Is it still ok to call someone a loon or a nutter?

A recent post from a forum I frequent.

Advice if you encounter a nutcase outside

I was in the shopping queue last night and this nutcase was talking to this very attractive blonde till girl.

He was holding up the queue, and was clearly not right in the head, what he was saying. We all remained calm as he finally left.

The till girl said to me, “I was scared.’

I said, you did the right thing, you remained calm and agreed with everything he said. Never challenge a loony. Agree, with everything they say.


Am I being oversensitive when I say that I find this offensive? As a ‘loon’ myself I use the terms quite a lot with humour amongst my other mad mates, but that’s very different I feel. Just as a black person may use the n word.
The trouble with mental illness is that the general public lumps it all together. So a diagnosis of depression is no different to one of schizophrenia. I’ve been called mong, nutter, schizo, psycho, weirdo over the years, mostly by my brother or by work colleagues and on one occasion by a neighbour who would shout such terms at me whenever I left the house.
In a society which is often accused of being too PC, we nutters seem to remain an easy target. You only have to look at the headline when Frank Bruno, the boxer, had a breakdown. Bonkers Bruno Locked Up screamed the front page. Fair enough, the paper apologised and sent it’s health editor on a mental health awareness course, but only after pressure from various charities.
I sometimes have visions of killing people. They are disturbing and frightening and it’s attitudes like this which prevent me telling people like my gp, for fear of a reactionary response. He would probably just remind me that I’ve never been violent and that the thoughts are just that. Thoughts. But we live in a world where people are still scared of the mentally ill and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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