As wecontinue to work on developing the Tech Enabled community, I still try and keep myself passionate by talking about mental illness with others. In recent times I have put more focus on fighting for those being discriminated against because of race, sexual orientation, gender and class. If every human isn’t treated like a human, we can’t expect human health issues to make any progress.
Yet, every day people who claim to fight against discrimination still lack the compassion to consider even smaller issues such as mental illness, and this weakens and deteroriates our ability for awareness even more.
This article is a spotlight on a event that proves this point in a ordinary setting.
A editor for the Baltimore Magazine and member of the NO H8 movement made a mocking statement on Twitter about how she was struggling with PTSD from her preferred candidate losing the election. This is someone who appears to fight for some of the same causes I do, and is a active and popular user. So posting something like this, to the audience whom would normally be the ones to help fight the stigma of mental illness and advocate for mental health, hurts it much more so than a person who discrimates against others on other levels would.
This is why I can’t stress enough how important it is, even in this horrible state that is in fact causing depression for some, to try and be respectful to mental illness and not make light of it. It not only hurts people directly, but it hurts the cause for mental illness recognition for the entirety of the population suffering from it.
Needless to say, I had to stand up for myself and others with mental illness by replying to this Twitter user explaining that PTSD was a very serious condition, I myself having been diagnosed with it from years of childhood abuse, and for friends who’ve been in war; I’ve seen the devastation it’s caused to their lives. It blew my mind to see not compassion, but a follow up complaining of being bullied about the original comment. After a harsh but fair reply, she reporting me, and Twitter froze my account.
This whole incident has had such a negative impact on mental health, from mockery to belittlement of those offended, then to involve a corporation like Twitter who would punish those trying to stand up for themselves purely because their reputation isn’t as prominent. This disenfrancises us, and I wish there was a way to make people like this realize that this stigma is important. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a real way to. Maybe it’s just because I feel utterly defeated for being punished for standing up for being belittled.
The point is, something as little as a discriminating tweet against a subject like this, even as we deal with much more horrible discrimination, can have drastic effects that go from making one person have a depressive episode to getting a large, influential, company involved and further hurt and belittle the cause as a whole.
So I ask those of you who fight beside me in the war to end discrimination to have some respect for those fighting mental illness as well.