What is the purpose of www.Neurophobe.com? To help those who cannot help themselves; to cast a light on the prejudice and stigma that people with neurological challenges face everyday in our society. We are a grass roots watchdog organization, and we are posting a PUBLIC LIST of NEUROPHOBES in order to bring awareness and positive change. Please read this list; some are well known personalities; others just ordinary citizens.
Examples: Ben Stiller, for his movie Tropic Thunder, for using the word "retard" to describe people with intellectual disabilities; Michael Savage, for calling autism a fraud, and kids who suffer-brats and morons; Bill O'Reilly for saying that homeless veterans are lazy and the only thing that's asleep are their brains; even Reader's Digest for using the stigmatizing word, "nutty" to characterize mental illness.
By paying the price of public exposure, Neuophobes may consider treating people more sensitively; society may change. All too often, victims of neurophobic behavior have no recourse but to silently suffer and endure--on street corners, in schools, in jails--in every facet of our community. Time and time again, we see the inevitable results--while society--with seemingly few restraints, minimizes the pain and fatalities inflicted on those least able to defend themselves. There has been no word to describe people who practice such cruel behavior. Now there is such a word--NEUROPHOBE-a powerful word that victims can use to defend themselves--a word that can be used, like jujitsu, to fight back, and turn the hatred back on the offender--and place the stigma where it belongs--back on the abuser.
Examples: calling a person with Schizophrenia or Bi-polar Disorder a "schiz" or "cracked"; making jokes about the mentally ill; using physical violence or unwarranted force against someone suffering a mental illness.
We seek to challenge these stereotypes and show how they can interfere with the recovery process and even damage relationships between family, friends, and co-workers. We hope to educate others in the realities of neurological and mental illness and the courageous struggles faced by consumers and families every day.Our goal? Break down the barriers of ignorance, prejudice, or discrimination by promoting dialogue, education, understanding, and respect.
Neurophobe is a combination of the word neurology (the nervous system) and phobia (fear). Although the traditional definition of neurophobia is "fear of neurology among medical students" (the brain is complex), we have adapted a more universal and semantically-evolved version, in which we apply a different and dual meaning for misuse of social behavior toward those afflicted by neurologically disabling conditions. Any use of the word neurophobe in this contest by neurophobe.com should be taken in the spirit of words like homophobe, in which victims suffer. When we use "neurophobe" we understand that our specific application of the word might require a hyphen separation like neuro-phobe, but for the purposes of simplicity, we will go with neurophobe. The word carries an ostracizing association, and it is meant to.
Sometimes, neurophobes don't know any better. Other times, they lack the empathy to understand, cannot imagine how it feels, or are not sensitive enough to put themselves in the place of someone who is being ridiculed because of an illness or condition that is of not fault of his or her own. We hope to change this.Many people are affected by neuro-conditions: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, speech impediment, Attention Deficit Disorder, Post-traumatic war veterans, the list goes on.
Those who might categorize a neurophobe label as another layer of political correctness do not understand how it feels to be referred to-cavalierly, cruelly, or condescendingly-by teachers, trustees, the marketplace, or even by loved ones-in stigmatizing terms such as "cracked, crazy, schizo, or worse." It hurts.
Law enforcement agencies, schools, human resource institutions, military organizations-my succumb to the temptations of ridicule, bias, or even violence toward our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents who deserve, like all individuals, with or without disabilities, dignity and care. Some organizations are educating themselves; more need to follow.