You Wouldn’t Say That If They Had Cancer

I’m getting targeted ads about mental health now (great, awesome) and the newest one echoes something I see a lot these days, which is “you wouldn’t talk that way to someone who has cancer” — or a broken leg, or mumps, or whatever physical problems.
Look: first, that argument is fallacious as hell, don’t even start comparing depression to cancer, that’s outright offensive. But okay, let’s talk about this…completely different topic. If my friend has a broken leg and they think they’re curing it by taking pain pills, yeah I’m gonna say something. If my friend has had several heart attacks and every time we spend time together they show up with horrible fried foods, yeah I’m gonna say something. If my friend has cancer and says “well, I know I should be doing something about this cancer, but it’s not my fault I have cancer and I shouldn’t have to be the one to repair the damage, so I’m just gonna wait for someone else to fix it” yeah I’m gonna say something. If my friend is bleeding profusely and they’re like “no no it’s okay, I’ve been diagnosed with a bleeding condition, this just happens and I have to just wait it out” yeah I’m gonna say something.
If my friend is using clinical, diagnostic terms for their legitimate emotions, if my friend is taking strong drugs instead of working through their trauma, if my friend is being told their sensitivity and empathy is a biologically based brain disease, yeah I’m gonna say something.

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