Let’s take a look at word choice by revisiting President Obama’s comments last week about PTSD and mental illness and contrasting it with Trump’s comments yesterday when he characterized veterans struggling with PTSD and suicide as people who “can’t handle it”.
“ If, as a consequence of the extraordinary stress and pain that you are witnessing, typically, [on] a battlefield, something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help. There’s nothing weak about asking for help.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat — and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”
Now the Trump campaign is saying Trump’s words are being misinterpreted and the media is creating yet another controversy. No, whether intentional or accidental words really matter when you’re President or running for President. Trump should own it and apologize – or perhaps he’s just not strong enough and can’t handle ever admitting a mistake?
Words also really, really, really matter when you are battling mental illness or are suicidal.
Whether it’s PTSD, OCD, or depression – anyone facing mental illness challenges needs support and encouragement.
My sense of humor and what I think is funny has bitten me in the arse
hundreds of times (in the event my partner reads this) thousands of times. I’m just trying to pre-qualify that I have never been confused with, or called, the fun police.
Seriously? An OCD quiz for amusement At the end of this quiz, you are greeted with your score – a percentage followed by “OCD Sensitive”. How about 0% OCD Sensitive? 100% OCD Insensitive?
Lest anyone parrot The Donald and think I’m being politically correct and need to lighten up — then how about ramping up some hilarious online quizzes to test your breast cancer radar or childhood leukemia radar? NOTE: for amusement only – not diagnostic!
Nope, that won’t happen. Mental illness, particularly OCD with all its bizarre manifestations, is too an easy punching bag while other diseases are (thankfully) are off-limits.
Society is moving toward more compassionate norms, e.g. most folks have moved on from racial and gay jokes. This happens when there’s enough peer pressure and folks wake the eff up and realize that instead of using humor to deal with their insecurities, exercising compassion helps everyone advance. At the very least, people can show their compassion by speaking up and out to Make It Awkward!
Rather than looking at shapes and colors and giggling about how we hang picture frames – how about moving toward compassion and learning more about OCD and what it does to those who have it and those who love them? If you live near Toronto, you’ve got just that chance on Tuesday, Oct. 25th as OCD Canada kicks off our expert speaker series at Carlton / Jarvis office. If you can’t make it or don’t live anywhere near Toronto – we’ll blog all about it and do interviews and encourage posts from those who attend.
Finally, in the spirit of candor, when Rick and I launched the OCD Canada website we joked about adding a refresh button that would allow a visitor to enter a number and refresh the site that number of times (counting rituals can take over your life if you have OCD). We didn’t do it – not just because not everyone would find it funny, but because it likely would be hurtful to some.