Truths

Greater Than A Label And Smarter Than One Too

shocking

I received messages from people yesterday who were shocked that I wasn’t celebrating New Years, that I didn’t go to a party or celebrate 12:00am by screaming, hugging people, and saying Happy New Year to everyone I came across.

I responded with shock at their shock. This was one of the best New Years Eve’s I’ve had in a long while. And I spent the majority of it alone. 

 

2015 was not a satisfying year. Probably because I can’t remember half of it.

I forget a lot, remember?

I don’t know what 2016 will be like. Prediction is not a science. Science isn’t even good at being science half the time, so if prediction was science it would be one and a half times worse than science originally was. Like my bullshit numbers there? It’s okay, just breathe, your brain will recover from my awesomeness in a moment.

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Recovered? Good.

2015 unearthed a lot of issues in America we’ve left swept under the rug. Racism is the big one. Healthcare is another. Mental healthcare and mental health is right up there with them. All those shooters, all the stigma, all the panic, all the politicians sticking their little rat noses into business that isn’t theirs to control, issues they don’t even understand. The day a neuroscientist runs for presidency without the slightest bit of knowledge of politics is the day we need to rethink our healthcare system in this country. The day money dictates the kind of mental health treatment you get is the day we need to rethink our entire lives as human beings.

Oh, what’s that? Hold on, I’m getting some word from my producers right now. We . . . we have all that already? Hmm. Well . . . shit. 

Then we need to rethink the entirety of our lives.

That’s a lot to process and it’ll never happen, so let’s just rethink the healthcare system for starters.

 

If 2015 unearthed all this, 2016 better come along and flip it to the top of the soil before it gets buried again.

I believe one of the major issues we’re having in this country is lack of involvement.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaauhaaaajgy4mte4ntizlwjkmtutndk2oc04mzbmlwzknmqynjlizwyzmgI think that’s one of the major reasons people like Alex Gorsky a.k.a “America’s most admired Law Breaker” got awarded that “man of integrity” bullshit in September. You all remember him right? Responsible for the marketing scheme of Risperdal? The one who snuck through FDA loopholes to get Risperdal marketed to children and elders? The C.E.O of Johnson and Johnson? The one who got caught and had to pay back 2 billion dollars as “punishment”? The one whose team wanted to put lollipops and candy in “trial” packages of Risperdal for kids? The one I had so much fun talking shit about here and the one who is described in a little more proper detail by The New York Times here?

There’s a prime example of the main issue not being the drug, but a corporation embracing their typical sociopathic selves. 

I could never write articles on people like that for big time news websites. How are those writers able to keep their composure? I’d have to slander some names and point out some stupidity with harsh sarcasm. That’s how my brain operates.

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People learn from the emotions they feel, from their reactions. If I get a disgusted feeling or a laugh or some anger out of someone, they’re more likely to remember the subject than if I just rambled off some facts like a school girl know it all.

People like Gorsky get away with things because citizens like us are misinformed and uneducated.

It’s why there are published articles about how published research findings are often false. Don’t believe me? Read it here.

It’s why the figure of speech known as “chemical imbalance” has been so widely accepted as a proper way to describe a mental disorder. Hey, I didn’t come up with that on my own, that’s from Harvard Med.

I also agree that “much of the general public seems to have accepted the chemical imbalance hypothesis uncritically”.

trust-me-doc It’s all accepted because people often don’t take charge of their own recovery. Obviously some need more help than others and obviously some respond to certain kinds of treatment better than others–there’s never a black and white, the entire world is a grey area. Everyone is different.

That’s not an excuse to be completely clueless. 

If you’re going to do anything in 2016, get involved. Don’t just be part of your own mental health recovery, advocate for others as well, and that means becoming active in your recovery. That means learning a little more about psychology and the psychological system and not letting those rude doctors we’ve all come across at some point drop bombs in your lap like you’re some disordered freak.

Reevaluate what an “illness” is to you. Reevaluate what a “disorder” or “brain disease” is to you. I know quite a bit about depression from experience and from schooling knowledge and I’ll tell you one fucking thing it isn’t: disease. So if people could kindly stop saying that, it would really, really drop my blood pressure a few points.

stop-being-ashamedStigma is a good way of keeping us ashamed of ourselves. You probably don’t feel comfortable blurting a diagnosis in your work place or to certain friends or maybe even to family members. But remember, your diagnosis is only as harmful as you let it be. A word is a word. It’s up to others to see you differently because of it. And if they do . . . Will. That. Kill. You? Be logical here. Is it Ebola? 

