Language Matters at Our Consumer Place
Language is hugely powerful, and so we believe it's worth paying attention to it!
This section of our website is rapidly expanding, so stay tuned!
"Psychobabble: the Little Red Book of Psychiatric Jargon"
Psychobabble has been put together by Merinda Epstein at Our Consumer Place in response to a demand from people diagnosed with 'mental illness' for a collection of psychiatric jargon, acronyms and what we think are some of the silly expressions used in psychiatry - it's our take on the words used by them (and sometimes us) about us.
While some of the explanations are provided simply to define terms and acronyms that people are very confused about, Psychobabble is also an attempt to provide a consumer perspective on concepts that many people (including some clinicians and consumers) haven't thought through or may be happy to leave as they are.
Of course, some parts of Psychobabble are also about having a light-hearted spray at the pontification and judgements made about us - consumers - by some clinicians and medical researchers. We don't believe that such a publication, written from a consumer perspective, has been produced in Australia before. Although Psychobabble is based on Victorian bureaucratic language, experience tells us that many of the words and explanations are transferable interstate and internationally.
We want others to contribute to this work. Please send your ideas, disagreements, reinterpretations, silly stuff, acronyms, and new bureaucratic-speak to Merinda at Our Consumer Place (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Download a copy here (1.4MB).
Our language choices
We have consciously chosen to use some particular words in this website that may be unfamiliar to you. Here, we try to be clear about our language choices.
- Consumer: What do we mean by the term "consumer" and why do we use it?
We use the term 'consumer' throughout this website and in the work we do as part of the Our Consumer Place team. It is important to understand the term and why it is being used, even if you don't like it. Click here to read our explanation.
See also this wonderfully insightful (and very funny) video on "Self labelling and Identity", in which a number of articulate people express their views on self-labelling. Click here. We are grateful for permission from Digital Education Strategies, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University to link to this resource.
- "Consumer Perspective":
All of the work at Our Consumer Place is grounded in consumer perspective - that is, we want more than consumers to be participating in other people's projects - we want our lived experiences to be valued as crucial sources of insight! To read more about what we mean when we refer to "consumer perspective," click here.
- "Mental Illness":
On this site, and in our work more generally, we tend to put "mental illness' in inverted commas. Click here to read why.
- Consumer Developed Initiatives: What on earth are they?
We developed the language of "consumer developed intiative" (CDI) to be clear about the cultural shift that we support. Click here to find out more about what this means.
- Acronyms: Click here to read a few words about acronyms in the context of consumers.