I'm writing a sentence which goes like this:

I could sense the dysphoria setting in her voice even through a noisy phone call.

Is this the correct use of the word?, what else can I use to make this sentence more impactful?

  • Welcome to Writing.SE! We can advise you on word choice, but asking us to help you rewrite an entire sentence is off-topic here, I'm afraid. I'd suggest focusing on the first part of your question, i.e. whether "dysphoria" is the correct word to use in this context. – F1Krazy Jan 6 at 14:02
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    Actually, that's exactly what I want to ask. Does using "dysphoria" make sense in this context? – Fclass Jan 6 at 15:26
  • Ah, okay, fair enough. I misunderstood what you meant by "what else can I use to make this sentence more impactful", and thought you were asking for help re-writing the rest of the sentence as well. Thanks for clearing that up! – F1Krazy Jan 6 at 15:28

I would think carefully about using the word "dysphoria" in that context. The most common use of the word "dysphoria" is in the phrase "gender dysphoria," which is a very specific psychological term. Even if you think it's safe to assume your readers won't be confused by dysphoria's close relationship with gender dysphoria, it is a term with a rather clinical connotation. It's as though you're giving a psychological evaluation of the woman on the other end of the phone.

If you want that clinical connotation, then it's a strong word to use. But if you want a more direct emotional descriptor, you'd be best served by thinking of the particular emotion the woman is feeling. Dysphoria is an emotion, but close synonyms that don't have the same sterile connotation include anxiety, fear, and malaise, and apprehension.

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