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Why I Feel Broken After a Friend Called Me 'Insane'

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Someone called me “insane” — someone who I would call a friend. She called me insane because she thought I responded irrationally. She told me people thought I was insane.

The fight was going fine until she called me insane. She ripped at my insides, and I felt my stomach drop. I felt a trigger I never thought I would experience because everything I had ever internalized about myself started coming to the front of my brain.

“You’re not enough. You are on medication, and you are ‘insane.’ Anxiety and depression are taking a hold of you, and they are making you annoying and worthless. What would happen if you weren’t here anymore? What would people think?”

The word “insane” sent a trigger through my spine that made me collapse a little bit inside. It made me internalize everything I advocate for when we talk about the stigma surrounding mental health, because anytime I have a breakdown, or an anxiety attack, I believe that’s the way people view me. I believe they see me as this empty, broken and “crazy” individual.

Don’t call me insane without knowing the implications of that word. We are taught in university to be careful of language, to understand the meaning surrounding language, yet these are the words that are too often used.

I’m stuck in a cycle of not knowing what I’m supposed to do. Should I sleep all day until I forget it all? Do I run away? Do I fight and stand up and tell people I’m not insane? Or do I truly start believing it?

Insane. Know the meanings, the implications and the consequences. And don’t call me that, because I might actually start to believe it.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Originally published: May 9, 2017
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