( Madness )
( Madness )
Browsing through the tag, I’ve seen people interpret Elsa’s part of the story as a queer coming out story. And while this is a valid interpretation, I have a different one. To me, it’s about mental illness, and how to learn to deal with that, especially from a chronic MI perspective.
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"But mostly what I learned is how little is actually known about mental illness. All they know, it's rarely about finding solutions. It is more about managing expectations."
So true. And I wish there was more research into mental illness, but there isn't. Mostly because there isn't much funding. Because who wants to invest money into the crazies when they can research "real" illnesses. And fuck that the illness I suffer from has a mortality rate of 15-30%. Even if you don't count in the suicides, people with bipolar usually die earlier than people without the illness, simply because (wow surprise) it puts an enormous strain on the body. Oh, and meds. Let's don't forget the taking meds for life, meds that often come with a bunch of side effects that aren't all that nice.
It doesn't matter if people die because they take their own lives, because of a drug overdose, a car accident or because there is something wrong with their bodies. What matters is that people. die.
Comes with a trigger warning for people who are already depressed.
Fuck you, Mr. LaPierre. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. You know who's a monster? You are. You with your "moar guns!!! Guns are the solution to EVERYTHING!!!". You with your utter lack of common sense, your paranoia and your delusions of grandeur. You privileged little shit. You abelist asshole.
I'm not going to go on a killing spree. Not now, not ever. Most of us horrible, horrible mentally ill people will never do such a thing. We're harmless. We're just not like you, and you know what? That's a good thing. I'd hate to be like you. At least I have compassion. At least I can admit to when I'm wrong. At least I don't try to blame everyone else for a problem I helped create.
I am so sick and tired about all of this "oh we have to help the mentally ill because they are DANGEROUS FREAKS who might kill INNOCENT NORMAL PEOPLE" shit. How about you help us because we're human beings? Because we're suffering? Because you want to increase our quality of life? But no, it's all about the poor, poor normal people who might suffer under our terrible afflictions.
Next thing you know, they're going to make us wear bells and rattles so that people know we're coming and can get out of the way, just like the lepers during the middle ages.
Edit: and if you still aren't convinced that LaPierre is an offensive piece of shit, have this quote:
"LaPierre also said, “We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics” and complained that de-institutionalization of the mentally ill had put too many dangerous people on the streets of America. “We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that’s got these monsters walking the streets,” LaPierre said."
While you're at it, why don't call for forced sterilization and internment? Or how about killing those "monsters" and "lunatics" before they can do anything dangerous? I mean, it's been done before. By people who, for all intents and purposes, we completely mentally healthy. That didn't keep them from being utterly despicable human beings who thought that just because someone is mentally ill, they're somehow sub-human.
If the members of the NRA really aren't as bad as their reputation, they should be stripping that asshole of his office right now. But I'm not holding my breath on that one.
So I was eating my eggy in a basket and watching TV. And then, the teaser for a new "scripted reality" (you know, the shit they want to sell you as TEH TROOTH but which is in fact doctored like Frankenstein's Monster) program came on.
"Please help me!" - the afternoon entertainment show that deals with such wonderful topics as alcoholism, bullying, eating disorders and depression. Basically, someone has a problem, and they call in an "expert" (and yeah, those scare quotes are entirely approprite) to deal with the problem.
And that is where I lost my shit. Seriously, it's bad enough that we have shit like Supernanny. And now they're turning serious emotional and psychological issues into entertainment.
Let me say that again to make it absolutely clear:
They're turning serious emotional and psychological issues into entertainment
Dear program directors of VOX: Go fuck yourselves. Go play in traffic. Take a long walk off a short pier. FUCK OFF AND DIE.
I guess I'm not just speaking for myself when I say: I am not your entertainment. I am not your freakshow. My very real problems, my suffering and my drama are not yours to take and make a quick buck with.
Jesus tittyfucking Christ, it's not as if we had to deal with enough misinformation and prejudice already. And now they're going to add a new load of bullshit to it by making it look as if trauma can be healed in an hour. As if depression is something you can overcome between ad breaks. Oh, sure, somewhere in there they are going to mention that it took weeks. Maybe they'll even mention that it needs constant vigilance and work. But you know what, that is NOT what people will hear. They will hear "oh, these things can be treated and made to go away in no time at all! Just call in some wannabe TV expert and all your problems will be solved!"
