I stopped blogging a few months ago. The young man referred to in this post got in touch and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Someone went through my entire back catalogue of writing that same day, and it just left me spooked. Afraid of writing. Well, several months on, I need an outlet more than I’m afraid of what people think of what I say. I’m not going to commit to a post every day, just when there are things boiling over in my mind.
Have you seen those cute BuzzFeed quizzes? They tell you which Disney princess you are, what country you really belong in, what colour your aura is. All very light, fun things. Well, today I came across a new one. “What mental illness do you have?” It makes me feel sick.
Mental illness is not a joke, a laugh-away line. No, person who took the quiz, you do not have OCD. Being picky with the housework is not OCD and you need to stop claiming it right now. Mental illnesses are serious business, and reducing them to a quiz for fun is insulting.
Insulted. That’s how I feel. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything, maybe insult to an individual isn’t really important, but I feel like my lived experiences are being mocked, and I think people like me deserve better.
Why haven’t I said anything to the girl who posted the quiz? Well, she’s not someone I know well, but I do know that we share very different values. I feel like I’m at risk of being told to ‘lighten up’ and I don’t think I could take that at the moment. Being told to not take one of the major parts of my life seriously is soul-destroying. I’m too fragile at the moment to risk it.
I took the risk of talking about it on Twitter when the subject came up this morning. The only reply I got was “Cheap diagnosis”. A cheap shot at a serious issue, and I was sad. If the generally mental-illness-aware people I follow/am followed by on Twitter can shrug it off like that, what hope did I have in the mauling pit of Facebook?
Mental illness is is not something to be tossed around lightly. It affects the lives of many people in some pretty serious ways, and to reduce it to a light-hearted questionnaire is rude and insulting.