ForumsWEPRAre you "special?"

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MattEmAngel
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MattEmAngel
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Something that really aggravates me is the effort put into not offending people. Anyone can get five minutes of fame by doing something "racist" and "offensive." This thread is for people who have (or want to discuss) mental disorders and/or handicaps.

I have PCE (Partial Complex Epilepsy), and I have no problem joking about it or calling it a "mental disorder" instead of whatever cheesy non-offensive title the government uses for it now (someone on AG called themselves "neurodiverse" not long ago). I am not "special." I'm an epileptic taking 8 pills a day to avoid one of the most terrifying experiences in existence. In my case, "partial" means it exists in an abnormal (and very small) area of my brain. "Complex" means, basically, a whole board of neuroscientists and doctors reviewed a week-long brain scan and couldn't figure out what the causes were. As of now, I'm taking two kinds of medication and it's working. That's all they know.

And I'm fine with it. I can't "undo" epilepsy and I'm not going to curl up into a ball and cry about how unfair it all is. I am 21 and thanks to epilepsy I still don't have a driver's license, much less a car. My response is to play games that have an "epilepsy warning" at the beginning.

So what's your take? I loathe the term "special" because that word applies to so many other elements of life and it's being tainted by stamping it on mental disorders, and if I can call it a mental disorder (which can be a no-no these days), I believe anyone should be allowed to. Do you think people should be careful about how they refer to this, or should everyone be on even ground when it comes to discussing it? Or is there middle ground?

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MattEmAngel
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MattEmAngel
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Also, if anyone has any questions about epilepsy, feel free to ask. I would rather you get information on what epilepsy is like from me than from a news outlet.

MattEmAngel
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MattEmAngel
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EDIT: Epilepsy is technically a neurological disorder, not a mental disorder. Sorry for the potential mix-up. Both are up for discussion.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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I would say that the most literal terminology is best. Inconsiderate people will always use euphamisms as insults and intolerant people will always take offense to them, so they aren't actually useful. "Special" is no better. Worse, because it makes absolutely no sense.

EmperorPalpatine
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I'm not a fan of tiptoeing words, mostly due to the euphemism treadmill: each term being replaced with something "inoffensive" because the old inoffensive word now offends people. It's far better to tell it straight and explain it than to worry about labels. And I agree with Stephen Fry [contains language that may offend people].

roydotor2000
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roydotor2000
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If you have disorders, I have disorders. I have cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and a inborn deformity in my right foot. This is true and I am NOT joking. Fortunately, my intellect is not affected. I have an IQ of 130.

MacII
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Personally, I'd like to think I'm extraordinary

nichodemus
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I have irregular heartbeat that supposedly means I have to take physical activities lightly; I found out last year in the army, and I've already gone a decade doing competitive sports by then, so it's not so much a ''handicap'', as something just meh.

I'm fine with people trodding carefully around me at first, until they realise that there's nothing to be afraid or worried about. I'm fine with them being so, because it's just better to be cautious initially, rather than assume that the handicapped party wants to just be treated normally right off the bat. Basic courtesy.

MacII
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MacII
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[quote=MacII]Personally, I'd like to think I'm extraordinary [/quote]

ps Do let me add I was just swiftly and flippantly reacting to the thread title. I didn't mean to make fun of people and their afflictions, or indeed what they may be called when; I thankfully suffer from no physical conditions whatsoever and never have, praise be to something.

MattEmAngel
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MattEmAngel
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I'm not a fan of tiptoeing words, mostly due to the euphemism treadmill: each term being replaced with something "inoffensive" because the old inoffensive word now offends people. It's far better to tell it straight and explain it than to worry about labels.


Do you think this can apply to other more sensitive topics (race, gender, etc) or is it exclusive to mental conditions? What would you call a person who has a more visible mental condition, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, etc?

If you have disorders, I have disorders. I have cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and a inborn deformity in my right foot. This is true and I am NOT joking. Fortunately, my intellect is not affected. I have an IQ of 130.