It's arleady hard enough to make "normals" realize just how difficult it is for us crazies. It's hard enough to make people see that this isn't something you can just wish away with a bit of positive thinking and healthy eating.
And they're so-called "expert" isn't even a trained psychiatrist.
So thanks, you fuckers. Thanks for making my life even more difficult than it has to be. I don't believe in hell, but I still hope you rot in it.
Mental illness needs to be de-mystified. It needs to be taken seriously, and at the same time, the misinformation, fear and hysterics about it need to stop. And that can only be achieved through communication and advocacy.
I have bipolar II. I wasn't diagnosed until about a year ago, but I've had it for a long time, probably 15, 20 years. Yes, this means that I've been running around with a chronic mental illness for half my life. Now, bipolar II is a bitch to diagnose. It usually takes 10 years or more until it's properly diagnosed, because unlike bipolar I, it doesn't get these really really obvious manic episodes. I get hypomanic episodes, which aren't as obvious to outsiders. Those who really know me well might notice them, but otherwise, it's something that's more on the inside. And while parts of them are fun (hello, increased creativity and high mood!), other parts are horrible (hello, racing thoughts and increased anxiety and aggression!). The depression was, and is, more visible. Which is why it got diagnosed first. That, and the anxiety. It took me actually going to a therapist who worked with me for 1,5 years until a proper diagnosis was made.
So why did I wait so long before going to a therapist? The answer is pretty simple: stigma. In my mind, and that of a lot of other people, if you see a therapist - that means something is seriously wrong with you. And I didn't want to be "seriously wrong". Of course, that's bullshit. Therapy is a great tool for getting mentally and emotionally stable, and it doesn't mean you're some kind of loon. It just means that there is something in your life that you need help with. But I've always had problems with admitting that I need help. Because it meant that I was weak, that I wasn't strong, smart, good enough to work this out on my own. Because it meant that something was wrong with my brain.
The last one is actually accurate. There is something wrong with my brain. So far, science has only the most rudimentary of clues as to what it actually is. Something to do with neurotransmitters and the way my brain processes stuff. Basically, I have a kind of diabetes of the brain. But for some reason, people with diabetes don't get the same looks I get.
No, I'm not some psycho who will kill you when you're not looking. I'm not a danger to anyone other than maybe myself (the suicide rate for bipolar II is sometimes put as high as 50%. Makes you wonder why there isn't more money invested in finding out what exactly causes it, or into researching drugs that aren't basically hit and miss). Also, no, I can't infect you with the crazy. Well, unless you're related to me, since this is hereditary (which btw does not mean that this is my parents', or anyone else's, fault). No, you don't have to treat me with kiddie gloves. Or like I'm an imbecile, because I'm not. Being bipolar does not lower my IQ in any way. Most of the time, I'm perfectly functional.
But just like a person with diabetes, there's certain things I have to do to stay that way. I take medication, I adjust my lifestyle. Diabetics stay away from sugar more than non-diabetics, I stay away from stress more than neurotypicals. Diabetics have to monitor their blood sugar to anticipate an episode, I have to monitor my moods. Stuff like that.
Also, like diabetes, this does not go away with willpower, or by ignoring it. I don't have this to "get attention" or "because I'm too fragile" or because "it's all in my head" (well ok this in in my head, but not in the I'm just imagining it sense). So please don't say that to me, it's insulting. In fact, please don't say that to anyone with a mental disorder, regardless if it's permanent like mine or only temorary.
Don't just shuffle people away or silence them because they make you uncomfortable. Seriously, how do you think we feel? We've got enough on our plates without the rest of the world giving us the side-eye all the time.
Be supportive. When we talk about our illness, listen. Don't question our treatments, because if you're not a professional or someone with personal experience, you have no idea what works and what doesn't. Don't presume you know how we feel. If you want to know what it's like, ask. Cut us some slack now and then, because for us crazies, life is just that little bit more difficult than it is for everyone else.
One last thing: 12 to 18% of the world's population will suffer from an episode of depression over the course of their life. 5% of the population will suffer from bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia: 0.7%. Anxiety disorder: 14-18%. Personality disorders: 9%. Etc, etc. Bottom line is that about 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their life. Keep that in mind, and "normal" kind of loses its relevance.