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Why I Never Call Anyone "Mentally Ill"

Updated on December 21, 2014
Huntgoddess profile image

I am a mom and granny, still hoping to finish my undergrad degree someday. I've been hoping to get to law school since I was eight.

Clear Spring Bubbling Up

One of my favorite spots. It reminds me of Robert Frost's poem, "Going for Water":  ---  ". . . A slender tinkling fall that made/   Now drops that floated on the pool/  Like pearls, and now a silver blade."    (I love the watercress. )
One of my favorite spots. It reminds me of Robert Frost's poem, "Going for Water": --- ". . . A slender tinkling fall that made/ Now drops that floated on the pool/ Like pearls, and now a silver blade." (I love the watercress. )

They are Entitled to Reasonable Accommodation

It's a pejorative and dehumanizing term.

We don't call blind people "visually ill".

We don't call deaf people "auditorily ill."

We don't call people in wheelchairs "kinesthetically ill."

We don't call those who are unable to speak, "vocally ill".

We call all the above people "disabled." By calling them disabled, we recognize and acknowledge that society owes them reasonable accommodation.

But, for people with psych disabilities, we want to focus on the term "illness".

Why is that? Why do we do that?

It's scapegoating them, but why do we want to scapegoat them? We used to scapegoat many other groups ---- people with darker skin, women, gay people. We don't do that anymore.

Yet, we still scapegoat those with psych disabilities.

Why the Poem by Robert Frost?

It's purely personal.

Sometimes people with psych Dx's have a clearer insight than "normal" folks, I think.

Never Believe the Statements of a Person with a Psychiatic Diagnosis?

Most people with psych diagnoses are survivors of child abuse. When I said that to a psychiatrist friend, he replied, "They are ALL survivors of child abuse."

"How can you believe what this person says? She (he) has a diagnosis of _________ (bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder et al? --- fill in the blank). Therefore, she does not know what she is saying, and might just be imagining it. Her parents didn't really abuse her when she was a kid. Ha, ha, she's just crazy."

Beware of Easy Answers

A person with a psychiatric disability (diagnosis) might or might not be accurately reporting something. Just because it's unthinkable, that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Maybe it did happen, but nobody believes it because it's unbelievable.

Not only that, but maybe it's a great cover for abusers.

Maybe that's one of the reasons the "neurobiological brain disorder" theory is so popular. Nobody is responsible for anything. It's just random.



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