Taking The Piss Out Of Crazy
Is it ever ok? I’ve never given it much thought until this week, when Twitter (@thepumpingmama) led me to the story of Thorpe Parks ‘Asylum’ attraction and the campaign against it. I’ll admit, at first I thought it was a little over the top to be so riled up over a fairground ride. But the more tweets I read, the more it made sense. Why is it ok to ‘imitate’ patients with mental health issues? Does that mean other illnesses are fair game? Perhaps a ride featuring cancer patients, lunging at you in the dark, bald heads and IV lines? Would that be distasteful? Offensive? Yes. So why is mental illness treated so differently?
I sometimes make jokes about my insanity. Usually to ease tension or break awkward silences. If I don’t laugh about it, I’ll cry about it, and I do enough of that already. But perhaps I’m not helping the cause. If I can take the piss out if depression and anxiety, why can’t anyone else? I guess it’s similar to jokes made by anyone of a minority group. If you’re in the club, you can join in with the banter, but its a huge faux pas if an outsider laughs along.
Mental illness is real. It’s crippling, all consuming and life threatening. Nothing about it is fun. Sufferers of ill mental health are amongst the worlds most vulnerable people, yet it’s ok to make their condition a fun game. I don’t know how to change that. I don’t know how to alter society’s view that mental health patients are ‘scary’ or something from a horror movie. I guess all I can do is blog about my experiences with it, and hope someone listens.