first of all, read this to learn: what is saneism?
note: saneism doesn't just affect "mentally ill" people. (which is the point of that article!)
saneism not only affects & demonizes neuro-atypical [e.g. autistic + adhd] people as well (newsflash: mentally ill people are a part of the neurodivergent + neurodiversity communities!),
but saneism actually affects / harms everyone / everybodymind, because there is never any such thing as a completely "normal" or "sane" mental state.
now, let's begin!
how do you personally contribute to a world where we demonize mentally ill people, or at best ignore them when they *seem* like they're not doing well, or when they're asking for help?
do you think of "mentally ill" people as bad? scary? inherently violent or abusive?
do you believe this consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously?
( fyi, please admit to yourself that the answer is almost definitely yes.
we are all deeply indoctrinated with saneist ways of thinking & feeling & harming others (as well as white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, + capitalist values, etc.), from basically birth. including me, always! )
do you have conscious, subconscious, or unconscious negative thoughts or feelings, or have you learned stereotypes, about mentally ill people, or people who in general seem to "act differently" from what's considered "normal"?
( is "normal" defined by white supremacy & capitalism? yes, i think so. )
how do you inflict saneist violence onto others, on a day-to-day basis (including with *seemingly* innocent words or actions)? *violence includes seemingly "small" things like verbal or even silent microaggressions, unspoken hostility, & ignoring people in need. violence isn't necessarily physical.
even something like staring at a human being who "seems" to be "acting" mentally or behaviourally "different", can be very hurtful/harmful to that human being.
these questions also apply to neuro-atypical + mentally ill people themselves.
we all have been indoctrinated with saneism & ableism.
also, none of us can actually label somebody else's mental state or diagnose other people with something that they did not directly communicate to us. the people who try to do this are usually the most uneducated about mental disorders, and they are usually the most saneist of all.
the point of saneism is that it actually harms all of us.
one thing that i also wanted to say is that i don't expect anybody to be "perfectly" not-harmful, or not-saneist, especially if you're only just now starting to learn about it. reminder that perfectionism is literally capitalist white supremacy culture.
try your best, but the point is that we have all been deeply indoctrinated into our prevailing culture of constantly harming each other, and we have all been indoctrinated to act in patterns of harm / treat others with a culture of harming those with different experiences from us/those who are more marginalized than us.
unlearning these things take time, & this journey never ends, & this journey will likely involve many mistakes along the way, especially if we're actually trying to change.
apologize & try to take accountability whenever you can, whenever you feel like you've hurt somebody, or whenever they've told you directly that you have (definitely *especially* if they do that, because that can be really difficult & scary to speak up about!).
try your best to be kind to each other. you don't have to over-stretch yourself. just try to learn to be generally kinder to other people, including strangers! — even if you don't, or can't, help or befriend or support everybody.
i know that some of us tend towards a social justice martyr/guilt complex more than others. for those of us who do, let's try to be gentle & kind with yourself!
but also, some of us (and oftentimes, those of us who are more privileged, of course) need to care & act more. & those of us who are like this, are sadly usually more oblivious, & less self-aware about how much we harm others.
i hope life is gentle to you this week! ☀️ [sun emoji]