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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Throwaway Terms

"Oh my god I'm literally having a panic attack"
"I'm feeling so depressed right now"
"Don't mind me, just having a stroke"
"That's so gay"

All of these are sentences that I hear pretty much on a day-to-day basis. And I was probably guilty of even using some of these back in the early days of secondary school. They are what I like to think of as "throwaway terms" - using words that have heavy meanings in a lighter way to get a point across, such as "I'm quite nervous" or "I'm a bit sad about this". These hyperbolic ways of expressing emotions may gain a bit of sympathy or maybe a few laughs.

However, the main point that I would like to get across to you here is that words are powerful

To you, these may be silly little sentences that you use in order to exaggerate an emotion. To others, this may be there life. 

Depression is a real thing, as spoken in posts here (depression from the external perspective) and here (suicide).
A panic attack is the defence mechanism that your body uses when in fight-or-flight mode, which tells the body that it is legitimately about to die. People suffering from anxiety or panic disorders may experience these on a daily basis.
A stroke is defined as "a sudden disabling attack or loss of consciousness caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain, especially through thrombosis".
Gay is not an insult. It is merely a sexual preference of the same gender as oneself.

It is important that in situations in which you wish to express an emotion, that you do so in a sensible, accurate, non-hyperbolic manner. Obviously this isn't possible all the time, as a drama student I can tell you that I am very prone to exaggeration! But if you are even slightly tempted to use a word that has a heavy meaning in a lighter context, maybe think again.

Thank you for reading, and good luck to everyone getting results!

-LF, LR and MG