May 1, 2009

Blogging Against Disablism Day

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009Ableism is rife in our society and it's not hard to recognise. How many times have you heard someone use words like lame, mental, cripple and insane? You've probably used them yourself.

It's privilege in action. Unpacking and examining that privilege requires learning and behavioral change. You can start by reading this, this and this. Seriously, go and read.

I am disabled. I have severe clinical depression and PTSD as a result of rape, stalking, assault and other factors. I cannot cheer up or snap out of it. My brain chemistry has been altered. Telling me that you're sure I'll be better soon does not help either of us.

"Why don't you just stop taking the meds" is guaranteed a bitter laugh and possibly violent thoughts but no follow through. Taking anti depressants is the only reason I can get up in the afternoon or garden or blog or feed myself etc. The side effects or shitty but at least they allow me to function. I am lucky enough to have a medical card and a doctor that does not automatically think I'm imagining it. I am not going to give up the meds and please stop giving me advice on what you think I should do. That's between my doctors and myself.

Don't tell me to cheer up or that it will all be all right or any other well intentioned platitudes that serve no purpose apart from making me feel shitty and give you the vague sensation of having made a difference in the situation.

Finally before you tell a person to come off their medication or mention that people in Country A have a far worse time than in Country B and so your interlocutor has nothing to be depressed about, just think and then don't say it.

I don't choose to be depressed so don't insinuate that a have a choice.

Think about what you are about to say and feel free not to offer "helpful" advice or cures. Seriously. Just don't.


seahorse said...

Absolutely. Cheer up is my most hated phrase to hear from a stranger. F off, I feel like replying.

Never That Easy said...

It's not a choice - if only more people could get that one, vital point. Excellent post.

Mór Rígan said...

@seahorse I often do tell people to take a long walk off a short pier unless I'm too busy crying. Thanks for commenting

@Never That Easy I don't think I can ever say that enough - not a choice. Thanks for commenting.