I’ve been told tonight that I should not use the term ‘mentally ill’. I should instead refer to people as neurodivergent. Because ‘mental illness’ is an insult.
oh my god, I’m…
Nnnnope, I have a mental fucking illness. You don’t call someone with asthma “bronchodivergent”.
I just have to reblog this for that last comment.
There is a distinct difference between a neurological disorder and a mental illness. Trying to classify them both as the same thing is harmful to people with one, the other, or both. My Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder, not a mental illness. My depression is a mental illness, not neurodivergence.
I feel like Tumblr has forgotten that the origin of neurodivergence and its actual use in activist groups IRL is to discuss how neurological differences should be viewed as differences in people and normalized/accepted within society, not as a manner to other mentally ill persons.
By conflating things such as depression and neurodivergence, it’s implying that the Autism spectrum should be compared to illnesses that harm people, rather than using it to uplift Autistic persons.
And no, the only thing “insulting” about “mental illness” is that it could be considered an insult at all. It’s not insulting to describe being ill by referring to it as illness. People who are depressed or suffering PTSD — we do not enjoy it. We do not enjoy or celebrate being unable to get out of bed, having desires to harm or kill ourselves, or losing out on life experiences because we’re unmotivated or incapacitated by the literal damage within our brain’s functioning and ability to produce serotonin.
It’s an illness and it needs to be cured. Period.
I am bolding the above because I have also seen a lot of posts floating around this website that conflate “curing” with “erasure”— for both mental illness and neurological disorders. Both of these things can rule peoples’ lives in a negative way if they’re not treated, and somebody who desires to get them under control (via medicating or other methods) is not in any way erasing the experiences of others.
Scientists working on a medication that could help stave off impulses of (for example) an OCD-spectrum disorder (tics, trich hair-pulling, demanding personal rituals, etc.) are not trying to ‘erase’ peoples’ personality, it’s out of an understanding that these things can make daily life incredibly difficult. A therapist trying to help an autistic adult in their parents’ care feel more comfortable about better prioritizing their rigid daily routines so they can find a job and support themselves is not trying to erase them or their autism.
This goes triple for mental illness.
Erasure is to not talk about people. Erasure is to not give them chances. Erasure is to not let people speak for themselves. Giving people tools they need to make their lives easier is not erasure.
I realize this is kind of a deviation from the original post but I see this so much on this website.
I just got back from my therapist so I”m extremely emotional right now.
I do not want to be called ‘nueodivergent’ because some random ass person decided to come up with some pc fucking bullshit to make themselves feel better about being around mentally ill people. I do not want to have it implied that this is who I am forever and to love and accept it, embrace it and find people who are willing to love and embrace me with my special snowflakeness.
Do you know what fucking hell it is to have a mental illness? Do you know what hell it is to be speaking to your best friend only to have them walk around the corner, and the person you were speaking to disolves in front of you? Do you know what hell it is to walk up and down stairs and see hands pushing and pulling, doing what they can to make you fall? Do you know what hell it is to see the person you fear most come right up into your space in braod daylight in front of dozens of people and you have to HOLD IT TOGETHER SO NO ONE SEES THAT YOU ARE HALLUCINATING? To taking to sleeping under your drafting table because that way you don’t wake up to your abuser leaning over you in the morning, even though you’ve not even SEEN them in years? But you see them every single morning as though they were there clear as day?
Do you know what hell it is to be told over and over that you have to get your anxiety levels back to normal or you will have another stroke? But to be told that they aren’t sure about prescribing medications because your mother put in your medical history that you were a drug abuser (even though you never have been), and so you have to go through weeks and weeks adn weeks of study and diagnoses before they feel it’s okay to ‘risk’ it. But you just need to meditate and that’ll be fine. Or to be told to ‘just calm down’ while you physically are not in control of your mind at all and if feels like someone reached into your brain, hit the fastforwards button and while they’re at it threw in every single fear you have into the mix so you’re fastforwarding through terror?
Do you know what hell it is to watch your friends drift away one by one because they just… can’t anymore. They can’t take knowing that you need reassurance 24/7 that they are EVEN REAL and you aren’t hallucinating their friendship. That you need reassurance every single day that you are still friends and that fight you dreamt of last night wasn’t real and things are still okay. That the constant paranoia and distrust from ptsd means that they have to prove themselves over and over and over and over and over that they won’t betray that trust, they won’t lie to me, they won’t use me, they won’t BREAK me. And somehow still be there for you? To have the most one sided friendship you can possibly have because you cannot return their care and be there for them emotionally because you are STILL completely out of control and batshit crazy? And no it is NOT reasonable to expect that to be a healthy relationship with a ‘neurodivergent’ becuase I SHOULD HAVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WHERE I CAN BE THERE FOR PEOPLE and I can’t. To know that your friends can’t ask ‘how is your day’ because either you have to lie and say fine, or you tell them the truth and they just sit there helpless, and then they just stop talking to you until the next awkward time they ask how are things and you smile and lie until it breaks you. Because there reaches a point when they are just helpless. When they are lost. Or worst, pulled down with you, dragged into depression and anxiety and paranoia and fear because you are just a whirlpool of darkness and everything comes tumbling down.
Yeah. Don’t call me fucking neurodivergent. I’m mentally ill. I don’t want to be treated like a special goddamn snowflake, I have ptsd, I have general anxiety disorder, and the lack of any effective treatment has made it also spiral into depression. And just found out today that I’ve been considered ‘low functioniong’ ofr YEARS with notes to contact social services to get me some help but no one even mentioned it to me. It has nearly killed me several times, and I NEED A GODDAMN CURE. Not to be some snowflake.
I hate how people stop asking me to do fun things, because they’re worried I need special care because of anxiety. I hate how my circle of friends no longer considers me when they decide to do fun adventures together, because I ‘need space’. That is what happens when people think you are just ‘special and need special treatment’. I hate how I go to the hospital and my ex hsuband is listed as next of kin and he tells people ‘she’s just an artist, she’s a little unique’, when I’ve been unconcious for 12 hours and am barely responding. Because I’m ‘neurodivergent’. Fuck that noise.
I need to be recovered. That’s what I need.