Welcome to weareallbonkers – enjoy

I decided to set up this blog after a twitter conversation with some good friends. We made a (failed) attempt to get #weareallbonkers trending on twitter, but I loved the name so much I decided it needed to be used. I wanted a blog, so stole the name, yup that simple.

I intend to blog on politics, mental health, religion, work, family or anything I feel passionate about on the day.

As an intro my first blog will be to set you, my readers a challenge, what’s in a name?  Mental health is full of names, from depression to schizophrenia, from bi-polar to borderline personality disorder from PTSD to OCD, all invented by psychiatrists to make labelling easier. The general public, however are used to calling us mad, loonies, barking, schizo or psycho… actually the list is endless. When I run my mental health awareness courses or especially my stigma and discrimination course, I get people to list out the “bad words”. I usually get around 25 – 30 names within 5 minutes. My favourite is 2 stops short of Becontree….   (if you look at a London tube map you’ll see that Barking is two stops short of Becontree!). When I was in an art group we called our exhibition, “two pictures short of an exhibition”.

I am very “non PC” when it comes to my illness and when discussing mental health with fellow .. ah what should I put..  normally I would say fellow nutters, or fellow loonies, but this is a public blog, not in a pub with … stuck again!  Hence my challenge, what should we call ouselves?  Nutters, loonies, mental health service users, experts by expoerience….  HELP.

Please use the comments to tell me what you think, personally I think we should reclaim our own language, I’m a nutter and I’m proud!

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7 responses to “Welcome to weareallbonkers – enjoy

  1. I’ve seen this discussion endless times, particularly on mental health forums, and it always ends up with lots of names being bandied around but with no solution. Why? Because each illness, no matter its label, carries characteristics & peculiarities that shape the way we think. Like it or not we are influenced by our illness as well as our social status, upbringing, faith (or lack of it) – that list is endless. I accept the label that psychiatry gives me as a starting point. As someone with bipolar disorder who is suspected of having epilepsy and who does suffer from amnesia then I know wholly that diagnosis is just a starting point. I don’t consider it a label. Nor do I feel the need to give myself a label or declare myself to be part of the “mental health community”. I live in Bristol not Bipolar and the only label I need is my name.

  2. The NHS calling us service users makes me laugh. ‘Patient’ must have undertones of something being ‘wrong upstairs’ *taps head*…

    I do find labels both helpful and a hindrance. I’ll go by my diagnosis with those I can be frank with. I’ll call myself ‘loopy’ with those I can be silly with. And those who are afraid of the mentally ill or are uncomfortable with the idea, then I’m just a little tired, or poorly, or overactive, or have an excessive imagination etc.

    Glad to see you have a blog!

  3. I’m very happily known as a ‘nutter’ or ‘mad’ having enjoyed a Mad Pride event or two. However, with the lovely Zoe’s permission (who now is officially no longer mad), I’d like to become a member of The Mentalist Party. Drink anyone?

  4. I’m late to the party here, but I usually refer to myself as a ‘mental’ or a ‘mentalist’. If I’m feeling creative, I might throw in ‘nutjob’ or the adjective ‘doolally’, which my therapist apparently loves 🙂

    I look forward to following your blog!

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