Mental Illnesses are Not Jokes

This evening at dinner my partner and I were talking about our families. My mother had helped my brother move and she struggled helping him because he wouldn’t get rid of anything. I commented that my mom was always a bit of a hoarder and if she thought something was trash and needed tossing, then it really did.

I realized after I said that, that I used hoarder casually the way a lot of people use OCD, anxiety, depression, bulimia, germophobia, and other real, serious mental illnesses. And often we do it unconsciously—we’re not thinking about the word or what it might mean to people who might hear us.

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