Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Posts Tagged ‘depression

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #55

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Mental; working diagnosis dysthymic disorder.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Call out ableism where you see it. Encourage people who are disabled and are comfortable being public about it to be public. Apply skepticism to mental health claims (both SCAM stuff and “depressed people need to think more positively!”)

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Rationality/skepticism are very important to me in fighting my mental illness. I had to learn to rigorously check claims like “everyone hates me” and not just take it on intuition or faith.

Response #55 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

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Written by The Nerd

June 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #40

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Mental:
Tourettes, Depression, OCD, ADD. We suspect ASD but don’t have a diagnosis.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

I frequently am bothered by the assertion that “religion is crazy” or “religion is a mental illness” As someone who actually has a mental illness

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Stop the fucking “religion is crazy” rhetoric. Focus on the cruelty, and fundamental incoherence of religion not attacking them by making ableist comments

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

It was literally my first encounter with atheism. I was an officer in the religious studies club giving a talk on Norse Paganism (my belief system before I became atheist) and literally the first comment out of the local Atheist club’s mouth was “How fucking crazy do you have to be to believe that shit.”

Response #40 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #25

with one comment

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Have seen PWDs [people with disabilities] obviously uncomfortable due to ableism

[Warning: slurs] Quotes from atheists denigrating people with autism, stories describing developmentally delayed as “man-child,” description of religion as a mental illness, use of “retarded” and “crazy/insane/lunatic/etc.” as insults, constant references to religious individuals as “lunatic” and “deluded,” etc.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Definitely look for accessible buildings for any meetups, and make a point of calling out ableist language, both in the rules and just as individuals in general. It would be especially nice if prominent atheists would stop giving this language a pass, and especially stop USING IT THEMSELVES.

The above has been response #25 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

I know some people don’t get why “crazy” and it’s synonyms are a bad idea to use as slurs against people with dangerous supernatural beliefs. I didn’t get it myself. But then I heard person after person say “you know what? this hurts me”. And after a while, I couldn’t continue telling them that their pain didn’t matter to me, or that my liberal word choice mattered more than refraining from causing harm.

For further reading, I recommend this and this (especially the second).

Written by The Nerd

May 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #16

with 7 comments

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Your examples are EXclusive. How about, on a case by case basis, find out who will be there and arrange to have their needs met, without a blanket exclusionary policy? And recognize that some people’s needs just won’t be met under certain circumstances. My house has ramps, and I go out of my way to make people comfortable, but if your iron lung doesn’t fit through my door, sorry, that’s just too bad.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Please don’t restrict language. That’s a really bad road to go down. Nobody should expect freedom from being offended.

The above is response #16 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

So let me get this straight: you are worried about “exclusionary” policy intended to include more people? Do you even know what an iron lung is? (And that only 30 people in the entire nation even use one?) Or are you just fretting about having to step outside of your able-bodied privilege for 5 seconds and realize that perhaps there’s a world of diverse experience that you’ve never even considered?

Also, while I respect your freedom to use whichever words you like, you likewise get to respect my freedom to kick you out of my group if you use a slur against any of the other members. Don’t like that? You also have the freedom to start a group for people who enjoy calling other people names.

Written by The Nerd

May 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #13

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Mental; Bi-Polar Disorder w/Severe Anxiety.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

My groups seem to self police pretty well.  It is still good to have policies put in place.  ADA compliance is good if their is a venue choice.  Since many meetups are at members homes or other social setting awareness of these problems can be addresses individually.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Education is key.  Learning about the human condition helps us all.  For those of us with anxiety problems, event with a lower level of personal-interaction are good entry points (lectures for example).  Online chats or meetups might also be helpful.

Response #13 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Written by The Nerd

April 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #10

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

A combination of both [mental and physical]. Mentally,  I am diagnosed with Major Depressive disorder, Recurrent and Severe, Anxiety, and am likely to also have ADHD, but it is undiagnosed. Physically, I have Sleep Apnea, Morbid Obesity, COPD, Diabetes, and Arthritis in my hip.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Yes. I live on Staten Island. NY City Atheists meet in various locations in Manhattan. It’s not so much of an issue of building access for me, it is time and distance to travel by public means, which is difficult for me.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I’d like to see a Staten Island chapter, but know few Atheists on Staten Island. It also becomes a matter of viable locations and money, if usage fees occur.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Online communities go a long way to inclusion, but lack personal interaction. Also, access is incumbent on one’s access to a computer and the internet.

I hope this was helpful.

Response #10 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #6

with one comment

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I think wheelchair access would be a big one, but what do you mean by “able-ist?” Stuff like “We can’t run from these problems?” If that’s the problem, some people are just way too sensitive. Wheelchair access is about the only thing I can think of.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I would think they were independent events, so about the same percentage of atheists are disabled as within other groups. Seriously though, what the heck is “able-ism?”

The above has been response #6 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

It is a common response that people say “you’re way too sensitive” when regarding issues of accessibility to atheist events. Notice how this person self-identifies as not having a disability, and in fact doesn’t even know what ableism is. This is what’s known as “able-bodied privilege“. Privilege is essentially the ability to benefit from having all of society tailored to you and people like you, without your participation even being required for that to happen. In other words, through no fault of hir own other than the accident hir birth and life, this person is able to go through life not knowing how difficult life is for people with disabilities. Does that mean that people with disabilities are “too sensitive” in demanding accommodations?  By no means! They simply are stating their particular needs from their particular perspective. Everyone has a right to do that.

As far as “what the heck is ‘able-ism’?” goes, this person is doing ableism. Telling someone that their reasonable requests to assess and assert the need for accessibility are “too sensitive” is ableism. It is normal and healthy for people to say what they need when they need it. As social creatures, we need to be able to form communities with people who make us feel safe and welcome. As a humanist, it is in my interest to find out how I can cast a wider net, so to speak, in reaching out to others in forming a sense of humanist community with others. Thus, it is also in my best interest as a humanist to “search and destroy” ableist attitudes within my mind. I hope that the people reading this post can take it upon themselves to do so as well.

Written by The Nerd

April 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm