society Archive

Autism Acceptance Month, You, and Me

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Emily Aviva Kapor. In her first post with us, she talks about how to be an ally to autistic people. Thanks for sharing with us, Emily!

I am autistic. The way I experience the world is different than the way most other people do. I haven’t written much about this publicly yet, and I am continuing to learn to be comfortable with being an autistic adult and moving through the world with this part of my identity. Here, though, is something I wrote two weeks ago for the so-called “Autism Awareness Day” and posted to Facebook; I thought I’d edit it slightly and share it more widely here in honor of the much better idea of Autism Acceptance Month.

“What do you have to be depressed over?”

Ugh. Stop. Seriously, stop. I don’t get why people keep asking why I’m depressed, or what I have to be depressed over. Really, it’s a dumb question. Ok, though, in fairness, maybe it’s not actually their fault – society is probably to blame here. People say that something is depressing, or they’re depressed, and what they really mean is that something happened, and it sucks, it’s a bummer, they’d prefer it didn’t happen.

The stigmatization of Mental Illness in a Modern Society

It remains difficult for some to fathom the weight of stigmatization that is carried on the backs of the millions diagnosed with mental illness each year. Mental illness is, indeed, an illness. A disorder of the mind that equally affects the body. Mental illness is something that can make living day to day extremely difficult, painful (both emotionally and physically), and nearly impossible.