Top 53 Slang For Mental Health – Meaning & Usage

Mental health is a topic that affects us all, yet discussing it can sometimes feel like navigating a maze of emotions and stigma. But fear not, we’ve got your back. Our team has put together a list of slang terms related to mental health that will not only educate you but also empower you to have open conversations about this important subject. So, grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and let’s dive into this insightful journey together.

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1. Cuckoo

This term is used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or exhibiting erratic behavior. It is often used in a lighthearted or joking manner.

  • For example, “She went a little cuckoo after staying up all night studying.”
  • In a playful conversation, someone might say, “I must be a little cuckoo to have signed up for this marathon.”
  • A person might use the term to describe a frustrating situation, saying, “Dealing with this traffic every day is driving me cuckoo.”

2. Bonkers

This word is used to describe something or someone as crazy or out of control. It is often used in an exaggerated or humorous way.

  • For instance, “The party last night was absolutely bonkers.”
  • In a discussion about a chaotic situation, someone might say, “It’s been a bonkers day at work.”
  • A person might use the term to express disbelief, saying, “You paid how much for those shoes? That’s bonkers!”

3. Off their rocker

This phrase is used to describe someone who is behaving in a strange or irrational manner. It suggests that the person is mentally unstable or out of touch with reality.

  • For example, “He’s completely off his rocker if he thinks he can swim with sharks.”
  • In a discussion about eccentric behavior, someone might say, “She’s a little off her rocker, but she’s harmless.”
  • A person might use the phrase to express frustration, saying, “My boss is really off their rocker if they think we can finish this project by tomorrow.”

4. Psycho

This term is used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or exhibiting violent or dangerous behavior. It is often used in a derogatory or offensive manner.

  • For instance, “He’s a psycho who needs professional help.”
  • In a conversation about a disturbing news story, someone might say, “That guy is a total psycho.”
  • A person might use the term to describe extreme behavior, saying, “Her reaction was so psycho, I couldn’t believe it.”

5. Cray-cray

This slang term is a playful way of saying “crazy” or “insane.” It is often used in a lighthearted or exaggerated manner.

  • For example, “That party last night was so cray-cray!”
  • In a discussion about a wild night out, someone might say, “We were dancing like cray-cray on the dance floor.”
  • A person might use the term to describe a chaotic situation, saying, “The traffic was cray-cray during rush hour.”

6. Loopy

This term is often used to describe someone who is acting strange or irrational. It can be a lighthearted way to refer to someone’s behavior, but it can also be derogatory and offensive.

  • For example, “She’s been acting really loopy lately, I wonder what’s going on.”
  • A person might say, “I feel so loopy when I don’t get enough sleep.”
  • In a conversation about a friend’s odd behavior, someone might comment, “He’s always been a little loopy, but lately it’s been getting worse.”

7. Nutter

This term is slang for someone who is mentally unstable or behaves in an irrational or eccentric manner. It can be considered offensive and derogatory.

  • For instance, “He’s a nutter, always talking to himself.”
  • In a conversation about a person’s erratic behavior, someone might say, “She’s a complete nutter, you never know what she’ll do next.”
  • A person might comment, “I feel like a nutter when my anxiety gets really bad.”

8. Schizo

This term is a derogatory slang for someone who has schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and a failure to understand reality. It is offensive and stigmatizing.

  • For example, “Don’t listen to him, he’s schizo.”
  • In a conversation about mental health, someone might say, “It’s important to challenge the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and educate people about the disorder.”
  • A person might comment, “Using ‘schizo’ as an insult only perpetuates harmful stereotypes.”

9. Bipolar bear

This term is a play on words, combining “bipolar” (a mental disorder characterized by extreme mood swings) and “polar bear.” It is used to describe someone who has bipolar disorder in a lighthearted or humorous way.

  • For instance, “I’m a bipolar bear, I never know how I’m going to feel from one moment to the next.”
  • In a conversation about mental health, someone might say, “Using terms like ‘bipolar bear’ can help reduce the stigma around bipolar disorder.”
  • A person might comment, “I embrace my identity as a bipolar bear and use humor to cope with my condition.”

10. Depressed AF

This term is an abbreviation of “depressed as f***,” using a vulgar word to emphasize the severity of someone’s depression. It is often used in a casual or informal context.

  • For example, “I’m feeling depressed AF today, I can’t even get out of bed.”
  • In a conversation about mental health, someone might say, “Using terms like ‘depressed AF’ can trivialize the seriousness of depression.”
  • A person might comment, “I’ve been struggling with depression for years, and it’s definitely more than just feeling ‘depressed AF’.”

