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Identifying as disabled

Identifying as disabled published on 2 Comments on Identifying as disabled

In light of my recent completion of the quiz about my invisible illness, this entry on FWD [Feminists With Disabilities] has me thinking. If I can come out publically as having a mental illness, can I go further with a political/social self-definiton of "disabled?" I commented:

Nellie Jean said, I’m also “afraid” of coming out PWD because I never thought I had it “bad enough.”

I can understand that sentiment thoroughly. I have a sister with cerebral palsy, so the manifestations of her disability have strongly affected what I think of as “disabled.” I am very much loath to identify as disabled with my anxiety disorder and occasional depressive episodes because they don’t seem “bad enough.” The medical model is clearly talking here. I have more thinking to do.

Thank you for the post, Abby.


not just about “bad enough”. When you have a mental illness, doctors don’t listen to you. When you have a mental illness or learning disability, people look down on you.

Most people I meet or interact with don’t know about my mental illness or my learning disabilities the same way they don’t know about my sexual orientation.

I see no reason it is their business, and it will just miltiate against me. So why let people know?

I’m content to pass. And to fudge along when I have to.

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