I would like to mention that when we talk about people who have disabilities or mental disorders, we should pick appropriate words. I want to explain this situation with an example.
Firstly, I would like to describe the meaning of ability. “A disability is present when activities usually performed by people (such as walking, talking, reading, or learning) are in some way restricted” (APA, 2015). In other words, APA defines disability as some restriction. In addition, the state of being handicapped is not related to humans. Handicapped is a term used for situations that are linked to the environment (APA, 2015). If you use handicapped as a term for people, it is surely offensive, because you mean that this person can't do this. Actually, the major problem begins here with people's minds. Unfortunately, all these meanings and use of words are all about people's stigmas and stereotypes. Society's view of differences can reinforce prejudices and ignore people who have different characteristics in various situations.
Also, I added a link for you.
Thanks for sharing such an important message about the power and use of words when describing individuals with various challenges. Interesting how the APA suggests focusing on the person rather than the diagnosed condition.
"She is a person with schizophrenia" as opposed to "she's schizophrenic".
I must admit I'm guilty of saying words like "suffering" when describing a disorder and the individual who is experiencing that disorder. I think we all make mistakes and as long as we are trying to modify our language to make those with either mental or physical conditions feel less stigmatised then we are making progress.
Great reminder for us to watch how we use language.