There is a difference between being unwell, and temporarily injured. Broken bones do not amount to sickness, and this article articulates it well.
When people talk about reducing the stigma around mental illness, they often liken it to having a broken leg – except it’s your mind that’s broken. But does this analogy really help?
Back in June, I read this article in The Guardian by Hannah Jane Parkinson, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Parkinson has a mental illness. She’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety, though some doctors have thrown other diagnoses at her (emotionally unstable personality disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or adult ADHD). She is also (obviously) a reporter at The Guardian.
She has something to say about the standard “mental illness is like having a broken leg except you have a broken brain” analogy:
“Mental illness is nothing like a broken leg.
In fairness, I have never broken my leg. Maybe having a broken leg does cause you to lash out at friends, undergo a…
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