cold. A cold is an illness, right? Well, illnesses come and go. Some colds are more severe than others, but still, most colds and illnesses are only temporary. They’re not permanent. Like any illness, it’s just a health issue.”.

 

Sounds pretty logical, right?

 

Sounds like they have pure intentions too, right?

 

Unfortunately…

 

…unfortunately there is an “unfortunately”…

 

Unfortunately there are two shortcomings with using this logic, and the related jargon it creates.

 

Shortcoming #1 of “Mental Illness”: Automatic Links

The first shortcoming is the Fact that all of society (professionals and non-professionals) commonly call the very, very, very mentally and emotionally distressed people of our society “mentally ill”.

 

This term is so common that most people very quickly and automatically link up the term “mentally ill” to deranged criminals and/or even “insanity”. This automatic link often occurs subconsciously and therefore much faster than people can even consciously realize they’ve made that “link”.

 

Returning to our poor abused and traumatized and low self-esteem and low self-confidence friend named Bobby from Part 1 of this article series. . . When you tell poor Bobby, “Don’t worry, it’s just a mental illness. It’s like a cold. It will go away”. The second he hears “mental illness”, he automatically and subconsciously links it up to “mentally ill”.

 

Consequently, given the social norm of the term, here therefore also immediately wonders if he is just like the craziest criminals that exist and/or like the people in the insane asylum.

 

How do you think that makes him feel?

 

Are those the best words that can be used to describe mental and/or emotional distress to Bobby?

 

Will using these words serve as the best solution to help Bobby overcome his mental and or emotional distress?

 

Maybe this is driving reason behind the stigma of the Mental Health Industry, and actually the #1 reason why many people do not seek help from this industry?

Okay… Can’t Ignore Thi$ Either

Okay, before I get to Shortcoming #2, we can’t ignore a dynamic that influences everything too.

 

The joy of sales is not the #1 reason why most professionals get into the Mental “Health” Industry. Most people in this industry genuinely want to help. The Truth is that finding clients, and prospecting, and advertising etc. is cumbersome time consuming process. Not many professionals enjoy this aspect of the profession.

 

Why do I share this?

 

Well, most people go to their doctor each time they have a cold. Thus, if a professional tells its clients and prospects that, “Mental and emotional distress is just like the illness called a cold”, guess what that professional gets if his/her clients adopt this perspective?

 

Answer: repeat business each time their client gets a “mental” cold “out of nowhere”.

 

And guess what the professional thinks he/she has less to do?

 

Answer: They think they get to spend less time doing that cumbersome prospecting.

 

Yes, this is simplistic. However, it is an influence to be aware of. Prospecting is not what most mental health professionals enjoy. No matter what their ethical guidelines and credentials may say, they still are humans. And like any human business owner, they like their repeat business with minimal prospecting.

 

The mentality of getting repeat business by telling client, “It’s like a cold” or “This is how you can cope and manage (and see me as you cope).”  is definitely prevalent in this industry.

 

Other professionals may have the mindset of, “Teach them how to conquer these challenges and their emotional distress so well that they never have to see me or any of my peers again. That way they will rave about the experience they had with me and tell all of the world about it too.” This mindset is similar to the adage, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”.  Other professionals may attempt to get repeat business this way.

 

It is worth recalling Key Principle #2 that ConquerMyDepressionToday.com incorporates into all of its work. This Principle is this:

 

Key Principle #2

The Fact of the matter is that certain perspectives, philosophies, theories, and mindsets and their related skills, strategies, techniques, recommendations, guidance, and experiences generate better results than others, and are safer and more thorough and more effective and more empowering than others too.

 

Said differently, some are good, some are better than good, and some are the best.

Back to the Shortcomings of “Mental Illness”

I felt I had to share that so I did.

 

It is always important to be aware of the incentives and influences in any industry, and the possible biases they may create.

 

Back to the shortcomings of the mental “health” jargon.

 

Besides the possibility that this term may automatically cause clients to be concerned that they are being labeled insane, there is a key subtly that is often underappreciated about this whole “mental illness” thing.

 

Shortcoming #2:

The second reason why it is disempowering is that doing this actually brings back up the issue of permanence again.

 

How does it do this?

 

Well, it is called the “common” cold, right?

 

And diseases and illnesses are common to human existence too, right?

 

So equating it to a cold is like saying, “Hey, it will keep coming back every now and then. It’s part of life”.

 

Thus, saying, “it will keep coming back” and, “it’s part of life” are both equivalent to saying the problem is permanent.

 

Saying that the problem is permanent is not a permanent solution. Therefore, this can’t be the best solution or the most powerful solution, right?

 

If it is possible for the distress to go away and go away for good, that possibility should be talked about the most, right?

 

Shortcoming #3:

The third reason why the term mental illness is disempowering is simple, yet profound.

 

That reason is this:

 

It shifts the focus.

 

More specifically, it shifts the focus from internal to external.

 

Colds and illnesses and diseases and ailments and pathologies (all common terms in the mental “health” industry) are all commonly thought of as external things that come out of nowhere and can affect you.

 

Yes, you can eat healthy and wash your hands and do all that. Colds still can sneak up out of nowhere, and they are mostly out of your control. By calling mental and emotional distress a mental illness (or ailment, or pathology, etc.), it is effectively saying, “It’s external. It could come out of nowhere”. This automatically shifts the focus to unpredictable and uncontrollable external events.

 

Some May Need More:

Some of you reading this may not have completely caught why this shift of focus to external things is so disempowering.