11. Anxious AF

This slang term is used to describe someone who is feeling extremely anxious or stressed out. The “AF” stands for “as f***” and adds emphasis to the intensity of the anxiety.

  • For example, “I have a big presentation tomorrow and I’m anxious AF.”
  • Someone might say, “I can’t handle crowded places, I get anxious AF.”
  • Another person might share, “Anxious AF about meeting my partner’s parents for the first time.”

12. OCD

This acronym refers to a mental health condition called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors that individuals feel compelled to perform to alleviate anxiety.

  • For instance, “I have OCD, so I have to check the stove multiple times before leaving the house.”
  • Someone might say, “My OCD makes it difficult for me to leave my room without organizing everything.”
  • Another person might explain, “OCD is more than just liking things clean, it’s a constant battle with intrusive thoughts.”

13. PTSD

This acronym refers to a mental health condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is typically caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and can lead to symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

  • For example, “I have PTSD from my time in the military, loud noises trigger me.”
  • Someone might say, “My PTSD makes it difficult for me to be in crowded places.”
  • Another person might share, “PTSD can be debilitating, but therapy and support can help manage the symptoms.”

14. Triggered

In the context of mental health, “triggered” refers to experiencing a strong emotional response, often related to past trauma or distressing experiences. It can be used to describe feeling overwhelmed or upset by something that reminds a person of their trauma.

  • For instance, “Seeing violence on TV can trigger me and bring back memories of my own trauma.”
  • Someone might say, “I got triggered when I heard that song, it reminds me of a painful breakup.”
  • Another person might explain, “Certain smells can trigger my anxiety and make me feel on edge.”

15. Down in the dumps

This slang phrase is used to describe feeling extremely sad or depressed. It implies a deep emotional low or a state of unhappiness.

  • For example, “I failed my exam and I’m really down in the dumps about it.”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately, I think I need to talk to someone.”
  • Another person might share, “When I’m down in the dumps, I find comfort in spending time with my pets.”

16. On edge

When someone is “on edge,” they are feeling anxious, tense, or easily irritated. It’s a way to describe someone who is on the brink of losing control of their emotions.

  • For example, “Ever since the accident, she’s been on edge and jumpy.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been on edge all day waiting for the test results.”
  • Another might say, “He’s been on edge lately, snapping at everyone for no reason.”

17. Mental breakdown

A mental breakdown refers to a severe and sudden deterioration in mental health. It often involves an inability to cope with stressors and can result in a loss of functioning in daily life.

  • For instance, “She had a mental breakdown after months of intense pressure at work.”
  • A person might say, “I’m afraid I’m going to have a mental breakdown if I don’t take a break soon.”
  • Another might say, “He had a mental breakdown and had to take a leave of absence from school.”

18. Nervous wreck

A nervous wreck is someone who is extremely anxious or stressed. It’s a way to describe someone who is constantly on edge and easily overwhelmed by their emotions.

  • For example, “She’s a nervous wreck before every big presentation.”
  • A person might say, “I’m a nervous wreck about the upcoming job interview.”
  • Another might say, “He’s a nervous wreck when it comes to flying.”

19. Out of their mind

When someone is “out of their mind,” they are not thinking clearly or acting irrationally. It’s a way to describe someone who is behaving in a way that is disconnected from reality.

  • For instance, “He was out of his mind with grief after the loss of his loved one.”
  • A person might say, “I was so angry, I was out of my mind and said things I didn’t mean.”
  • Another might say, “She’s out of her mind if she thinks she can get away with that.”

20. Losing it

When someone is “losing it,” they are becoming emotionally overwhelmed or losing control. It’s a way to describe someone who is struggling to maintain their composure or cope with a situation.

  • For example, “I’m so stressed, I feel like I’m losing it.”
  • A person might say, “She started yelling and throwing things, completely losing it.”
  • Another might say, “He’s been under so much pressure lately, he’s on the verge of losing it.”

21. Battling demons

This phrase refers to the intense and ongoing struggle with one’s inner thoughts and emotions. It often implies a constant battle against negative feelings, self-doubt, or mental health issues.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’ve been battling my inner demons for years, but I’m slowly learning to cope.”
  • In a therapy session, a person might express, “I feel like I’m constantly battling demons in my mind.”
  • A friend might offer support by saying, “I’m here for you in your battle against your inner demons.”

