Mental Health Awareness month, politics 

It’s mental health awareness month. A friend recently asked me whether I identify as mentally ill, if that’s a term that defines me. I said I evaluate these terms, almost all terms, by the solidarities and possibilities for community and power that they produce. So yes, I proudly call myself mentally ill, just as I proudly call myself disabled, a Mad man, a psychiatric survivor, and an institutionalized person. All these not only describe my experience of the world, but bind me deeply and powerfully to others, people I trust, people I love, people I’m building the future with. We are the mad, the disabled, the survivors, the institutionalized, and yes, we are the mentally ill.

Mental Health Awareness month, politics 

Which brings me to an orientation within “mental health awareness” that makes me more skeptical of it as an idea, as an event. It seems many people are interpreting metal health awareness as a time to urge others to seek help if they need it, to be open to medical intervention. Now let’s put aside whether medical intervention is always right or always wrong. The fact is, when we urge others to seek care, what we are doing is creating one of the first major common traumas of mental illness: loneliness. We think we are urging this person to turn to others, but in fact, we are individualizing their problem, we are turning from caretakers and community members into chiding outsiders. “Get help” is not the same as “I will help you.” I know it’s hard to be in community with the mentally ill. Trust me, I, and all of us who have had to sit in group therapy or live in psychiatric facilities, know that it’s hard. We say weird shit, we’re unpleasant and repetitive, some of us smell. But if you want to live in a community, a really real community, of real people with real problems, you have to hold the line. Instead of “this person must take responsibility for their own illness” you must think “how can we all share this burden they are facing?”

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Mental Health Awareness month, politics 

The Mentally Ill are human. That’s what I want you to be aware of this month. We are deeply human, impossibly human, dazzlingly human. We feel things so deeply, think things so horrible and beautiful, hear such voices, how could we be anything else? Please, be human with us.

Mental Health Awareness month, politics 

@MordecaiMartin Whoa, thank you. I'm deeply impressed about how much I learned from those three toots. Thank you a lot.

Mental Health Awareness month, politics 

@MordecaiMartin That was difficult to read. Thank you.

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Rage.love

Generalist Hometown instance with a strong focus on community standards. No TERF, no SWERF, no Nazi, no Centrist.