I find it absolutely mind-blowing (somehow) that it’s 2016 and there are people who still think it’s OKAY to joke about someone’s mental illness.
I don’t care if you too suffer.
I don’t care if you “understand”.
I don’t care if you studied it.
I don’t care if you’re Freud himself reincarnated.
There is NO excuse for being a total wanker and trying to joke about someone’s illness. Every person experiences things differently. You may have an illness yourself and think that you handle it well so other people should too, but news flash! It doesn’t work that way.
I’m aware that there are studies in social psychology that have been done that can semi-explain this. A link to one in particular, that’s available for purchase is here: Having “been there” doesn’t mean I care(…) A very simplified and shortened summary of that article is basically saying that people tend to reflect on their own experiences and downplay them. They see them as less severe as they were at the time they were actually going through them. For this reason when confronted with someone else who is going through a similar situation they lack empathy.
That doesn’t make it right.
Mental illness’ are often something that people suffer from in indescribable ways. As I said, we all handle them differently. You have absolutely no idea what mental state the person you’re “joking” with is in. They’re called INVISIBLE illnesses for a reason. You have no idea what kind of triggers you’re provoking, what kind of thoughts you’re causing.
It is not funny to take someone’s pain and twist it for your own amusement.
If someone is brave enough to be open about their experience or about their battle with you and you take it and try to “make them laugh” about it by joking, then the joke’s on you. They do NOT have to justify their illness to you. Their illness is NOT up for comparison to other people’s. Do NOT downplay their suffering because other people, including yourself, may have it worse off. Pain is pain. Suffering is suffering. It doesn’t matter to which extent people endure it, it’s not something that will ever not matter.
When someone fights every single day, they don’t need mockery. They need support. If you make a joke and the person is clearly offended, hurt, upset, etc. a word of advice; stop there. Don’t get annoyed with them for not taking a joke and do not make THEM feel bad for being upset. They have every single right to be.
I could go on and on and continue saying the same thing a million different ways…but instead, I’ll leave you with this.
Peace, love, and light to my readers.