Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Below is the letter that I promised to have drafted for you tonight.  Unfortunately, unlike promised, I have not looked into the contact information yet. I have been fighting a cold off for a while and I didn't sleep well last night so I am about to call it a night early.  I will have to change this letter slightly for each of the different definitions because they are different websites and/or different words, either psychotic or psychosis. I just wanted everyone to see what I had developed.  This is written from the prospective of somebody living with a mental illness so if you are family, loved ones, friends you will have to slightly change the wording.  So, here it is, contact info to follow, tomorrow. Feel free to provide me with any feedback you may have! Thanks! ~Sara

As an individual living with a mental illness, fighting the stigma associated with mental illness and promoting public awareness around mental illness is of the utmost important to me and my family. For too long, mental illness has been horribly misunderstood as the public image promotes mental illness in a fearful and dangerous light. Yet mental illness is a disease, like any other disease. Mental illness is treatable and there are many, many success stories of people surviving with mental illness and living healthy and fulfilling lives, like myself.

Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Definitions such as yours of the term psychotic further the already detrimental stigma that individuals living with a mental illness face in their day to day lives. Terms such as “psychopathic”, “mad”, “deranged”, “crazy” and “loony” are offensive in any discussion of mental illness and should not be accepted. The term psychotic is a clinical terminology and the definition should obtain no more than just that, the clinical definition. Your indention goes far beyond the definition of psychotic and uses slang terminology to label the many individuals living with a mental illness daily. Such an approach would never be tolerated in a discussion about cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or any other medical illness and should not be tolerated in any discussion about mental illness.

The public must reverse its misconceptions and understand the facts about mental illness. People with mental illness and their families deserve to live in a society where they are respected and dignified, not in a society where they are feared, judged or misunderstood. I am asking that you revise your definition of psychotic to reflect the true definition of the word. I am asking that you remove all slang terminology from your definition, including all the terminology I listed previously along with all the other slang terminology you have used in your definition. This kind of language is entirely unacceptable and extremely hurtful to individuals living with a mental illness and their loved ones. I encourage you to take it upon yourself to remove this hateful language from your definition. Thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing the changes on your website.

No comments: