Things that, as a mentally ill person, I do not find offensive:
- Using the words “crazy” or “nuts” or “insane” to describe something unexpected or incredible, such as “Mars has two moons?! That’s crazy!” or “Wow, those Westboro Baptists sure believe some crazy shit” or “that party was insane!" or "You really think you can have unlimited chocolate by cutting it a certain way? Are you insane?" or "One Direction’s fans went nuts when they stepped out of that chariot."
- Using words like “lunatic” or “madman” to describe someone who’s behavior is fanatical, like “Why is that raving lunatic shouting about abortion at this soldier’s funeral?”
Things that, as a mentally ill person, I find incredibly offensive:
- When you use the words “crazy” or “nuts” or “insane” or “lunatic” or “madman” or any variant as a way of dismissing me or people like me and acting like we’re not full people
- The portrayal in the media of mentally ill people as not existing beyond their illness on the rare occasion we’re shown as existing at all
- The portrayal of mentally ill people as dangerous, or more violent than mentally healthy people, or less intelligent and competent to run their own lives than mentally healthy people, and the fact that a lot of writers don’t seem to understand that “mentally ill” is not a motivation.
- The fact that every time there’s a mass shooting or a bombing or an attack and they can’t scapegoat a religion or race for the crime, the perpetrator seems to grow a mental illness just in time for the trial, and people think that explains (or in some cases excuses) what they did
- The fact that when people push for not allowing people who can’t use them responsibly to own weapons, they always seem to start at “mentally ill people” on the list of people who shouldn’t be allowed handle weapons, even though there’s no correlation between mental illness and violence.
- When people say “you’d have to be crazy to (commit atrocity)” even though no, sane people commit atrocities all the time. In fact, most violent crime is committed by people with no mental illness.
- The fact that I have literally seen otherwise-progressive people suggest that all mentally ill people be registered by the government, and perhaps required to identify themselves, and maybe imprisoned for public safety if the need arises. How would you have us identify ourselves? Should we wear a patch on our clothes, or just present our papers upon request?
But I think what really gets me the most:
- When mentally healthy people call others out on our behalf when it comes to things on the first list, but remain completely silent about, or even actively complicit in, everything on the second list.
this post is extremely important. no one deserves to have their mental illness/condition thrown in their face in any way.
**though keep in mind that some people can be triggered by words like “crazy” and “insane” because those words have been used to hurt or gaslight them in the past. so trying to eliminate such ableist terms from your vocabulary can’t hurt***