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Truths

You’re Insane

“You’re so Bipolar!”

I can’t believe people still say that. Is that still an “in” thing? Is saying “in thing” still an “in” thing?

It’s a little offensive, not that that’s stopped anyone before. It’s offensive because it simplifies something complicated, something that actually consumes people’s lives. It’s not a meme that circulates the internet for a few weeks then disappears into the black hole of the Deep Web.

In High School I tried confiding in a few close friends of some issues I’d been having (#mistake) and from then on whenever I said something random or laughed at something they didn’t find funny or hid in the bushes and scared the shit out of them they’d call me “schizo”. The main problem with that is I’m not schizophrenic. I kept telling them to quit it but come on, teenagers aren’t going to listen to other teenagers’ logic, especially when they barely listen to adults. It wasn’t offensive to me, they could call me whatever they wanted I didn’t care, but it was offensive to the unseen masses who actually suffer from it on a day to day basis. When I asked them what schizophrenia was they couldn’t give an answer. But then again, most teenagers probably couldn’t even spell it.

I still get it from time to time if something I do or say seems odd to them and I’ve been out of high school for three years. I guess that’s not very long. Regardless, it seems like it’s plenty of time for people to get educated on the words flying out of their mouth.

I think what bothers me the most is that they associate frightening or confusing or odd behavior (as according to them) with mental disorders. It bothers me even more so that the majority of the information we hear about mental health on the television is either in crime or . . . crime. “Hey you hear about that guy who killed those women and hid them in his basement?” “Oh yeah, the schizo guy right?”

Come on people, you really need a scapegoat that bad? You can’t fathom that someone without mental illness could commit a crime? Anyone could. You’re capable of murder. You are. Just accept it.

Not saying killing women and stuffing them in a basement is “normal”, but it’s definitely not a characteristic of schizophrenia. Not many people with schizophrenia are violent. If they are it’s usually because they think they’re being persecuted and they’re legitimately frightened. Are you telling me if you knew absolutely that someone was trying to kill you that you’re just going to lay on your back and smile as they hammer your face in? Get real people.

Someone’s going to kill me. Cool.

That’s the problem. It’s not stressed enough to the public that what sounds irrational to the public, is real to them. The same goes for anxiety, depression, bipolar, everything. I legitimately feel that people are talking about me when I walk into a room. I get anxious. I want to leave. I sweat. I fidget. I forget English and instead speak a mix of Russian, German, Icelandic and Dog. People tell me I overreact and that’s true, my body and my brain does overreact. But it’s real nonetheless. People, in this country particularly need to get over the individualistic manifesto stuck in their subconscious; it makes them feel the world revolves around them. If it’s not real in their eyes it’s not real to anyone. “If I’m not homeless there’s no reason that man should be homeless, he’s just lazy.” “I get depressed too, just get over it”.

Sorry to say you’re not a God. Other people actually experience things outside of you, hardships even. A shocker, right? It’s just so insane.

It’s like no matter which way you turn you’re fucked. If you have anxiety or depression you’re going to be ignored or seen as lazy. If you experience psychosis, you’re a killer. I could spend hours and hours talking about the sociological contributions to stigma, about self-stigma, about stigma as a whole and the president of the united states could read it and make a law against stigma and it still wouldn’t matter. It’s ingrained in our society. Humans judge all the time, we’ll never get around that. So why try and change what they think? Saying to them “it’s offensive to say crazy and here’s why:” has about the same effect on them as them saying “stop being so depressed” to us.

Focus on yourself, that’s my advice. There is such a thing as self-stigma. When you get a diagnosis your subconscious understands what society thinks about that diagnosis and you know what? It’ll make your symptoms worse. It will. You’ll think you’re more depressed after the diagnosis than before the diagnosis and all of a sudden you can’t force yourself out of bed like you used to try. Because what’s the point. You have depression. You’re ill, right? The pills are supposed to get you up, aren’t they?

All this coming from someone whose medication never worked. So my opinion is mildly biased.

What ever happened to psychologists focusing on symptoms mainly? (*cough*Insurance companies happened *cough*). Who cares about the category it’s placed into; focus on how to treat the individual symptoms, the things the client complains about. The things that are actually disturbing their life.

I’m not completely against diagnosis. I mean . . . it’s good for communication between doctors. You know, helps them separate the schizos from the manics from the depressives, from the self-harmers from all the normies.

If stigma effects the public this bad, think how the doctors respond. Yep, you guessed right, their views change after diagnosis as well. No one is immune. It’s a disease. A contagious disease. I call it . . . Stigbola. It’s not from the jungles of Africa though. It nestles in the human body, welds itself to words, and rides from person to person, building its own little personal army. It can’t kill you, but it can kill whoever you come in contact with. It has a life-long incubation period. They’ll never see it coming. They’ll never even know it’s there. It’s the arachnid of human behavior. It’ll be sitting right by your face, it’ll crawl right in your ear, it’ll nestle in your mouth while you’re sleeping and you’ll never know.

So I say to my present, past, and future psychologists and doctors what I said to my friends when I was fifteen: You can call me whatever you want, I don’t care, just don’t fuck me over.

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About AlishiaDee (378 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

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