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16 August 2012

mental health awareness

This showed up in my facebook newsfeed this morning:

Maybe I'm just grumpy because I didn't sleep well. But I don't think so.

I dislike these posters. 
I get that the intention is good,
which is why I don't consider these to be complete abominations. 
The intentions aren't redemptive, though. 

Here's why: the passing depressive episodes that 1 out of 3 people experience in their lifetimes are not mental illness. The mental illness that is depression has no external cause; it is not sparked by, for example, the death of a loved one. It needs no reason. It just is, and it kills.

Conflation of the two is harmful, because it shapes how other people identify - or try to identify - with people who actually have a depressive mental illness. The misconception caused by this conflation gives neutotypical people the idea that they understand Depression, which they consider to be a passing, natural thing, brought about by some sort of sad life event.

It isn't. It can't be understood from a normal, "I'm sad because..." standpoint. There is no fucking "because."

Wrap your little fucking brain around that, then you might just come to some glimmering of understanding. 
(And that would be the grumpiness.)

[Disclaimer: of course, some "normal" people do understand what I'm saying here. Not all of them are ignorant. I get that. Consider this my daily dose of ranting. If it doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't apply to you.]

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