EDITOR’S NOTE: I am sure the Internet will be trashed with pieces like this one today and this weekend, but this is not a rebuttal to the vile verbal diarrhea xoJane has chosen to publish on this topic. This is a thank you to Amanda Lauren (who is now listed as Anonymous – go figure) for showing the mental health community, and everyone else, that there are still people – the entire staff at xoJane included – that think it’s okay to treat people with mental illnesses like slaves who ‘deserve to die’. Thank you for showing us that #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth has done NOTHING so far, and that we still have so much work to do.
Yesterday, xoJane.com published an article by a woman who thought that her schizoaffective friend’s death was a blessing because she had “nothing to live for.”
Yes, that is a direct quote, and no, I will not link the article because as I said, xoJane has since changed the byline to “Anonymous” since this woman has received a well-rounded backlash from the mental health community in the last twenty-four hours, and, I don’t want you to click on it. I don’t want it getting any more page views or shares that it already has.
I was asked this morning by the Stigma Fighters community to sign a petition to get this published piece taken down by xoJane. What if a “mentally ill teenager [reads this] essay and say[s], “Maybe I can’t make it after all. Maybe I’m not supposed to.”
As the VP of this organization, I publicly chose not to sign the petition even though the CEO (my boss) asked me to. I do not want this piece deleted. I do not even want it changed to Anonymous. Because I want everyone to know what people really think of people affected by mental illnesses. I want everyone to know what people think of me, and of Sarah Fader, Demi Lovato and a million other people our communities stand behind; I want people to know that society really does believe that the death of someone wrecked by their mental illness “isn’t a tragedy.” (Again, yes, this woman really did fucking say that.)
This is stigma at work, people. If you still think we are just complaining, think again. This is your proof that every day we wake up in the morning we have to be afraid of people who think that we have nothing to live for. Who are willing to openly say that we should drown to death because it would be relatively painless compared to what we have to “endure in life.”
For a third time, yes, this woman Amanda Lauren really did say all of this, and xoJane published it in their magazine during Mental Health Awareness Month. Good on them. Now everybody knows. Everybody knows that we are being verbally attacked by people who think our lives are a fucking tragedy.
If you want to sign a petition, sign one to get this article out of the “Mental Health” section. This is not mental health. This has to do with someone saying that you deserve to die because you are different from everyone else on their friends list on Facebook.
This is not mental health anymore. This is oppression.