Mitch “Pigpen” McConnell’s campaign staff are caught on tape giving consideration to using Ashley Judd’s depression as a disqualifying factor should she decide to run against him for the Senate. Millions of people in this country suffer from depression or some other form of “mental Illness” – be it acute or chronic. I am a diagnosed and treated manic depressive.
Before anyone jumps up to correct me and inform me that the new term is bipolar disorder, let me be clear. I don’t like that term. It is my god-damned disease, and I will call it whatever I like. I fought my way through the nightmare and emerged on the other side, in treatment and in control of my disorder rather than being controlled by it. Anyone who has done this, Ms. Judd included, has nothing to fear from bottom-feeders like McConnell.
The stigma of mental illness and emotional instability is something we have all had to fight at one time or another. It is one reason many of us run and hide rather than seek treatment. In point of fact, I see a resurgence of this ugly stigmatization rising to the surface of the gun debate. It seems to me that people like LaPierre are angling to blame all the violence on crazy people. It is not the guns, it is the nut cases – bring back the snake pits and forget the guns.
For my part I learned early on that it isn’t being crazy or sane that gets you. It is crossing the line. By that I mean once you own the disease there is nothing more to fear. When I hear the old smug, semi humorous and pejorative references to mental illness and emotion instability my attitude is, damn straight. Want to make something of it? I know what I am, and who I am. I know that my mind doesn’t work like most people and without my drugs I am crazier than a March hare.
What is it that McConnell and the other demagogues who pollute this society like heavy metal in groundwater know about themselves? For instance, do they understand that the qualities for which most American politicians are so well known, and apparently of which they are so proud, like glibness, habitual lying, self-serving manipulation, grandiose self worth and a total lack of empathy, remorse, shame and quilt are actually some of the primary symptoms of the sociopath? Well, as the fellah said, “If the shoe fits,” put it on Pigpen.