“Mental Health Conditions” or an “Insult Dictionary for Privileged People”?


CW: Self Harm/ Mental Health


Language is so interesting to me. Some of it is so beautiful and some of it is so painful, hurtful, and unkind. More so than ever, it is unintentionally evil and pervasive in spaces where we aren’t prepared to be attacked. As someone that deals with mental health issues, I’ve noticed the dissociation I experience when I hear someone casually throw around words like “bipolar,” “depressed,” “anxious,” or “retarded.” I retreat into myself; into a place of shame and anger and sadness. Although usually unintended towards me, the words have a cruel bite to them that I wish the speaker could feel like I, and I’m sure others, feel. I hope this poem conveys even a fraction of that experience.

All Those F*cking Things

“You’re so bipolar.”

           “I’m so depressed today.”

   “I definitely have like, anxiety or something.”

    “She’s such a schizo.”

             “That’s so retarded.”

Can’t breathe.

I’m locked in the cage my own body made.

Tear my skin, let it out, all the Pain and the Doubt.

Of a mind playing Tricks

On itself.

Why is it called Mental Health?

None of us are Healthy.

Day after day

Night after night

Wishing I could take My Own Life.

Pills in the trash,

Washed down the drain so

Maybe there’s no pain.

But then I can’t even get out of bed every time,

Because some days my Mind has it’s very own mind.

These pills take the edge off

But I’m stuck in the fog.

Like I’m lost on a raining day

No Rainbow.

No Sunshine.

So Depressed, Anxious, Bipolar?

You’re right.

I’m all of those fucking things,

But I’m more than these

Knife Stains on my wrist.


Author: Morgan Gjoen