Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crazy talk

Fort Collins poetess Natalie Constanza-Chavez tries to clue you lunkheads in:

Mentally ill need healing, not ridicule

. . . [L]let me list every slang word I can think of for psychiatric hospitals: loony bin, funny farm, insane asylum, nut house, booby hatch, bedlam, bug house, psycho ward, cuckoo's nest, laughing academy, mad house, snake pit, rubber room, lunatic asylum, padded cell, crazy house. If you know any others, please add them to the list.

There's a bunch in Thomas Szasz's A Lexicon of Lunacy, though only a few good ones like "Squirrel Ranch," "Nut Foundry," and "Transitional Living Center." (A couple--"Buggery" and "Home of Twisted Nuts"--are unintentionally funny. English is not Szasz's native language.) Costanza-Chavez:

What they are is ill. Chronically, maybe. Situationally, maybe. It matters not. . . .

Some people are so sad, they believe they will never get better. Sometimes they can't even take care of themselves. Some people are deeply confused by an illness that they can't understand or control. Some people are such a danger to themselves, are perhaps even to others, that they — for a time — can't
be alone. . . .

These people are called "your family."
So why is it that we think it's OK to target someone's ill fortune just because that ill fortune happens to be a mental illness? It's awfully old-fashioned, don't you think?
I guess so. Strangely, Ms. Constanza-Chavez cites no specific examples of this "mental" cruelty, though one imagines she's thinking of Britney Spears or maybe Doug Bruce. Anyway:
The next time you hear a joke about the latest person to timber down into painful public splinters, remind yourself it's 2008.
"Timber down into painful public splinters." See? A poetess.

Psychiatric hospitals are places of healing, just like regular hospitals.

Well, the patients can be a little different. (Yes, I know (most of the time) that it's 2008.)
I'd bet my life on one if I needed it.
When your time comes, honey, you don't have a choice. It's not called an involuntary 72-hour-hold for nothing.
No one wants to be unwell. No one.
Except people with Munchhausen Syndrome. Okay, I'll stop (sometimes I'm afraid I won't be able to stop). Read the whole thing. It'll make you want to go out and mock a paranoid schizophrenic (don't: they can't take a joke at all).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Forgot: Happy Hotel, and Padded Palace.