One small Step for Man

One giant leap for Bipolar! Hmmm it would be nice to see a giant leap for Bipolar, but can’t see that yet. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve ‘come out’ to someone, only to find some weeks later, an argument might ensue, and the term ‘you’re not normal’ is uttered. Or ‘you’re nuts’. Or a ‘lunatic’, or ‘barking !’

The lexicon is surprisingly rich with ill thought through, but hurtful throwaway lines. Even the innocent ones can hurt you  - like fruitcake, or barmy, or crazy. We’ve witnessed a move to effectively outlaw homophobic words, ditto with racist commentary, but we are yet to see that approach be taken with the words regularly spewed out about mental illness. I’m not one for heavy legislation or a believer in political correctness, but one cannot escape the conclusion that the mentally ill are the target of abuse in this respect, and there seems no will legally to address the issue.

Only last week, I was told by someone close to me ‘I’m supposed to be the normal one . It wasn’t meant maliciously I know, but it’s tossed out without thought, because its part and parcel of everyday language. Practically anyone with an alternative approach to life, or any eccentricities, or habits, or whatever, is soon classed as a fruitcake, or a head-case, or a weirdo; the sobriquet  depending to some extent on social class.

I can assure such cynics that my lights are on and there is someone home – or- I am the full shilling -or – I am not a sandwich short of a picnic.

We could put a Man on the Moon 40 odd years ago, but we still have Antediluvian attitudes to mental illness.  Let’s hope we don’t have to wait until they land on Mars before the verbiage associated with Bipolar takes on a more positive hue.

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