This post has been prompted by a post from Laura's Soap Box on the term "brain disorder"
It's not a rant. Really it's not (I know it has been in the past) - but this time it's more just thinking aloud.
One of Laura's responses to a comment in defence of the term was that fear of the term should be unfounded as if we would referred to diabetes as a 'pancreatic disorder' we wouldn't automatically attribute the same concerns to that label as we do to 'brain disorder'.
But I don't see that argument as fair.
If you walked into any shopping mall and conducted a quick vox pop on "What does the term brain disorder (or the currently official umbrella term: mental illness) mean to you?" I guarantee you the answers would all follow the same line:
someone who walks down the street talking to people who aren't there
someone who snaps and kills their neighbours with a sharpened fork
...get the picture.
But my big question today is - why do we need this umbrella term at all? Why do eating disorder sufferers need to face the stigma of being associated with psychotic and dangerous people. Don't we have enough stigma being vain little sillys who just want to look good in our skinny jeans??
Lung cancer, emphysema and cystic fibrosis all severely affect the lungs. But we don't lump them all together as lung disorders. So why do we do this with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, BPD, PTSD etc etc. They all have different presentations. Yes, I suffer from anxiety and an eating disorder. But it didn't kill me to say both those things separately - so saving time surely can't be the reason.
And if the reason is to better inform the public - that ain't working either!
Any way - just my thoughts - I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. Do you like the term? Do you, like me find that it is too fraught with stigma to be useful?