This was a trending hashtag I spotted on Twitter late Saturday night while
innocently minding my own business drinking tea and lurking to see what was going on in the world. I was expecting to see the X Factor finalists or something equally innocuous. But no.
OH HI CAS, YOU CRAZY, REMEMBER THAT, K? THIS IS HOW SOCIETY VIEWS YOU.
That’s how my head works. That’s how I read what I saw, accompanied by a friendly little hashtag in a vain attempt to make it less painful and insulting and more LOLZ.
I tried to find the catalyst, curious as to why the notion entered someone’s brain that this might be a responsible, appropriate thing to aim at vulnerable, struggling and very unwell people. However, after some research, Twitter don’t / won’t allow you to find the origin of a hashtag. I can see it’s reached over 800,000 users. I can see there has been 703 tweets using the hashtag at the time of writing this. After scrolling through over 700 tweets that have used the hashtag as a piggy-back for far-right political views, kids publicly humiliating their peers and pretty much every form of bigotry you can imagine – I gave up, imploring STOP, I WANNA GET OFF NOW PLEASE to no one in particular.
#ThingsACrazyPersonWouldSay plastered over social media, right there, impossible to miss.
Ya know social media, right? That lifesaving tool that helps millions of us cray cray folk interact with the world, to help us feel less alone, where we can have a voice, where we are listened to and valued for a small portion of our day. While in the real world, crisis teams tell us to have a nice cup of tea, a hot bath and “Oh, awkward, soz, our waiting lists are 18 months long btw”.
Where we’re pushed out the doors of our GP surgeries and A&E departments as we’re not “bad enough”. Where our families, friends and society turn their backs on us because “What, you’re still ill?” and “You have nothing to be depressed about!” or “You seemed OK the last time I saw you.” in an accusing tone.
The real world where we’re alienated, dehumanised and the punchline to easy jokes.
Words such as crazy, mad, mental, nuts, loon, dotty, bonkers and all their derivatives and synonyms have stubbornly woven themselves into our language like an ugly stain that seemingly refuses to budge. To the point where it’s apparently totally OK to title children’s films “The Nut Job” (I honestly couldn’t give a furry rodent’s arse that it’s about squirrels – we all know what a nutjob / nutcase is FFS). It’s all risque and humorous for a dubbed baby to call another baby “a psycho,” in an advert. Then there’s the even more dangerous and misguided trivialisation of severe mental illnesses. The weather is not bipolar. I highly doubt your friend did in fact “go” schizo. And I’m pretty sure your dad / neighbour / MIL / ex isn’t a psycho.
This ain’t a case of political correctness gone into overdrive. It’s about not being a cunt.
It’s about not deeming one human being lesser than you or lower down the food chain because they are ill. Because their bodies and minds and thoughts and feelings and behaviours are not those of a healthy, functioning person.
It’s about having a modicum of consideration and compassion for those who are unwell with illnesses we cannot see.
Mental illness isn’t a cheap gag. We are not jokes. We don’t wear bloodstained strait jackets or Asda “mental patient” costumes. We don’t write melancholy poetry in the dark with our own blood. The vast majority of us don’t scream nonsensically for no apparent reason. We are not insignificant “things” to laugh and point at and to help you feel better about yourselves.
Crazy doesn’t exist. Crazy isn’t a diagnosis or a medically recognised condition. We have a hard enough time as it is getting the little help we do receive with actual moderate to severe illnesses and disorders.
Exactly the same things a non-crazy person would say tbh.
The most dangerous thing we can say?