Some Gen Xers are at their wit’s end when listening to Millenials and Gen Z speak, especially when it comes to mental health. These are the buzzwords that drive Gen Xers crazy.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Hear Me Out
A Gen Xer with a background in psychology says they’re “tired of mental health and related terms being thrown around all the time.” They recognize that the terms are sometimes appropriate; their issue with them is that “they are overused a LOT,” and it seems to be a recent trend.
Case in Point
The term “gaslighting” is the number one buzzword offender in the Gen Xer’s eyes. Words like “my truth,” “whataboutism,” “toxic relationship/workplace,” and “oh that’s my OCD” are other terms that bug them.
Where Are the Non-Narcissists?
“Everybody’s ex is a narcissist,” a commenter adds in the online forum that generated over 600 responses. A family attorney agrees, saying, “What’s wild though is when it’s actually true,” explaining that true narcissists take “more time and energy than 10 cases of the same kind.”
For the Scientists
“Do your research” is another phrase that bugs someone. They explain, “My sister is a Ph.D. scientist, and from what I can tell, actual research is something most people will never do or know how to do.”
The number of people in therapy between 10 or 20 years ago and now is the reason for so many mental health-related buzzwords, argues a commenter. “Unfortunately, the more people that you have in therapy and the longer that they go, the more that they speak ‘therapese.'”
Whatever No More
The same commenter states why they believe so many younger people are in therapy. “The millennial generation especially was told that the world was theirs for the taking and then told ‘Oopsie, we crashed the economy, started a 20-year war, charged you a fortune for college at criminally high interest (oh and there won’t be jobs in your field to pay that loan back), and the housing market has either crashed or is a trembling bubble because their boomer parents needed an Airbnb for an investment property.”
The additional downside to all this? “They never learned the power of ‘Whatever.'”
“Can we normalize less use of the word normalize?” asks one commenter. “It makes me a bit rage-y.” Another commenter seemingly tongue-in-cheek responds, “Stop gatekeeping me.”
From the Horse’s Mouth
A person diagnosed with OCD says, “I am so sick of people saying things like ‘I have my books in rainbow order because I’m so OCD haha.'” That’s just not right, and they wish “How OCD are you?” quizzes would vanish.
Many commenters agreed with the Gen Xer, with one saying, “Everything is overly exaggerated now.” People are “taking very real issues, whether it’s a mental health condition or a societal problem, and co-opting those terms to fit a narrative.” They’re concerned about the trend, arguing “that it cheapens and dilutes things that actually deserve proper attention.”
“You’re triggering me with your microaggressions!!” jokes one person, adding, “Lol.” Another agrees, saying, “I hate that term. People desperately looking to be offended and be victims.”
Find a Different Behavior
“Everything is ‘toxic’ behavior,” says one commenter. What more is there to say?
A person who has suffered from anxiety since pre-school in the 70s before anxiety “had a name, much less became an overused buzzword,” says they agree with the original poster. They explain, “It’s good that my mental illness is recognized now, but the word has become meaningless, and people don’t connect it with an actual illness that destroys lives anymore. “
A forum poster acknowledges their potentially unpopular opinion before saying, “I think we have Trump and the current set of Republicans in Congress to thank for the current use of the word gaslighting.” From their experience, “gaslighting” wasn’t a term Americans heard much of before 2016.
“The ability of that man to lie about so much while trying to convince us that what we see and what we hear with our own eyes and ears is ‘Fake News’ and believing the truth makes US the crazy one.”
To one commenter, “gaslighting” seems to have replaced the word “bipolar,” which “seemed to be used a lot 15-20 years ago.” They add, “I agree, ‘gaslighting’ is grossly overused.”
A frustrated commenter says, “Trauma and trigger used to be words to support the most injured people.” These words have “been watered down, and the still hurting people have no words to describe their reality.” It’s just not right.
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