22. Walking on eggshells

This phrase is used to describe the feeling of being extremely cautious or careful when interacting with someone who has a mental health issue or is emotionally sensitive. It implies the need to tread lightly to avoid causing distress or triggering negative emotions.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I feel like I’m always walking on eggshells around my friend with anxiety.”
  • In a support group, someone might share, “Living with a loved one who has bipolar disorder can feel like constantly walking on eggshells.”
  • A therapist might advise, “When communicating with someone who has PTSD, it’s important to be mindful and avoid triggers. It’s like walking on eggshells.”

23. Going off the rails

This phrase is used to describe a person who is experiencing a period of intense emotional distress or instability. It suggests that the individual is losing control or behaving in a way that is out of character or unpredictable.

  • For example, someone might say, “Ever since the breakup, she’s been going off the rails.”
  • In a therapy session, a person might express, “I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of going off the rails.”
  • A friend might offer support by saying, “I’m here for you, even when you feel like you’re going off the rails.”

24. Mind games

This phrase refers to manipulative or deceptive tactics used by individuals to control or confuse others emotionally or mentally. It implies the use of psychological strategies to gain power or advantage over someone.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He’s always playing mind games with me, making me question my own sanity.”
  • In a therapy session, a person might share, “I’ve been a victim of mind games in past relationships, and it has affected my self-esteem.”
  • A friend might offer support by saying, “Don’t let their mind games affect your sense of self-worth. You deserve better.”

25. Freaking out

This phrase is used to describe a state of extreme anxiety, panic, or distress. It implies a heightened emotional response to a situation or event, often accompanied by a loss of control or rational thinking.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m freaking out about the upcoming presentation.”
  • In a therapy session, a person might express, “I have a tendency to freak out in social situations, even when there’s no real danger.”
  • A friend might offer support by saying, “Take deep breaths and try to calm down. You’re freaking out, but everything will be okay.”

26. Unhinged

This term refers to someone who is mentally or emotionally unstable, often to the point of irrational behavior or actions. It implies a lack of stability or composure.

  • For example, “After the breakup, he became completely unhinged and started vandalizing her property.”
  • In a discussion about a public figure’s erratic behavior, someone might say, “It’s clear that he’s become unhinged and is not fit for office.”
  • A person describing their own emotional state might say, “I feel like I’m on the verge of becoming unhinged, everything is overwhelming me.”

27. Snapping

This term refers to reaching a breaking point or losing control of one’s emotions or behavior. It implies a sudden and drastic change in demeanor or actions.

  • For instance, “After weeks of stress, she finally snapped and started yelling at her coworkers.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s outburst, a person might say, “I can’t believe he snapped like that, he’s usually so calm.”
  • A person describing their own experience might say, “I feel like I’m on the edge of snapping, everything is building up inside me.”

28. Mental fog

This term describes a state of mental confusion or haziness, where one’s thoughts or cognitive abilities feel unclear or foggy. It is often used to describe difficulty in thinking or making decisions.

  • For example, “I can’t seem to concentrate today, I’m in a mental fog.”
  • In a discussion about the effects of medication, someone might say, “I experienced mental fog as a side effect of the medication.”
  • A person describing their own experience might say, “Ever since the accident, I’ve been in a constant mental fog, it’s hard to focus on anything.”

29. Crazy train

This term refers to someone or something that is characterized by chaotic or unpredictable behavior. It implies a lack of stability or rationality.

  • For instance, “She’s been on a crazy train lately, making impulsive decisions and causing drama.”
  • In a conversation about a wild party, someone might say, “That party was a crazy train, people were doing all sorts of reckless things.”
  • A person describing their own emotional state might say, “My emotions have been like a crazy train lately, up and down with no warning.”

30. Emotional rollercoaster

This term describes a situation or experience where one’s emotions go through extreme and rapid changes, similar to the ups and downs of a rollercoaster ride. It implies a lack of emotional stability.

  • For example, “Being in a toxic relationship is like being on an emotional rollercoaster, one minute you’re happy and the next you’re devastated.”
  • In a discussion about a difficult period in someone’s life, a person might say, “She’s been on an emotional rollercoaster since her father passed away.”
  • A person describing their own experience might say, “Living with a mental illness is like being on an emotional rollercoaster, I never know how I’ll feel from one day to the next.”

31. Panic attack

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety that can cause physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pain. It can be triggered by various factors and can be extremely distressing.

