Saturday, July 4, 2020

An outbreak of "mental health"

I've said all these things before, but can you believe that, in these worst of all possible times, I need to say them again? Since no one is paying heed, I guess I have to. This was a Facebook post, and I think it's good enough to share here if anyone cares to read it. 

I don't know if it's the celebrity influence or not (which it might be, because that is mainly what de-stigmatized AIDS via Elizabeth Taylor et. al), but now people NEVER say "mental illness". They say "mental health", and even say things like "I have mental health" or "I lost my son to mental health." 

I protested for years and years about the use of the terms "mental illness/mentally ill", because if you are mentally ill, the terminology means you can never be "well". How can you be well and ill at the same time? You can't. I used to despair that there were NO runs or events or concerts or fund-raising things for "mental illness" and decried the widespread use of "whack job", "nut bar", and all the other appalling terms used to dismiss "the crazies" (and always said with apparently no awareness at all that it's wrong). 

Now, suddenly, I have "mental health", but boy, I don't feel a whole lot better! It was a great thing when "cancer victim" (which used to be the term even for people who were successfully treated) was replaced with "survivor", "warrior," etc. Now we've at least moved ONE chess jump, from "ill", not to "well", but to "health". Now I suppose I'll be told, "well, aren't you grateful the stigma no longer exists?" 

A few years ago, ONE woman rode a horse across Canada to raise awareness of the plight of the "mentally ill". It was barely covered, and she might have made at most a few thousand dollars. But it was implied she was a little crazy herself to be doing it. In the meantime, little or nothing has changed. 

I believe in these pandemic times that references to "loonies", "psychos", etc. etc. have ESCALATED, with people having no qualms whatsoever throwing around terms that, to me, are as offensive as the n-word. I was just a little stressed lately and tried to book a counselling session at a clinic where I had made a good connection earlier in the year, and was told "your file is closed", and as it turns out, even if it COULD be reinstated, all appointments were booked up until well into September. If you want to get any sort of help before that, you have to go to Emergency.

Hell, I'd be violently triggered if I had to go there for a broken toenail, let alone because I have "mental health", due to the demeaning and humiliating treatment I have received there in the past. No thanks!

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