Just in case this is a myth, I’d like to dispel it. It doesn’t take an idiot to deny the existence of mental illness. Lots of really smart, sharp people have some pretty backwards ideas of how mental health works. Particularly strong among them is the objection to mental health as an area of medical treatment because it will end up “pathologizing sadness” and everyone will be on medication.
Presently I am caught between wanting to say very many things on this topic and the sheer simplicity of IT. DOES’T. WORK. LIKE. THAT. Trying to articulate that on my own would be either a waste of breath or a totally unnecessary advance in my progress toward repetitive motion injury depending if we were in the same room together or not. So I’m going to forward you to the classic Hyperbole and a Half, Adventures in Depression; a video from The Bloggess, Depression Lies; one Skepchick’s response to the previous two links plus a bunch of other links, Red Dresses and Silver Ribbons; and another Skepchick post on mental illness stigma and all its varying degrees, Admitting Mental Illness.
In case you are wondering, yes this was precipitated by a recent conversation in meatspace. Also, yes, I’m experiencing heightened levels of anxiety–because of said conversation, poor decisions regarding participating in Facebook conversations discussing reproductive rights, and the distressing fact that calling a professional scientist and science communicator a whore is not unambiguously considered wrong by everyone. So I’m being a such a lazy blogger today–you don’t even get block quotes!
TL;DR — To crystallize everything down to the simplest possible terms:
The world is not neatly divided into “mentally ill” and “people with no need to care for or look after their mental health”.
— Dr24Hours (@Dr24hours) October 3, 2013