While it can be celebrated anytime, Mad Pride Month is celebrated in July. Mad Pride began in 1993 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It formed in response to the negative stigma from local communities towards people with mental illness. The purpose of Mad Pride is to reclaim terms like “mad,” “nutter,” “psycho,” etc. from misuse. The goal is to educate the general public on mental health, and it’s causes. It took more than 20 years for depression to be recognized as a disease. Mad Pride doesn’t mean accepting one is crazy and moving on. It means recognizing that not everyone falls into what society calls “normal.”
I have struggled with my mental health for several years. I have often felt alienated by others because I didn’t fall into their definition of normal. They never realized that they didn’t fall into my definition of normal. As Morticia Addams from The Addams Family (1991) said, “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” I like the idea of saying something like I have a mental illness and I’m recovering and I’m proud of that. I don’t think it means being proud of awful behavior. It’s about being proud of your own journey. Be proud of your normal. Take pride in your madness but don’t let it control you.