Let’s Talk

“Oh my God, you’re such a schizo!” the girl next to me in the mall food court told her friend.

While I wasn’t paying attention to the conversation, this made my head jerk up and my hand froze halfway to delivering a french fry to my mouth. Did she really just say that?

If you haven’t caught on, she was referring to Schizophrenia, a mental disorder where the person unfortunately cannot differentiate between what is real and was is a figment of their minds. From what I had heard, her friend had said something or other along the lines of, “Ha ha ha, this is why you have no friends!” or some other playful banter. And then that girl’s friend tossed around the word “Schizo” like it was the same thing.

Perhaps you’ve heard similar taboo phrases being misused lately; “I totally raped that test” or “That’s so gay”.

How refreshing to hear that society has now begun doing this with mental disorders (NOT).

Some examples so you see what I mean:

“I’ve just been so depressed lately.”

“I sleep worse than an insomniac.”

“I swear I just had like, a panic attack.”

“I’m so socially awkward I basically have anxiety.”

Or the one that pisses me off the most: “Fairly certain that lecture I just came from gave me PTSD.”

…Why the hell do people think these are okay? Depressed is not an emotion, it is a state of mind. Insomnia is a condition, not a feeling. Panic attacks are serious, not funny. Anxiousness may be an emotion, but anxiety is not. And PTSD is not something you should ever, EVER joke about having becuase it’s pretty much the worst thing in the world.

Do you know what it’s like to have depression? I do not have this disorder, but I can vaguely imagine that it’s probably one of the hardest psychological and physical obstacles people can overcome. And can you just picture what it must be like to lie in bed at night, completely unable to sleep and hating yourself for it?

I have actually been diagnosed to social anxiety and while i rarely (maybe three times in a year) experience panic attacks, let me tell you what they’re like: You can’t breathe. The world feels like it’s unravelling beneath your feet and you can’t move. Your mind won’t stop screaming at you that this is your fault, that you brought this attack upon yourself. Why did you go to this party/ meeting/ to work that day? Why couldn’t you have just stayed away; you KNOW how much you hate these things…

And these attacks are usually triggered by my PTSD.

I’m in no way prepared to talk about how I became a victim of the hell that is this disorder. My close friends even only know pieces of what happened. But I will say this: to this day, if something touches my neck – a scarf, a necklace, a hand, whatever – I will freak out and most likely fall to the ground crying.

So why is it okay to use mental disorders in playful banter?

Okay there Bell, I get that we need to talk about these things and that Bell Let’s Talk is great, but it is my honest opinion that if all people are going to do is belittle these disorders and/ or the people who have them, they need to shut their ignorant mouths.

So what did I do about this “Schizo” word dropping girl?

I finished my fries and wrote this blog in my head while wishing I didn’t have social anxiety so i could go up to her and tell her these things face to face.

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