Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mental illness — Sing hallelujah

One day you come careening fult tilt but not full stop to a long and zen-peaceful cosmic pause. Long time coming. Time to Sing hallelujah and get out your dancing shoes. Nothing is random.

Donna over at BAD RAP has a great post called "the Ins and Outs of language for 2011"
I really like her quote: “Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.” - Benjamin Lee Whorf. I really like this short poem by 3x Pulitzer Prise winner Carl Sandburg, who lived in North Carolina from 1945-1967.

Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is
not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, hard boots; they
walk off proud; they can't hear you calling—
Look out how you use proud words.
Carl Sandburg, American poet and essayist, Primer Lesson, 1922

Mental illness affects 26.2 percent of Americans. "An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1" One in four. That's a whole lotta people. Many neither seek nor get help. Not talk about it. The stigma attached to mental illness wears long hard boots.

So maybe we could think about changing some terms? Thanks to Donna for format.

OUT — hoarder

IN — diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Here's what Dr. Mary Lou Randour, Professional Outreach Coordinator, Animal Cruelty and Fighting Campaign, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has to say: “Hoarding is a seeking of security by controlling.” Here's what the APA has to say: "D. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (including maintaining a safe environment for self and others)."

"An animal hoarder acquires a large number of animals, then fails to provide them with sufficient food, water, exercise, space and veterinary care. A hoarder is always in denial about her/his inability to provide adequate care, even when the bodies of dead animals surround her."

OUT — crazy, off h/er-is rocker, deranged

IN — diagnosed with a mood disorder

OUT — insane

IN — diagnosed with major depressive disorder [unipolar disorder] , bipolar
disorder, or dysthymic bipolar disorder.

OUT — mad as a hatter

IN — diagnosed with PTSD, Panic Disorder, you name it.

OUT — animal abuser

IN — dances with four-leggeds

WHO World Health Organization director- general Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland: "Mental illness is not a personal failure. If there is a failure it is to be found in the way we have responded to people with mental and brain disorders."

A very special thanks to Catherine Coulter for letting pit bulls come to 300 East.
A very special thanks to poet Chuck Sullivan for his 2009 and 2010 Christmas poem
with the repeating refrain "sing hallelujah."
A very special thanks to NASHOBA. For teaching me. Sphere: Related Content