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Our Illness is not Mental

October 5, 2015

This piece is written by a friend of mine over at a mental health support site. She is brutally honest about this condition we both have and I couldn’t possibly have said these things better.

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If there is anything I hate more than the term “mental illness,” it is being called “mentally ill.”

Gag me.

I mean, yes there is something rather “messed up” in our brains. And for no reason at all it can randomly make us feel….  sad/bad/crappy/anxious/terrified/awful/full of broken glass/aching/deadened/agitated/unsettled/enraged/flattened/hopeless/numb/broken/lost/needy/emotionally destitute/dysphoric/mixed/depressed………

and I guess “ill” is as good a word as any to use to cover all of that.

Except. it is not.

It would be a good word if it at least made people think that we have physical illness in our brains.  And that this would inspire them to give us the same understanding and compassion that they give other physically “ill” people.

But we all know that is not the case.

If anything “mentally ill” has a more stigmafying effect.  It makes people uncomfortable.  It conjures up unpleasant images.

I know it does for me.  I see a blurry…

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