  • For example, “I had a panic attack in the middle of the crowded mall and had to leave immediately.”
  • Someone might say, “I often experience panic attacks when I have to speak in public.”
  • Another person might share, “During a panic attack, I feel like I’m having a heart attack and can’t breathe.”

32. Meltdown

A meltdown refers to an emotional or psychological breakdown where a person becomes overwhelmed by their emotions and may lose control. It can manifest as crying, screaming, or other extreme reactions and is often a response to high levels of stress or frustration.

  • For instance, “My toddler had a meltdown in the grocery store because I wouldn’t buy him candy.”
  • A person might say, “I had a meltdown at work and ended up yelling at my boss.”
  • Another might share, “When I have a meltdown, it feels like I can’t control my emotions and everything becomes too much to handle.”

33. Burnout

Burnout refers to a state of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged stress or overwork. It can result in a loss of motivation, decreased productivity, and feelings of cynicism or detachment. Burnout is often associated with work-related stress but can occur in other areas of life as well.

  • For example, “I’ve been working long hours for months, and now I’m experiencing burnout.”
  • A person might say, “I used to love my job, but now I feel completely burned out.”
  • Another might share, “I experienced burnout after taking on too many responsibilities and not prioritizing self-care.”

34. Strung out

“Strung out” is a slang term used to describe a state of physical and mental exhaustion. It can refer to feeling drained, overwhelmed, or excessively tired. This term is often associated with drug addiction, but it can also be used more broadly to describe a general feeling of fatigue.

  • For instance, “I’ve been pulling all-nighters for weeks, and now I’m completely strung out.”
  • Someone might say, “I feel strung out after dealing with a difficult situation for a long time.”
  • Another person might share, “I’ve been working two jobs to make ends meet, and I’m starting to feel strung out.”

35. Shell shocked

Shell shocked is a term originally used to describe the psychological impact of being exposed to the intense and prolonged bombardment of artillery shells during war. It is now used more broadly to describe a state of severe shock or trauma, often resulting from a highly distressing or overwhelming experience.

  • For example, “After witnessing a car accident, I felt completely shell shocked and couldn’t stop shaking.”
  • A person might say, “I was shell shocked after receiving the news of a loved one’s sudden death.”
  • Another might share, “The survivors of the natural disaster were left shell shocked and struggling to cope with the aftermath.”

36. Out of sorts

This phrase is commonly used to describe a state of feeling unsettled, unwell, or not quite right. It can refer to a general feeling of being off or out of balance.

  • For example, “I’ve been out of sorts all day, I just can’t seem to focus.”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately, I think I need a break.”
  • Another might describe their mood as, “I’ve been feeling out of sorts, like everything is irritating me.”

37. Frayed nerves

This phrase is used to describe a state of extreme stress or anxiety, where one’s nerves feel frayed or worn thin.

  • For instance, “After a long day at work, my nerves are frayed.”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been dealing with a lot lately, my nerves are completely frayed.”
  • Another might describe their anxiety as, “I feel like I’m constantly on edge, my nerves are frayed.”

38. Mental anguish

This term refers to extreme mental or emotional pain, often associated with feelings of deep distress or anguish.

  • For example, “She was going through a period of mental anguish after the loss of a loved one.”
  • Someone might say, “The constant pressure and stress at work have caused me a lot of mental anguish.”
  • Another might describe their emotional state as, “I’m in a state of mental anguish, it’s hard to find any joy in anything.”

39. Dark place

This phrase is used to describe a state of emotional darkness, typically associated with feelings of sadness, despair, or depression.

  • For instance, “After the breakup, she fell into a dark place.”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been in a dark place lately, it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
  • Another might describe their mood as, “I’m feeling really down and stuck in a dark place right now.”

40. Ticking time bomb

This term refers to someone who is experiencing intense emotional pressure or stress and is at risk of losing control or having a breakdown.

  • For example, “After weeks of dealing with stress at work, he felt like a ticking time bomb.”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been under so much pressure lately, I feel like a ticking time bomb.”
  • Another might describe their emotional state as, “I’m on the edge, like a ticking time bomb ready to explode.”

41. Depressed

Depressed is a term used to describe a state of extreme sadness or low mood. It is often associated with feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, and a lack of energy.

  • For example, “I’ve been feeling really depressed lately, I just can’t seem to find any joy in anything.”
  • A person might say, “I’m so depressed, I don’t even want to get out of bed.”
  • Someone might express their feelings by saying, “I feel so depressed, it’s like a heavy weight on my chest.”

42. Anxious

Anxious refers to a state of uneasiness, fear, or worry. It is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling.

