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Well twitter was a fun place tonight. An awful lot of people are deeply offended, upset, angered or plain livid with ASDA and Tesco. If you missed it I’m sure you’ll read about it soon.
It’s not the costume that offends me so much as the name. Mental patient. I’m a mental patient actually, thanks ASDA.
Read Nickie’s post on this costume. It has offended me and I am not really buying ASDAs “sorry” tweets. Way to go, fuel stigma and prejudice.
Do I look mental? Is there a uniform my psychotherapist forgot to issue me with? If I was cooking and had a big knife would that be a Halloween worthy look? Can you tell by looking at me I’m nuts? Mental? Medicated?
Do I feel judged? Hell yes! Sadly it wasn’t just ASDA, Tesco and Amazon have also now been found to have similarly labelled outfits. Harmless fun? Well no, no its not. I’ve had lots of labels used about me over the years, but I’m not generally considered as a knife wielding murder. But that’s seemingly how someone in ASDA sees us. I best not disappoint eh? I own a meat cleaver after all, I’M A MENTAL PATIENT right?
Just in case it’s not totally clear, supermarkets, I am NOT PLEASED. Ever since seeing your delightfully named “costumes” I’ve felt like a freak. Like people know I have mental health issues. Like there is a big flashing neon sign above my head listing my past and current MH conditions. Things like bullemia, depression, anxiety disorders, DDNOS, PTSD, post natal depression (PND), suicide attempts, clinical depression, paranoia, extremely disabling phobias, flashbacks, nightmares…… I could keep listing, but you’ve got the idea. Was it really ok to use “mental health patient” as a name? Did anyone in Tesco, amazon or ASDA really think it through?
How on earth did it reach a retail stage with such a heartless, judgemental, stereotypical title? Why, why did no one question this? Seriously, has kicking people when they are down become normal and socially accepted these days. And what’s with the backlash at us mental patients? Aren’t we allowed a voice now? Should we stay quiet while Daily Mail readers say “it’s political correctness gone mad!” “nutters should not be allowed to post on the internet!” and many more stupid things.
Well guess what? I’m still annoyed and I’m still going to say it.