 

The Truth is this:

 

Yes, certain external things in your life can definitely bring you down. Broadly speaking, these can be categorized as events, situations, environments, relationships, and/or things

 

It must also be briefly highlighted that many external things can also bring you joy.
How fun would it be to drive a Ferrari?

 

Or go on a vacation and see a site you’ve been wanting to see your entire life?

 

Nonetheless, yes, some external things in Life can definitely bring you down. Life will still happen. People will get sick. People will get hurt. No matter how diligent you get at managing your internal state, unenjoyable and undesirable things will happen to you in your life.

 

So, yes, certain events, situations, environments, relationships, and/or things can bring you down. The important thing to remember that the common denominator (IE: the thing that is common to all of these external things in your life) is you.

 

For better or worse, you are involved in all of the things that happen in the external world around you.

 

Some of these things you can control, and some of them you can’t.

 

When you shift your focus to things you can’t control and devote your energy to things you do not have power over you automatically disempower yourself.

Side Note #2

Seeing as there are some things you can control in your life and some things that you can’t, doesn’t it make logical sense to maximize whatever skills you can control and have at your disposal?

 

What those skills are is beyond the scope of this article. I will briefly say that two powerful skills are

1) The skill of managing the things you decide to focus on and

2) Managing your language.

 

For those of you that want more details on how to overcome depression completely, I discuss managing your focus, what you can and can’t control, and how to put the Six Simple Facts of Life to your advantage in great detail ConqerMyDepressionToday.com's free eBook:

How to Conquer Depression (free eBook)

 

And for those of you interested in learning more about managing your language, review The Sally Story in this article:

 

Be careful when you say, "I am depressed".

How to conquer depression

How to Conquer Depression

Free eBook

Receive a free copy of ConquerMyDepressionToday.com's eBook on How to Conquer Depression by registering below. In this eBook you will find proven methods to generate a Breakthrough in your depression, and practical skills and strategies you can start using today to conquer your depression once and for all.

How to Conquer Depression

How to Conquer Depression

Free eBook
Receive a free copy of ConquerMyDepressionToday.com's eBook on How to Conquer Depression by registering below. In this eBook you will find proven methods to generate a Breakthrough in your depression, and practical skills and strategies you can start using today to conquer your depression once and for all.

Ultimately, Here is Why

Ultimately, here is why this shift to external focus is so disempowering:

 

In order to conquer depression and enjoy your life as much as you are capable of enjoying it; you really, truly must turn within. More specifically, there are certain internal skills, mindsets, disciplines, values, and beliefs that you personally must adopt in order to conquer depression completely.

 

All of these things (skills, mindsets, disciplines, values, and beliefs) are internal and inside you vs. external.  Some of the skills you can start using today are provided in the previous links in side note #2.

 

Another great way to summarize why the focus on external is so disempowering is this quote by the renowned and pioneering psychologist Carl Jung:

 

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

 

- Carl Jung -

The Journey

Sometimes this journey of conquering depression can be overwhelming, draining, confusing and then some. This is especially true if you come inadvertently adopt some of the guidance provided in the incredibly large amount of inaccurate and misleading information that exists about depression.

 

A lot of the information available today is loaded and layered with the illogical, dangerous and disempowering jargon that the Mental “Health” Industry and Depression Industry uses. In many ways, this jargon sends you down the wrong paths the very second you start the journey.

 

Despite all of this pitfalls, and how difficult the journey to learn about depression, finding the Truth, and conquering depression can be. . .

 

Please know this:

 

This journey is completely and entirely worth it.

 

I know this from personal experience. I know how tough and terrifying “depression” can be. I know how confusing the mental “health” landscape can be. Most importantly, I also know what it is like to Completely Transform your life, finish the journey, and experience and the depths of joy, peace, gratitude, warmth, and love that can completing this journey bring.

 

What you will learn about yourself and the wisdom and knowledge and courage and disciplines you create are invaluable tools and learnings that you will carry with you and remain inside of you for the rest of your life. It is exactly these things, and the journey of turning within, that will build a set skills, mindsets, disciplines, values, and beliefs that not only will help you conquer your depression completely, it will also help you with ANY goal you pursue in your life after your depression is conquered.

 

In many ways depression is a lack of expression.

 

Chances are that there is something in your life that your depression mental and/or emotional distress is getting in the way of.

 

What if that was removed from your life?

 

If that distress was gone and gone for good, what would you be able to accomplish?

 

What gifts are you presently not sharing with the world because this is in your way?

 

What would you be able to finally fully express?

 

Who else in your life would this benefit besides yourself?

 

 

Finish it!

Finish the journey.

 

You can do this.

 

It is worth it. You can make it through. You CAN conquer your depression completely.

 

To do so, you must turn within.

 

To do this, I will end this article with something that is at the core and foundation in the journey of conquering depression.

 

That is adopting this belief:

Whether you think you can or think you can’t,

you’re right.

65 Tall PNG

I know everyone asks for this, but I could use all the help I can get in getting the message out there. If you enjoyed the article,  I would sincerely appreciate if you shared it and/or commented below. Also, if you have not done so yet, liking CMDT.com's Facebook page or Subscribing to the site's YouTube Channel would also go a long way.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Get Going in the Right Direction Again

Whatever you have on your mind that is bringing you down on this "journey of life", let's talk about it. I have a Turnaround Session that is designed for this exact scenario. It is a great way to ensure you are heading down the correct path. Learn more below.
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