“You wouldn’t talk about a person with cancer like that so why do you think it’s ok with mental illness?”
As both disabled and mentally ill may I suggest this bullshit dichotomy die in a pile of thermite? I keep seeing it in stupid memes since the Cambridges decided it’s now “ok to say” (to who? It’s not like funding is there for the services, if we even feel safe or supported seeking help).
People do talk to and about disabled and sick people negatively. This myth that it somehow becomes completely unspeakable when our health is weaponised against us is just that, a myth. We are told it’s our own fault, that we’re just not trying, not positive enough, that just need to drink kale smoothies and take a multivitamin.
People with cancer who smoke or smoked never hear the end of it, people with lifestyles judged morally dubious by some get their illness blamed on that, being too negative or cynical is seemingly a big cause of cancer, spinal cord injury, genetic disorders and all inbetween judging from what we get told, as if the body is manifesting that negativity into substance.
I’ve even heard that owning a set of tarot cards is why body doesn’t produce collagen correctly and my spinal fluid got lost one day.
Don’t try that fad diet your late aunt was on that involved only eating orange coloured food and banana milkshakes while sat under a waterfall with crabs in your hair? Then you obviously don’t want to get better. If you don’t try then it’s your own fault, isn’t it?
If your doctor’s told you this is it, for life, it doesn’t get any better and you don’t keep holding out for that miracle or breakthrough then well… Of course you’re not going to get better with that negativity. You shouldn’t be just trying to get on with your life as you are but rather remaining ever hopeful and looking for every new treatment.
You don’t exercise? Exercise cures so much though! It’s amazing what getting active can do. If you don’t do it then how can you know it doesn’t help? What do you mean you can’t physically do it without being in agony? It produces endorphins! Well fine, stay like that.
The in-joke you may see come up on my feeds about small breakfasts? It came from a friend being told their genetic condition, the same as I have, would get better if only they had a small breakfast every day. The suggestions being brought up almost always has a failure to comply to being implicitly blamed.
“So what’s wrong with you then?”
“Not enough small breakfasts, apparently”
As well as having physical disabilities I am mentally ill. It’s something I’m very open about and you can read about at length here, and though I’ve received more support, particularly in crisis, for my physical health problems than mental health ones, I’ve also received more expectation, judgement, blame, and bullshit for them too.
Our experiences with disability shouldn’t be erased and pitted against each other to make a point about common acceptability of stigma and shame. It should be considered unacceptable regardless.