Mental Illness Is “Weakness”? No.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop killing some time before taking care of Abue…just wanted to quickly share something that just happened. A friend of mine posted an article from something called “Elite Daily” (I should know to be leery of anything that calls itself “elite”.) titled 20 Things That Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. While many of the items on the list aren’t necessarily bad advice, they’re the sorts of things that can sometimes be more easily said than done. Which of course lead to some people pointing out that such a pat list could be seen as insensitive to people with mental illnesses.

Which invariably leads to the douchenozzle with the suburban-dad profile pic proclaiming: “Mentally strong means having no mental illness”…”Mental illness IS weakness”. He also throws a few assumptions about the physically disabled in there to boot. Yeah, nice picture of your bland middle-of-the-road kitchen, dick. My hot disabled husband’s profile pic is him in the rehearsal studio with a drum kit, and he’s currently working professional gigs with four different bands.

So anyway, I wrote something in response,  and after reading it back, thought it might be worthwhile to point out for BFMH 2014 as well:

Ian Kendall (Yeah, if he can spout his ablism publicly, I see no need to obfuscate his name.) – Living with a mental illness, undergoing treatment and managing self-care day in and day out can often be draining emotionally and mentally. You call it “weakness” to fight everyday to recover and thrive, to work to stay out of the hospital, to not give in to strange ideas and voices and such? I call that resilience.

So, yeah. All of you fellow Mad Pride and mental health bloggers, going through all the struggles with mental health you share in this project, and those you don’t share. You lurkers who maybe don’t blog but read, all you people out there in treatment, in recovery, living day to day aiding yourselves with the exercises found in CBT, DBT,etc.  those who choose medication, those who eschew it, hospitalized, outpatient…YOU ARE ALL STRONG. YOU ARE RESILIENT. You…and I… survive the challenges of mental illness and achieving wellness, because we have no choice. But we do it. Every day. And those of us who blog, who get involved in mental health activism or advocacy, also take on the fight against prejudices such as these. So don’t let the bastards grind you down, as the old saying goes.

There’s another fool on there who has the gall to tell a girl going through some kind of trauma that she would get better “if she didn’t use the f-word so much”. But seriously fuck that guy. Hell, fuck me if that isn’t the most fucking inane fucking advice I’ve ever heard. 🙂


This image is used by my friend Craig Lewis for his “Punks In Recovery” movement. He’s also a great mental health activist and advocate!

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13 thoughts on “Mental Illness Is “Weakness”? No.

  1. The list on that EliteDaily site is so remarkably uninformed and ridiculous that I find myself having to hold myself back in feeling rage to such ignorance and shallow understanding of the human condition. In other words, what fucking horse shit.

    Thank you for your rebuttal on this. Seriously.

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    • You’re welcome. What I didn’t like was the items on that list were conflated with personality judgments–instead of just saying “this stuff can be helpful advice”, suddenly people were mentally “strong” or “weak”. I think some of those things are good advice, yes, but it’s just that…advice. And I don’t think anyone can only keep up one line of thinking 100% of the time.

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  2. I don’t think many could survive the mental turmoil many of us face. I have survived hating myself. That takes some mental courage. Much of my other opinions on this man’s comment would be told in screams and throwing of sharp objects.

    Thank you for pointing out our resiliency. It is VERY true! We all show it, every day, that living is possible.

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