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We have to stop poking fun at mental illness

You’ve seen the posts, the memes, the jokes. “I’m so ADD today.” “This show has me so depressed.” “I’m so OCD about it!” But have you stopped to think of how it really, truly feels to have one of these disorders or mental illnesses? Or how people who do have these feel seeing them thrown around so flippantly?

Let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling. Just think about these scenarios and next time you go to say something about ADD, OCD, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, etc, please stop and think.

“She’s so bipolar. Cold one day, hot the next.”
–No, no she’s not. Or he’s not. Bipolar is not a mood. It’s a mood disorder, yes, but it shouldn’t be used to describe how someone acts toward you. Think of how someone with bipolar disorder must feel seeing another’s mood described this way. Knowing that bipolar disorder is no joke. It’s not simply changing a mood, but losing complete control. Going from one extreme to another and not knowing why. Not being able to stop it. Not being able to control themselves. Sometimes they completely blackout during episodes and don’t remember what happened. So, if someone does turn a cold shoulder, don’t describe them as bipolar. Please. Be respectful to people who battle this illness every day.

“I’m so ADD today. Look, a squirrel!”
–Do you know anyone with ADD? Have you seen someone struggle with day to day tasks that people without ADD find simple? Like brushing your teeth or trying to get ready for the day. Sometimes, it’s impossible. ADD isn’t something to joke about, or worse, say doesn’t exist. It’s real. It’s hard. And millions of people fight it every day. They struggle to stay in control, to attempt to fit in when it’s not possible. To do things like people around them, but they can’t make their mind stop long enough to do it. So, please, if someone says they’re child or someone they know or love has ADD, don’t say it doesn’t exist. And don’t post the memes about how it’s an “ADD day.” If you haven’t experienced it, you have no idea. You’re simply distracted, but you are not ADD.

“I’m really OCD about my desk.”
–You’re organized. Not OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder. You don’t pick what you’re OCD about. It chooses you. And it controls you. It takes over until it’s all you think about, all you talk about, all you do. You can’t do anything else because it drives you crazy because something isn’t clean/in the right place/etc. You get angry about it. You get annoyed if someone disturbs it. And you can’t control it. So unless you’re truly OCD, please don’t throw the term around.

There are more. Depression, diabetes (hey, sweets don’t cause it so if that meme could stop going around, that’d be great), and many other disorders, illnesses, mental illnesses, etc. Just stop and think. Please. We owe it to our fellow human beings. Let’s all be kind and stop making fun of things we don’t understand.

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