That's another thing I wanted to discuss. It's much easier to identify people with autism and cerebral palsy than those with epilepsy due to appearance and control of their muscles. Do you experience more "unique" treatment? Like, are people too nice and/or too mean? I know that some people enjoy just making fun of people with mental disorders, and I know some people want to carry them from A to B so they don't get hurt. Have you experienced either, and what's your take on those people?

I have irregular heartbeat that supposedly means I have to take physical activities lightly; I found out last year in the army, and I've already gone a decade doing competitive sports by then, so it's not so much a ''handicap'', as something just meh.


Did that end your time in the service, or did the guys in charge shrug their shoulder and say "It hasn't slowed him down yet, so leave him alone?"

I didn't mean to make fun of people and their afflictions, or indeed what they may be called when; I thankfully suffer from no physical conditions whatsoever and never have, praise be to something.


A friend of mine once texted me when she was slightly intoxicated to call me "Super Epileptic Rave Man." At first I was very confused. She later texted to apologize, but honestly I thought the name was awesome. She writes a lot, so now I keep nagging her to add "SERM" to one of her stories. What superpowers would I have?? I suggested the ability to shoot Nyancat lasers out of my hand Ironman-style, although I'm not sure what that would accomplish.
Salvidian
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Carlin on euphemisms (has naughty words).

I usually just avoid telling people about my problems and it seems to help. One of the problems I've noticed with handicapped people is that labels have the tendency to define them. For example, saying someone is schizophrenic suggests that they are schizophrenic and are nothing else. But if you say that schizophrenia is one of their traits, it's a lot less engulfing.

EmperorPalpatine
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What would you call a person who has a more visible mental condition, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, etc?

A person. I wouldn't say "he's autistic", but "he has autism". The condition does not define the person.
Salvidian
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Salvidian
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I just noticed something relevant was being discussed, so I figured I should bring this up.

pangtongshu
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There is a movement to "spread the word to end the word" (said word being "retard"), I always have a habit of hinting that I believe their movement is to cease usage of the "n-word". Personally their efforts would be more useful with that, as that word is meant to be offensive, while retard is merely a proper word that people use a bit freely. Hell, even when some people use it as an insult, some of them are using it correctly.

I'm also not a fan of the movement that wishes to have mentally handicapped people try to be integrated into "normal" society, not because I think they should be separate, no no...but because that movement always tends to be hypocritical. They wish for these kids to be treated as "normal", but at the same time receive special treatment because of their disorders. It undermines their own actions.

As for the question, I have ADHD (and no, I was not misdiagnosed...went to a psychiatrist for a year or so to see if medicine was necessary), which would be about the only mental disorder I have.

Kasic
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So what's your take?


Everyone is different. It's stupid to make a big deal out of specific differences.

50% of all people will have a mental illness sometime during their lifespan.

it's being tainted by stamping it on mental disorders,


Tainted? Because it's bad to associate "special" with a mental disorder?

Do you think people should be careful about how they refer to this, or should everyone be on even ground when it comes to discussing it? Or is there middle ground?


I think intent is the bigger part of the pie. If you mean to offend or degrade someone by using a specific word that focuses on what you are trying to insult about them, that's obviously not acceptable. However, directly referring to something that makes them different is okay (unless they've asked you not to I suppose).

What would you call a person who has a more visible mental condition, such as autism, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, etc?


Why do you need to call them anything? Unless you're talking specifically about their disorder it's not really relevant...

Do you experience more "unique" treatment?


I have aspergers, which is an autistic spectrum disorder. People definitely treat me differently when they know. Too nice is where they fall.

I've experienced people making fun of me when they didn't know, which I had no problem with. I wouldn't particularly care if they did know and still made fun of me - I'd much rather interact with someone honestly instead of wasting my time trying to figure out what kind of person they are because they hide behind a social curtain.
FishPreferred
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Personally their efforts would be more useful with that, as that word is meant to be offensive, while retard is merely a proper word that people use a bit freely. Hell, even when some people use it as an insult, some of them are using it correctly.


On the contrary, "retard" is nearly always misattributed. It should not be used in association with Down syndrome or other intellectual impairments, as retardation is an entirely separate cognitive disorder.

50% of all people will have a mental illness sometime during their lifespan.


I find this very unlikely. It should be nearer to 70%.
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