Women, Mental Illness and Stigma

I have since deleted the “friend” who posted the below picture.

women mental illness discrimination

1. Treated or untreated should not be labelled as one being “safer” over the the other.

2. One should never assume that treatment means medication.

3. “Untreated” women do their thing, just like all women.

4. If this statement operates off the belief that 100% of women are mentally ill then we can see where sanism intersects with sexism.


I’m down with mental health humour but this is stupid. This is not funny. This is discrimination.


15 thoughts on “Women, Mental Illness and Stigma

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I once read a Tina Fey quote, “You can tell how smart a person is by what they laugh at.” I think this fits πŸ™‚

  2. I actually found the image amusing, but that doesn’t make the issues you’ve raised any less important. The “women are crazy” trope the humor relies on is misogynist and damaging to society because half its members aren’t taken seriously. Not that people with mental illness should be taken any less seriously than anyone else; even if our perception of the world isn’t always completely accurate, our feelings are very real and we need them to be respected. I often think that certain symptoms of “mental illness” are the only sane responses to the atrocities people in power commit against the most vulnerable all the time.

    • It’s mostly about who posted it. This friend is just not the person who would post something like this with a critical eye but would take it 100% as truth. I am completely able to laugh at my self and my mental health but there are just some moments when you can feel that it’s not the best time to do so.

      Thank you for your comment πŸ™‚

    • Ziya, when you said, “I often think that certain symptoms of β€œmental illness” are the only sane responses to the atrocities people in power commit against the most vulnerable all the time.” My therapist basically has said this same thing to me a few times and I exponentially agree with it. We are often who we are because of the way people have and continue to treat us.
      I am so grateful for this site and a couple others, as they often solidify all that I know to be true, but often do not have the lexicon to express my feelings.

      • Not being persnickety, but did you mean, “when you post it”? Or have you already posted something on it? Sorry for the confusion. I am not sure I have much to say, but . . .

        I have had this one person (who really tries to be a kind person, but it is difficult) who does not like my taste in clothes, dishes, hair style, most anything, and she often says I am, “demented” when I express what I like. At first I was a bit stunned, but then went with it. It was a great learning experience for both of us. Me, trying to use humor, but also to honor who I am and what my life has been.
        I do speak up if someone is being abusive, but not all ‘insults’ are meant to be abusive, I think sometimes people say things because they are not educated. In my grandmothers and mothers time, people used words that hurt people without even knowing, in my generation we began learning about, “political correctness”, and it is a constant learning curve.

        There was an important man in my life (RIP), ended up being my truest friend, but when I first met him, he had this horrid temper. One day I was fed up to my ears with it and said to him, “If you are going to act like a spoiled little child when you don’t get what you want, then go ahead, but I have raised my children and I am done. If you wish for me to be in your life, then you need you need to behave as an adult”. I was ready to never see him again. There was a long pregnant pause. I wanted a response and I was waiting for it. I asked, “what do you think of what I just said to you?” He said he was “shocked and embarrassed, no one has ever said that to me before”. And you know what? He was so much better after that. He knew I’d not put up with his BS and it stopped! I guess he wanted me in his life! I was as shocked as he was.
        Obviously this will not work for a person who has no interest in changing or being a better human being, but in this case, it worked. 8 years later, he ended up being my husband whom I loved with all my heart and soul. He made those years the best in my life.

        If someone wants you in their life, they will treat you respectfully. ALWAYS Speak your truth even if it means you will be lonely for a time.

      • I agree that we should try to educated as much as we can and understand that sometimes people don’t mean to come off as being mean. Many times people who live I guess what I’ll call “alternative lifestyles” really shake up the ideas that others have in their minds about right and wrong. This leads to anger most of the time. It’s important to find a balance with those people and if both sides are willing, like what you’ve mentioned with your husband (RIP) then it is worth staying in that relationship.

        Thank you so much for your comment. I am so used to changing for others that I sometimes forget that we do have the ability to accept people truly for who they are while still respecting ourselves.

      • You got it! πŸ™‚ Accepting others and respecting and accepting our selves are fundamental for good health.
        I love how your site feels like it is blooming. Glad you are doing this. Thank you from the states.

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