  • For instance, “I’m feeling really anxious about the upcoming exam, I can’t stop worrying.”
  • A person might say, “I get really anxious in social situations, I always feel like everyone is judging me.”
  • Someone experiencing anxiety might describe it as, “I feel so anxious, it’s like there’s a constant knot in my stomach.”

43. Batty

Batty is a slang term used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or eccentric. It is often used in a lighthearted or joking manner.

  • For example, “She’s a bit batty, always talking to herself and wearing mismatched socks.”
  • A person might say, “I feel like I’m going batty with all the stress at work.”
  • Someone might describe a friend as, “He’s a bit batty, always coming up with wild ideas and theories.”

44. Cracked

Cracked is a term used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or mentally ill. It is often used in a derogatory or dismissive manner.

  • For instance, “He’s completely cracked, always talking to imaginary people.”
  • A person might say, “I think she’s cracked, she’s been acting really strange lately.”
  • Someone might describe a situation as, “It was a cracked idea, it never had a chance of success.”

45. Deranged

Deranged is a term used to describe someone who is mentally disturbed or mentally ill. It implies a severe level of mental instability or irrational behavior.

  • For example, “He went on a deranged rampage, destroying everything in his path.”
  • A person might say, “I feel like I’m going deranged with all the stress and pressure.”
  • Someone might describe a criminal as, “He’s deranged, there’s no telling what he might do next.”

46. Mad

This term can refer to both anger or insanity, depending on the context. It is often used to describe extreme emotions or irrational behavior.

  • For example, “I’m so mad at him for breaking my phone.”
  • In a discussion about mental health, someone might say, “She’s been acting a little mad lately.”
  • Another usage could be, “I was so mad when I found out I didn’t get the job.”

47. Nutty

This slang term is used to describe someone who is a bit crazy or eccentric in their behavior or thinking.

  • For instance, “She’s always coming up with nutty ideas.”
  • In a conversation about a friend, someone might say, “He’s a bit nutty, but he’s fun to be around.”
  • Another usage could be, “I felt like I was going a little nutty during quarantine.”

48. Screw loose

This phrase is used to describe someone who is mentally unstable or has some kind of psychological issue.

  • For example, “He’s got a screw loose if he thinks he can fly.”
  • In a discussion about a coworker, someone might say, “I think there’s a screw loose in her head.”
  • Another usage could be, “People might think I have a screw loose, but I’m just being myself.”

49. Looney tunes

This term is derived from the name of the classic cartoon series “Looney Tunes” and is used to describe someone who is crazy or insane.

  • For instance, “She’s acting like she’s in the looney tunes.”
  • In a conversation about a chaotic situation, someone might say, “It was like the looney tunes in there.”
  • Another usage could be, “I feel like I’m living in the looney tunes sometimes.”

50. Cuckoo’s nest

This phrase is a reference to the novel and film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and is used to refer to a mental institution or psychiatric hospital.

  • For example, “He’s been in and out of the cuckoo’s nest for years.”
  • In a discussion about mental health treatment, someone might say, “I hope she gets the help she needs at the cuckoo’s nest.”
  • Another usage could be, “I felt like I was going to end up in the cuckoo’s nest if I didn’t get my anxiety under control.”

51. Crazy

This term is often used colloquially to describe someone or something as mentally unstable or irrational. It can be considered offensive or stigmatizing when used to refer to individuals with mental health conditions.

  • For example, someone might say, “She went crazy after her breakup.”
  • In a discussion about a chaotic situation, one might exclaim, “It’s absolute crazy in here!”
  • A person might use the term to describe their own behavior, saying, “I did something crazy last night.”

52. Mental

This word is typically used to refer to something related to the mind or mental processes. It can be used in a neutral or descriptive sense, but can also be used in a derogatory or stigmatizing manner when referring to mental health.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I need to take care of my mental health.”
  • In a conversation about stress, a person might say, “The mental toll of this job is overwhelming.”
  • A person might use the term to describe their state of mind, saying, “I’m feeling a bit mental today.”

53. Loon

This term is a derogatory slang word used to describe someone who is perceived as mentally unstable or crazy. It is considered offensive and stigmatizing when used to refer to individuals with mental health conditions.

  • For example, someone might say, “Don’t listen to him, he’s a total loon.”
  • In a discussion about unpredictable behavior, one might say, “He’s a bit of a loon when it comes to decision-making.”
  • A person might use the term jokingly to describe themselves, saying, “I’m a loon before I’ve had my morning coffee.”
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