I’m a Clinton supporter and a recipient of multiple psychiatric diagnoses. No connection is to be inferred.
I don’t feel the Bern, but getting upset and trying to make a volatile political issue of Sanders’ throwaway line about how a glance at the Republican lineup tells you why we need to invest in mental health is ridiculous.
If this persists in the media, I hope Clinton, in her next turn at the mike at the next debate, says “Bernie, we’re all sick and tired of hearing about your damn mental health statement”.
Bloody hell. Where is the local branch office of the Department of the Perpetually Offended? I want to have a word with them. Look, folks: I don’t know where you got the idea that it makes a population appear more confident and socially viable if they whimper about every tiniest perceived slight, but I think you should rethink that one. Wanna do something about the circumstances of folks with psychiatric diagnoses? Fine, make an issue of the conditions of group homes, halfway houses; raise hell about discrimination and unequal treatment by employers, insurance carriers, law enforcement agencies and their officers. Or, hell, print up some goddam tee shirts that say “I’m schizophrenic and I vote”. I’ll buy one and I’ll wear it in public.
Bernie Sanders wants to invest more money in mental health. A lot of what falls under the rubric of mental health is coercive in my opinion: aggressive outreach, involuntary treatment, mandatory screening, etc. If you have reason to think some of his initiatives, whether real or potential, would be politically problematic, make your point, and I might well agree with it.
But sulking around going “Waaah, Bernie Sanders said mean things about us, he implied that Republican candidates might have mental health issues, and he wasn’t serious, so he was making fun of us, waaah!” just makes you look ridiculous. And you make me look ridiculous by association. In fact, regardless of whatever image you wish to present to the world on our collective behalf, in my opinion you aren’t improving on the existing image of us as berserk drooling rampaging nutcases.
Oh wait. You aren’t us. You’re the fucking National Alliance on Mental Illness. You’re composed mostly of embarrassed family members and a double handful of lobbyists all trying to speak for us. You were so happy when modern pharmaceutical psychiatry came along and said that nope, it wasn’t your fault and Freud was full of it and your bungled attempts at potty training have nothing to do with us being nuts. Yeah, I can understand that. But STFU. You want to talk about stigma, I’ll tell you about stigma. Stigma is when you don’t get to speak for yourself and the people who set themselves up to speak for you without your consent in the matter describe you as helpless and so pathetically vulnerable that no one can ever ever make a joke about you. Uh uh. We aren’t farts. We aren’t something that everyone else in the room should refer to only in the most clinically polite language. We’re people who have chosen to speak on our own behalf. Nothing about us without us, baby.
And leave Bernie Sanders alone. He’s probably more on your side than I am. And generally speaking he’s one of the good guys even if he isn’t my first choice for Prez.