@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
It’s Time We Stop Letting People Use Mental Illness As An Excuse To Be A Bad Person
I don’t even feel like this blog needs to be written, but apparently like a sign that says, “no pooping in the pool,” people need stuff in writing that should be obvious.
The poster asshole for this will be Kanye West. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say they feel bad for Kanye because he’s clearly mentally ill.
Mmm… okay. Let’s unpack this. Yes, we can all agree that Kanye has some mental illness. I’m not going to fight you there. But you know who else is diagnosed (and often medicated) for bi-polar type 2 (the fun kind, you guys)?? Yes. If you had guessed Lori Palminteri, you were right. Sure, I’ve had psychotic breaks… but you know what never happened in the midst of my mental breakdowns? I never became an anti-semite. I didn’t outburst on innocent people. I was never mean to anyone but myself. Why? Because even though I’m crazy, I’m still at my core, a decent person.
Kanye is the easiest example, because we give him way too much credit and too much media attention. Musically, I’m a fan. The album, Graduation? Great! But fuck him as a person. Don’t give him a pass for being a bad human because of mental illness.
Do you know why I still take medication? For the people I love. So they don’t have to deal with me in a severe spiral. I take care of myself so my loved ones don’t have to. And that makes me a good person.
I see this all the time. Someone will be rude in an airport, a restaurant, a bank, and people will go, “they’re bi-polar.” No, no, no… whether or not they have a mental illness is totally moot. Call them what they are. An asshole. Don’t give them a pass for bad behavior. It’s not an excuse. Yes. People lose it sometimes. People with chemical imbalances are more prone to act… not normal. While it can be dangerous to call someone out while they are acting crazy, I fully appreciate it when my close friends who know me very well, can point out erratic behavior and sometimes let me know when I need to apologize to someone.
Like doing something you regret when you’re drunk (which has never happened to me, you guys), acting a fool in a mental crisis also feels shameful when you’ve leveled out. Why do I feel shame when I think I may have hurt someone’s feelings? Because I have empathy. I’m not a sociopath. I also implode, I rarely explode— people are often shocked to find out shit I’m going through because I can stone face.
Look. I’m not saying I deserve a trophy, okay? I’ve worked on myself and my reward has been that I enjoy living more than I used to, which is worth more than a trophy. But having a mental illness is still a stigma. Make fun of us! I do all the time! However, do not give bad behavior and bad people a pass because they are mentally ill. There are TONS of people dealing with mental illness that you have no clue about. That’s also why it is good to be kind to people.
If you struggle to understand someone with bi-polar (and that’s okay), I highly recommend watching Maria Bamford’s stand-up or her Netflix show, “Lady Dynamite.” She is one of my favorite comedians. Bamford talks about mental illness so honestly in the most hilarious and weird way. I idolize her and thank her for being so raw and never giving up in the all the adversity she’s faced. Bamford should be the example of mental illness, because she is so kind and talented. Not fucking pricks.
If anyone reading this struggles with mental illness, I cannot suggest more strongly that you seek help, via therapy and/or meds. Don’t be ashamed. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in getting help. Ever. Go do it. Work on your quality of life. It’s worth it. You are worth it.