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This month, rapper and celebrity Kanye West took to his preferred social media platform, Twitter, and made some controversial statements. As the media does, they dove into psychoanalyzing Kanye’s less than orthodox tactics as well as his seemingly irrational commentary. The media used words like “crazy” and “mentally ill” to describe and judge West’s antics simply because they were out of the ordinary and not mainstream. West’s Wife, Kim Kardashian West, elegantly responded on Twitter, making an extremely important point: “Mental Health is no joke and the media needs to stop spitting that out so casually. Bottom line”

Does Kanye West have a mental health disorder? A diagnosis has never been made public, though he has been hospitalized and has spoken about struggles with mental health. Regardless of whether there has been a public diagnosis, which is none of the general public’s business, the media has no right to use words like “crazy” or “mental illness” to casually describe someone’s behaviors. Firstly, even the most bizarre or controversial of tweets would not be enough to suggest insanity, let alone a clinical degree of insanity. Such suggestions spread the misinformation about mental illness in general and especially about the very real existence of psychiatric disorders. “Mental illness” can be used in a general way, but cannot be used to deem any confusing behavior as being associated with a diagnosis.

Research has found that most people will live with mental illness at some point in their lives. Living without experiencing mental illness at some point in one’s life is actually more rare than living with a mental illness at some point in one’s life. Mental illness isn’t a criticism, a gossip topic, or a label.

Mental illness is not a curable disease, whatever the diagnosis. There are many treatments and therapies which can drastically reduce the severity of mental illness or put mental illness into remission. However, there has not been a cure yet discovered which eradicates mental illness all together. Living with mental illness is a lifelong journey, full of many ups, downs, achievements, and struggles. For the hundreds of millions living with the real symptoms of mental illness, the disrespectful use of the term can be deeply offensive. It can also be problematic. How mental illness is discussed directly influences the way people are treated, the laws that are made to protect people with mental illness, and has a huge ripple effect.

The best we can do is continue to have well informed, accurate conversations which promote compassion over criticism and change the conversation away from stigma and shame.

The Guest House Ocala is committed to helping you change the conversation of mental health in your life. Everyone has a story. At our private estate, you’re welcomed with open arms, invited to transform and heal. Our residential treatment programs are custom created to meet the specific needs of each guest to ensure their total recovery of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800