Hope versus expectation

We all know how badly most psychiatry does “hope,” especially for those with a “serious mental illness” label. They speak about the person in hushed tones, as if he or she has already died. They talk about quality of life (what a downer) and social assistance (another downer). This rubs off on the parents and anybody else who is supposed to somehow wake up every day and put on their party face for their relative.

The word “hope” can also sound negative to sensitive types like me. It can sound like the person saying it is struggling with the doubt that hope is only a remote possibility for some but not for all (“There’s always hope!”)

Why don’t we substitute the word “expectation” for “hope,” as in “You are fully expected to get well.” This is not at all far fetched, judging from all the people I’ve been meeting on this blog and reading about elsewhere, who got well. Many of them say that what kept them unwell for quite a while was in part lack of hope and the diminished expectations of those around them.

“Expect” rather than just “hope.”