Could we stop the "take your meds" crap?

Lately, there have been instances where posters have disparaged another’s intellectual capacity by saying “take your meds,” as exemplified here.

Now, I, too, used to mock other people and make cracks about their mental stability, but having worked at a mental health advocacy group for a while and having heard heartbreaking stories of lives destroyed by mental illness, I don’t feel so good about those comments. I’m not one of the blue-nosed Offenderati who wishes to censor speech and act as if I were on a higher moral plane because I’m not.

I’m just saying that folks might want to think twice about the horrific struggles that the mentally ill have to endure every day and ask themselves if it’s really all that funny.

I’m sure I’ll be flamed for this OP, but I felt compelled to say something.

I agree completely.

Such comments aren’t witty, they aren’t original, and they serve no purpose other than to say “I have no good comeback to what you just said, so I’ll engage in the basest of ad hominem attacks.”

I aagree with you gobear, I think making such a comment in that context is continuing society’s tendancy to shun and negatively stereotype people with mental illness.

I remember vividly a forensics meet I attended in High School. I’d just been diagnosed as bi-polar, and I’d confided this to my forensic’s coach. (Forensics=debate type competition for those of you who are lost.) There was a delay in starting the meet, and so the host team was required to perform impromptu to keep us entertained.

One of the “impromptu duet actors” decided to do a skit titled “Manic depressive working in a gun factory” To express this idea he mimed being happy and working on an assembly line, then being very sad, and picking up a gun to shoot himself, then getting happy again , dropping the gun, and going about his work. (Obviously this was long before Columbine.) Everyone else laughed uproariously at this, even my coach who was sitting beside me.

You can imagine how isolated I felt during those moments, and it was then that I realized that I had to fight to appear “normal” so I would not be exposed to such ridicule and ignorant cruelty.

Did you forget to take your meds Gobear?

I agree with you though, next time I’ll just call him an asshat.


I’m with you Gobear - mocking someone because of a medical condition just isn’t on, IMHO.

Now mocking them because of their footwear choices is a totally different matter…


The example you’ve provided, gobear, seems to me a possible serious question. If someone notices what they think is an abrupt change in behavior, I don’t think it’s necessarily meanspirited or insulting to wonder if they’re no longer on medication they had been on.

A better example might be, “You’re such a freak. Go take your meds already, willya?” or “Obviously, someone needs to take her meds,” both of which are pretty nasty and unnecessary, for if the person in question was truly on medication and then went off it, such a slap at their mental health might prove to be deleterious to their well-being.

“Asshat” is just fine.

I agree too. I actually wish I had a “brain filter” IRL so I would stop thinking those sorts of things, or accidentally saying them in my “out-loud” voice. Nice polite post. You said everything but “pretty please with cherries on top.” If people flame that … well, then, I don’t even know what to say.

That would be a useful distinction if A)Poster A already was aware Poster B was on psychiatric medication ans B)the question was asked in concern and not mockery. IMO, those conditions do not apply to the example cited. But in general you do raise a valid point, although such a concern would best be expressed via e-mail, where there is less risk of public humiliation.

Actually What Danthman said.

I was actually making a reference to the change in behavior that several posters have noticed as well.

Of course I could have put it better, or addressed it privately or kept it to myself.

I feel that the scenario ** dantheman** poses should be avoided in a print medium, unless great care is taken to indicate that the words are “spoken” in concern and not out of spite. A better way to express such thoughts might be some version of “Have you been to your counselor recently?”


I don’t think the poster needs to be aware of whether the other poster was on medication. Assuming genuine concern (which, as you point out, would certainly be best handled in email or otherwise off the board), the poster could simply be wondering if everything is all right with the other poster. If they had no prior knowledge that the poster was taking psychiatric medication but think that perhaps the seemingly abrupt change in mood and attitude might indicate such, then wondering if they perhaps hadn’t taken medication might not be too outlandish. Lacking in decorum, but not terribly insulting, perhaps.

I have seen other examples on here recently, though, including one by an administrator.

I agree as well, gobear and have felt the same way when I see comments like that. It’s a personal attack and I don’t think this is really the place for that. Attacking someones views or ideas is obviously fair game, but getting personal is uncalled for, especially when it implies the mental health of an individual is unstable.

I’ve seen a bazillion personal attacks in the Pit.


At my age, I need the reminder.

That doesn’t make it right. :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, I thought this thread, pre-click, was referring to the comments about Lib’s behavior in the manny pitting thread. I do think that using mental illness as a weapon is childish and incorrect, but what DO we do about abrupt changes in behavior, as dantheman has brought up?

Perhaps just an “Uh…” and leave it at that?

Is this gonna be a rule?

I don’t think it should be a rule, but perhaps a rule of thumb.

I would think that, ideally, we’d do nothing at all about what we see as abrupt changes in behavior except to dissect the actual text of what the person has written, rather than any real or perceived hysteria with which it was written.

As amazing as gobear is, he doesn’t yet have the power to set board policy, county. Which makes this a polite request, not a rule.