We love Demi Lovato not only for her music, but for her mental health advocacy. In an interview with Marie Claire, Lovato discussed how people misuse the term “bipolar.” Lovato, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder nearly six years ago, explains that the term being thrown around casually is actually a problem.
Previously known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar is marked by emotional highs and emotional lows. These changes in mood may seem relatable if you have mood swings, but Lovato knows firsthand that bipolar disorder is a serious medical disorder that shouldn’t be joked about.
As she told Marie Claire:
“I get frustrated when people use the term ‘bipolar’ loosely. Like, they say ‘Oh, I can’t decide what movie to watch, I’m so bipolar.’ You don’t say, ‘I can’t decide what movie to watch, I’m so cancer.’”
While you may not have realized that it’s hurtful to call yourself bipolar when you’re just being indecisive or erratic, the singer and actress is using her influence to help educate people about mental health. Lovato even just produced the documentary, Beyond Silence, that follows three people who have spoken out about their mental illnesses.
With this mental health documentary and her tireless efforts, Lovato is helping to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness. She told Marie Claire:
“There’s a stigma surrounding mental health issues because nobody talks about it. When you spread awareness and create conversation, that’s when you realize mental health conditions aren’t anything out of the norm. They’re very common. They shouldn’t be judged. They should be accepted.”
Unfortunately, that stigma sometimes comes with a lack of education, awareness, and sensitivity to people with mental illness, as she noted by discussing people using the word “bipolar” in a glib way.
If that is a term you use in casual conversation, just take a moment to think about what it must really be like to have bipolar disorder and use that empathy to create a more positive, understanding way of speaking. Not only will Lovato thank you for it, but so will the many others in the world who cope with mental illness.