Author Topic: The Language of Mental Health in the Media  (Read 9651 times)

Offline Girl

  • New Linguist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
The Language of Mental Health in the Media
« on: April 27, 2015, 02:04:28 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've recently been accepted onto an Applied Linguisics, MPhil at Swansea University and I'm looking to conduct research into the language used by the media in order to discuss mental health.

I was just wondering whether anybody knew of any research that has been conducted in this area that could be of any use. Most of the work that I've found so far has been sociology-based and I was just wondering whether there was anything more specific floating around.

Thanks for your help.

Offline MrChiLambda

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 10
Re: The Language of Mental Health in the Media
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 09:15:04 PM »
Well, people tend to shun away from negative stigmatization, opting towards political correctness.

So, Psycho is out. Mental Illness is out, and so on.

You might look at the positive psychology movement? They tend to be more interested in supporting others in times of need, rather than further stigmatizing them.

However, there are big pitfalls with that type of political correctness, such as the true meaning of bipolar, in relation to the brains poles in greys anatomy, and the dawn of neuro-imaging back in the 1800s.

However, Mosso's manuscripts have remained largely unknown for more than a century, and therefore it was the structural radiographic techniques to dominate the field of the imaging of the human brain. Unfortunately, because the brain is almost entirely composed of soft tissue that is not radio-opaque, it remains essentially invisible to ordinary or plain x-ray examination. This is also true of most brain abnormalities, though there are exceptions such as a calcified tumour (e.g.meningioma, craniopharyngioma, some types of glioma); whilst calcification in such normal structures as the pineal body, the choroid plexuses, or large brain arteries may indirectly give important clues to the presence of structural disease in the brain itself.

When we change words, we tend to obscure or lose truths.

Maniac Depression, says it all, however Maniac is a bad word, so we opted for Manic Depression, and threw away bipolar, which has only recently re-surfaced, and we've lost the original meaning to the word from physiology sense. It's a long story, but basically they were measuring blood pressure effects with bipolars back in the 1800s and only recently has modern technology with grant assistance uncovered the blood pressure effects in the brain of various bipolars and skitzophrenics.

So, to protect someone from a word that society sees as bad or harmful is the bandaid patch to fixing society from the inside out. Understanding may be the better policy.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 09:18:14 PM by MrChiLambda »

Offline Girl

  • New Linguist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: The Language of Mental Health in the Media
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 05:35:45 AM »
Wow. Thank you for such a detailed answer!

I am interested in the terms we give to mental health conditions and the connotations that they carry. It is interesting to investigate how they alter people's perceptions of these disorders.

Even the term 'disorder' causes a little discomfort too now and 'conditions' seems to be taking the foreground.