Oooh, I love all the threads cropping up about inclusivity and escapism the last couple of days. This is fantastic and seriously what I come to these forums for.
Alright, you guys have talked about race, but because I’m a cisgendered white woman, I’m gonna broach another view of this subject.
In the gay/bi importance thread, I stated that I prefer a diverse cast. This is still true.
I want to cover something even more…difficult than race or sexuality or even physical disability.
For me, I’d like to find a balance for mental health, as it is something incredibly important to me. I’m someone with Borderline Personality Disorder as well as rapid-cycling Bipolar II Disorder. It is something I cannot escape, just as one cannot escape that they’re African, Asian, black, white, European, Hispanic, heterosexual, homosexual, demisexual, aromantic, asexual, genderfluid, transgender, etc. etc. etc.
It’s also something that can be EXTREMELY triggering for people, particularly when you get into things like suicide, rape, self-harm or anxiety or depression.
However, I also think it’s incredibly important to normalize these things, beyond just “lol Sera was feeling anxious that day” or “Ben was suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper OCD over his project” (please never use OCD as a temporary thing. My youngest sister has yet to be diagnosed, but we’re fairly certain she has aggressive OCD. It’s difficult to live with, she’s difficult to live with, everything is awful when she gets compulsive. OCD can’t just be turned off so don’t use it as a temporary thing. Same goes for AD(H)D…)
This is something I’d really like to see opinions on. Everyone has an abundance of opinions on sexuality or discrimination based upon sexuality/gender/race, but I’ve yet to see people talk about the discrimination based upon mental health…
I want to see someone in a game or book fighting for the destigmatization of suicide attempts or stays in a mental ward. I want to feel the character’s sadness when he opens up about his suicide attempt in a group setting amongst friends…only to have one of his friends unable to look at him the same way. I want to see that friend attempt to learn and perhaps be unable to or unable to deal with the main character anymore.
I want to see mental health representation in a realistic, gut-wrenching way. I don’t fully feel like I can escape reality, when the main character doesn’t have remotely similar thoughts and feelings to myself.