Yeah, so problematic on so many levels... yet everyone keeps sharing this article as a show of support towards mental illness!!! *Rage rage rage* and you're right, good point. The "noble savage" stereotype is there so hardcore it aches...
Ugh I've seen that article before Mitch :/ I think I wrote something about it somewhere but I don't remember where. Basically?? Yeah, super damaging. To both people who are mentally ill as well as those who get stereotyped as "Noble Savages" and "Primitive."
It's like the article went, "You know what would go great with our racism? Some good o' ableism!"
And no doubt that some people's mental illnesses are environmental. I know that the environment I lived in when I was younger definitely contributed to my mental illnesses. But what also didn't help was how that environment was ableist and didn't want me to seek out help when I started to experience trouble. Just. Ugh. -shakes fists-
I am so relieved others feel the way I do! So many people whom I've spoken to in person never, ever, understood straight off the bat how this could be remotely offensive. It's a relief to see others feel the same way. Thank you!
And yes, some mental illnesses are environmental, but I feel that it's important to keep in mind that environment can heavily aggravate a root cause. For example, being forced to work while having a cold makes anyone miserable and it's just a cold! In the same way, having a mental illness that impairs your cognitive faculties can get worse/feel worse in a society where you really need them- and slip under the radar when you're in a situation where you don't use them as much. For example, a person may feel the effects of their mental illness more when asked to write an academic essay rather than when asked to weed a garden. I feel this is important to consider. People generally consider themselves 'cured' when they don't notice the symptom. In the case of people moving somewhere with a drastically different pace of life and life demands (going from USA to African village life) it may just be that their condition has not necessarily changed at all but that their environment puts different pressures upon them. Depending upon the specific impairments their mental illness causes, the person's symptoms may appear to have suddenly lessened. Just my little opinion. And yes, its interesting how often this article is shared by white people who 'love' 'indigenous and tribal' stuff... without realizing that these views cause HUGE problems for the communities who hold them. I've read some interesting articles (can't remember the source now, sorry! Will post if ever I remember it!) that discussed how black persons suffering from mental illness face HUGE stigma from their communities who consider depression, etc, to be a 'white person' thing or that it just doesn't exist... it must contribute so highly to the suicide and violence rate... and yet here are these ignorant white people who claim these views are amazing while understanding nothing of it. Sorry for the moroseness, I just find it hypocritical. Argl.
Yeah, I've read articles about the prejudice towards mental illnesses in other communities that aren't rich white people. If I re-find the articles, I'll post them here too.
I've also had a hard time explaining the problems of mental health to people in person in the pagan and polytheist communities. One of the first people I ever told about my illnesses said I needed to just "trust the Goddess to heal me" and crap like that. I said no, that isn't how it works, and luckily a person with me (a nurse) backed me up.