Baiting the Crazies: Why Mitch McConnell Makes Me Sick

Secret Tape: Mitch McConnell, Aides Weighed Using Ashley Judd’s Mental Health and Religion as Ammo

It’s taken me a week to find exactly what I wanted to say about this (and decide if I wanted to post it here).

Mr. McConnell and his aides — a team of predominantly middle-aged white men who likely have never had to face institutional prejudice or the stigma of illness — joking and laughing about purposely triggering anyone’s clinical depression is beyond repugnant to me (and should be to everyone). It speaks of a moral bankruptcy that goes beyond simple politics and straight down to a rotten soul barren of sensitivity, compassion and basic empathy. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. “Decent” people rarely air this kind of sentiment in public and, of course, McConnell’s objections to the recorded conversation are based on that it was recorded in the first place, not what was said. In his mind, Ashley Judd is still mental and being mental makes her a fair target.

There’s a reason we’re called an invisible population. Most people who suffer from depression and anxiety don’t advertise the fact. Sixty years ago, people like us were still being committed to institutions. Branded as “crazy” “unbalanced,” a deficit to proper, polite society. Therapists were reluctant to even diagnose people with depression because it was considered a brand on your medical record that followed you around forever. For example: my father had a breakdown shortly after his junior year of high school and was sent to a hospital after threatening to kill himself on the highway. His doctor responded to a 17-year-old’s suicidal threats by placing him in a therapy group of terminally ill teenagers. When one of the friends he’d made died, his doctor asked him “how do you feel about living now?” That was in 1972. He left the hospital without a diagnosis or a treatment plan. Because doctors were reluctant to diagnose teenagers back then (he was later diagnosed in 1990 at the age of thirty-six).

Psychoanalysis, access to mood altering medication, alternative therapy — these are all fairly new areas of treatment and it’s still a crap shoot to find which avenue or combination of each works best for each of us. For most of us, finding what works and adapting to new variables (triggers, side effects, anxieties) takes a lifetime. It’s a debilitating, lifelong illness that NOT ONE OF US asked for. It’s not a political prop. Not a big red (or fuzzy pink) button for McConnell and his gestapo to press for their own gains. What they did and what they speculated on possibly doing (i.e. deliberately triggering Judd’s depression if she chose to run) is unconscionable. And I hope it marks them the way they see people with depression as marked.

~ by blackmoodcraft on April 18, 2013.

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