I saw a group of mentally disabled people today. (Is mentally disabled politically correct these days? I have no idea.) Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of mental disorders in my semi-short life, but these people had the kinds of illnesses that you would see on horror shows like American Horror Story. And they were so excited to be going out on an adventure.

And it made me sad, you know? It made me sad that we ostracize the severe illnesses. We take their suffering and characterize them on different shows just to give us a jump or a creepy crawly feeling underneath our skins. I can’t say anything, I enjoy watching a horror movie if it’s tasteful, but why do we only see mental illness as something scary in a horror show? Mental hospitals were scary back in the day and a good backdrop for a little jump scare, especially when you know that a person can be locked up and tortured just for breaking society’s rules. I get it, I do. But maybe we need a little more variety? Assimilate those people who are a little different from us, show us that they’re not creepy people?

Because really, if the only time we see these mental illnesses is in horror shows, how can we be more accepting? I’m not here to bash the horror shows that take place in asylums because I’m not. Maybe we can acknowledge the funness of being creeped out by a corrupt hospital and feel sad for those people in the past, but maybe force ourselves to go out and spend time with these people. Think about why seeing the quirks and physical oddities of the mentally challenges freak us out and make us feel uncomfortable.

Because it does make us feel uncomfortable. Seeing something strange makes us feel that way. But if we see it more often and spend time with them more often, we won’t be so creeped out?

Obviously, being around them all the time isn’t for everyone. I’ve seen people get really frustrated at people who don’t quite understand or get it because they want them to get it the first time. But they can’t.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say here. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that we should be more understanding and willing to accept that there are people who aren’t normal in the way we think normal should be. That some people take longer to understand, that some people need extra help and companionship. And that we shouldn’t be frightened by what we don’t understand.


About Ashley

I'm a writer from the United States.
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