I guess that means you win.

January 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm (frightening things, stupidity) ()

More on all of this.

What does it mean to say “I don’t need those chemical crutches”? ‘Cause to me, when coupled with constant proclamations that a mental illness isn’t a mental illness, it sounds to me like an ugly brick wall of ablism.

You don’t need crutches? Well bully for you! I guess that means you win, huh?

You legs aren’t broken? Wow! I guess that means you win!

You’re not mentally ill? My, my, congratulations on your achievement.

Me, I need crutches. If meds are crutches, then yeah, my legs are crushed and ruined, and yeah, I need some support to fucking move.

Go ahead and take the ability gold metal. You deserve it.



  1. Elaine Vigneault said,

    If you define abilism as someone who is skeptical of pharmacology and who refused to wear the mental illness badge, do right ahead.
    I happen to think abilism is something else entirely.

  2. Daisy said,

    Elaine, I think denying others’ experience in order to get out of “the badge” is ablism (that is, what’s wrong with “the badge”? what’s bad about having it?). I think calling chemicals that others need to survive* “crutches” as if there’s something wrong with using crutches clear ablism. I think saying that you don’t need crutches as if that’s some kind of proud accomplishment is ablism. Obviously.

    If that’s not ablism, what on earth is?

    *Not like you care what other people say about their own lives, of course.

  3. Justin said,

    Calling this ablism is treating it with kid gloves. Ablism is calling someone in a wheelchair a ‘cripple.’ This is denying them the chair and telling them that if they get sunlight, they might be able to walk.

  4. Daisy said,

    Gooddd point Justin.

  5. This is your brain on continued survival. « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] January 17, 2008 at 4:29 pm (disturbing…, health/healthcare) (Context: 1, 2.) […]

  6. Elaine Vigneault said,

    “Calling this ablism is treating it with kid gloves. Ablism is calling someone in a wheelchair a ‘cripple.’ This is denying them the chair and telling them that if they get sunlight, they might be able to walk.”

    This analogy isn’t fair because there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that wheelchairs and crutches help people who can’t walk. However, there is extreme controversy over the causes of mental illnesses. Moreover, I am not taking away anyone’s tools for survival. I am simply talking about my experiences and my opinions.

    I was skeptical of my own diagnoses and treatment. I wrote about it. That’s called thinking, not abilism.

  7. Daisy said,


    Not to dredge up hard feelings, but you also seemed to me to be skeptical of other people’s diagnoses.

    And I maintain that calling the medication some people need to survive* a “chemical crutch” that you don’t need — as if that’s something to be proud of — is at least rude, and, yeah, abilist too. Seriously, some people need crutches. Not needing crutches is no more of an achievement than being born with functioning limbs, or being blue eyed, or being heterosexual. Saying you have any of those qualities like it’s some gold star of yours is going to come of as pretty jerky, at least to me.

    * I do need my meds. I believe you that you don’t need them; please show me the same deference about my knowledge of my own life.

  8. Justin said,

    There’s one fact that I don’t see you acknowledging in your writing, Elaine (and really, it is possible that I’ve just missed it). While there is a lot of pro-pharmaceutical sentiment out there, there’s also a lot of people who feel ashamed to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. That shame keeps them from doing much of anything to deal with their condition–they tell themselves that they just to work harder.

    I can’t help but see your writing as confirming that shame.

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