If Physical Illnesses Were Treated Like Mental Illnesses


Mr. Potter did not attend work today. His reason is that he is too overtaken by depression to get out of bed and so he needs to take a sick day. Mr. Potter is lazy and uncommitted to his job. His boss will fire him in the morning because he is clearly unfit for the position.


Sandy is unwell. She is absent from work today. She has motor neurone disease and can’t get out of bed, so she must take a sick day. Sandy is obviously an indolent deadbeat. Shame on her. Fire her in the morning.


Miss Baker has OCD. She can’t do basic household chores without people blaming her behavior on her disease.


Darren suffers from narcolepsy. Any time he expresses sleepiness, even at bedtime, people become alarmed because they believe it must be from his disease.


Mrs. Gwen is taking pills to treat her lifelong social anxiety. She has been taking them for years and they seem to do the trick, with minimal side effects. Her friend, Mooncloud, who is from Santa Cruz and is considered a well-adjusted and chipper individual, objects. She says pharmaceutical companies are just trying to get her dependent on drugs and are making her sicker. Mrs. Gwen can get better with a healthy, organic diet and acupuncture. Mooncloud, with her years of experience as a certified bikram yoga instructor, is more qualified to give medical advice than Mrs. Gwen’s physician.


Perry and Colonel Brown were out dining on a business trip. Perry explained how he has a congenital heart disorder and must take a pill before every meal otherwise his heart will stop. Colonel Brown, who is a world-renowned expert on accounting, recommends drinking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar every twelve hours, and getting plenty of sunlight. This, he says, is a safe and effective alternative to a lifetime of medications.


Mr. Samuels is a highly disturbed individual. Concerned he might drown himself, he traveled three miles to the west by foot, uphill, in the rain, to check himself into the town mental institution.

Mr. Peters, the Superintendent, answered the door and regretted to inform Mr. Samuels that he was not sick enough for them to admit him into their facility, and to come back after he’s already hurt himself or others.

The Samuels family was horrified to discover Daddy dead in the neighbor’s children’s pool the next morning.


Trudy was 9 months pregnant and began having contractions. The big day has arrived! The baby’s father took her to the hospital. The doctor sent them away and told them to come back when the baby was actually coming out.

Tragically, Trudy did not survive the ordeal.


Ms. Sanders has Bipolar II disorder. Her doctor recommends weekly cognitive behavioral therapy sessions to help her keep her symptoms under control. Her insurance won’t pay for them.

Ms. Sanders became too ill and needed to quit her job. Now she lives in a stranger’s cupboard and comes out when they are not home and eats their food. In return, she does some of their household chores before they come back. The homeowners believe their house in inhabited by a hobgoblin.


Last year, Lawrence was diagnosed with leukemia. Insurance would not pay for the chemotherapy sessions.

In lieu of flowers, Lawrence’s family asks that you please donate to the Ulman Fund.


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