When we cower in the shadows behind what other people tell us we are, when we let ourselves be drowned out by several different labels–talking about the people who say “yeah, I’ve got ADHD, depression, Bipolar 2, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, Borderline Personality, Narcissistic tendencies, and Schizoid tendencies”–our recovery will be inexplicably harder.

I didn’t make that diagnosis up by the way, I’ve talked with people who gave me that exact line up. It confused me greatly.

You must have one interesting psychologist or psychiatrist to give you that many diagnoses. Or many.

Or your self-diagnosing.

I’m a psych student with a copy of the DSM-V and a lot of criterion memorized. By that account, I’m more qualified than the average citizen to diagnose myself. But I don’t.

4c128dd9169c5db3c7dcf90905137ae4Feeding the thoughts of being “sick” and “ill” and having something “Wrong” with you because you struggle with your mental health is called “self-stigmatizing”. Believe it or not, that contributes to public stigmatizing too–you’re acting exactly how they expect you to.

Meanwhile, Gorsky is up in his Country Club Prison suite rolling in the rest of his billions of dollars and jacking it to pictures of kids with Risperdal lollipops in their hands and uncontrollable drool dripping from their mouths.

Why do I focus on the negative things?

Why not? Why should I focus on the positive things?

Those things are already positive, they don’t need to be changed or rearranged; they’re good how they are.

If your right leg is broken, you want me to examine your left leg? Want me to put a cast on it and send you out the door?

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Focusing on the positive things in your life to make you hopeful? Good.

Focusing on the positive things in the industry to distract you from the major areas that are cracked and going to hell? Bad.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, these are things you need to know about it because you’re involved in it.

We have the power to walk into a doctor’s office and demand the treatment we want.

We have the right to be educated.

We have the right to be seen in better light.

We have the right to never be ashamed to mention “oh yeah, I suffer from depression” or anxiety, or anorexia, or bipolar, or schizophrenia, or “covert narcissistic tendencies with a hint of borderline” if you really want to fucking get that technical. 

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We have the right to be informed mental disorders are much more complicated than a “chemical imbalance”.

We have the right to be informed mental disorders are much more complicated than merely “psychological factors”.

We have the right to be informed on other treatment options with as much emphasis as is given to medication treatment options.

We are not merely test subjects. We’re also human. Be truthful to us. Say, “this drug works on serotonin and a few studies involving about twenty people, some of whom dropped out because of side effects, showed significant improvement”.

We have the right to depend on medication if we need to without being seen in a negative light.

We have the right to stand up for ourselves.

We’re not sick or abnormal or ill or disordered or diseased or incapable of anything. We’re not a label or a diagnostic criteria. We struggle and we survive just like every person, plant, or organism does on this planet.

We’re unique, we’re individual, but we’re not so different from everyone else.

This year make strides in your own life to improve your mental health and the world’s mental health. Misconceptions will be the death of us all.

About AlishiaDee (372 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.

3 Comments on Greater Than A Label And Smarter Than One Too

  1. to sound completely corny (and also not caring) (alright, maybe a little)(no, no…not gonna care)…anyway, here comes the corny: you are awesome. i would love to go into my reasoning for that belief but as may be apparent, i’m fairly incapable of getting to any kind of point. pretty much ever. i’ll try to pretend that i have to fit this in a nutshell (why a nutshell? who puts things in nut shells?)

    love your writing style. because i absolutely adore ranting, sarcasm, and unabashed opinions. also, i lack the ability to be positive too and you’ve totally legitimized the whole negative thing for me once again. (“i’m a therapist or your mom. be positive…think of the good things….i will MAKE you be positive through repetitively hitting you in the face with a positive brick…”)

    i’ve decided that i’m not putting my words in a nutshell. maybe a coconut shell. maybe a hollowed out watermelon. or a canyon or something.

    but i will stop talking. that’s all i can do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Thank you 🙂 That’s not corny at all and a canyon full of words is better than a nutshell to me anyway, I get carried away talking . . . err, typing more often . . . so I never mind if people leave comments that can stretch around the world, I enjoy reading them lol. Thanks again 🙂

      Like

  2. Damn. straight.

    Liked by 1 person

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