Truths

What’s Wrong With Dr. Phil’s Wife’s Face? Seriously. Someone Tell Me.

So, I should probably be working towards my final for this online class and my other articles, but you all know me and my spontaneous writing sessions. It’s like my gaming sessions: I’ll game for a week or two or three, every day for hours until both of my hands shrivel and turn black and my finger tips fall off, then I won’t game for a few months.

May is “mental health awareness” month or whatever, yada yada. If you all want my opinion on this, you can refer to this post particularly, because I’m sick of reiterating the same thing every year.

But, this post will probably seem fitting for that cult-mindset (Ooh, bringin’ out the big guns now), because it’s about another person who claims to be a mental health advocate herself. Well, it’s not really about her, but more so about what was said to her, that I don’t necessarily agree with. And you know when I don’t agree with something, I have to put it out there on the internet for a bunch of people to not agree with me. That’s the way of the world, right?

I am not a Dr. Phil fan. I think the show is highly dramatized, and although subjects are approached with caution, I feel we’re pressured to believe that this Phil dude (who isn’t really a psychologist, did you know that?) helps people in a way no other person could. His wife’s face scares the fuck out of me (Sorry), and these people’s lives are almost exploited on television. I don’t really know how that makes mental health issues look, particularly if he advocates things like “bipolar disease“.

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Is This Meme Still Relevant?

You all remember the girl who was on there who believed she was pregnant with Jesus or whatever and claimed she’d been diagnosed with “paranoid schizophrenia” and her parents argued and said she “hadn’t been” . . . what was that episode even? Jesus Christ. Personally, I liked the man who said he wrote one of Taylor Swifts’ songs. I think Taylor should just give him the rights, because she’s only embarrassing herself by admitting she writes that shit she sings.

Anyway, A few weeks ago I guess this woman, Emily, who says she is a mental health advocate and posts pictures of herself online with her multitudes of self-harm scars, was also on Dr. Phil. She says that she shouldn’t have to be ashamed of her scars and she should be free to wear the shorts and short-sleeves that she does without feeling shameful for it.

As a self-harmer (although, I haven’t struggled with it in a while, since October 2016) I agree with her. Would I go around posting every scar and cut, old and new, online: no. That’s my personal preference not to do that. Whether she does or not, whatever. People who say she’s influencing people to cut themselves–I don’t understand that. If those people who see her are choosing to self harm, they are dealing with far deeper issues than just watching her on social media. Trust.

She said she continued to struggle with the self-harm, PTSD, and the accompanying anxiety and depression that comes with PTSD, and Phil asked why she thought she could call herself an advocate if she struggled so much.

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Well, that was the first thing he said that made zero sense and proves he has very little personal experience with mental health struggles. You can easily be an advocate and have moments of struggle within yourself. You don’t have to be “perfect” or “cured” to be an advocate, to be understanding and compassionate for others. In fact, if you think you’re “perfect” or “cured”, you must be one strange advocate, because no one is perfect and you can’t cure or rid yourself of your humanity so . . . that’s some fake bullshit. If you think you have to have never struggled at all to be an advocate, than you’re really fucking stupid.

In the same clip, they were speaking about the influence she may or may not have on people. The woman says she gets many people who message her and tell her that her confidence with her online persona has helped them see a counselor, talk more about their struggles, e.t.c, you know the deal. Phil responds with this exact quote:

“But you understand, my point of view is, mental illness of any form is nothing to be ashamed of, but neither is it something to celebrate”.

Well fuck me, let me sit in a hole of pity over my “illness” and be afraid to be proud of who I am, how I am, how I act, and my quirks. Fucking God FORBID we embrace this portion of our HUMANITY. Oh, the HORROR.

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In my very experienced opinion, it is something to celebrate.

In his very professional opinion, these “illnesses” are proven biochemical and neurological, well, defects. You wouldn’t celebrate someone’s terminal illness, right? Than let’s certainly not celebrate the diversity of the human mind and the human condition. That would be horrific.

It’s something to celebrate to me because it shows there are multitudes of ways to experience this reality. It shows people deal with pain and life in different ways. It shows that the human mind is much more complex and real and human than we will ever know. That, to me, is fascinating, and worthy of celebration.

And just because we can celebrate it, doesn’t mean that’s invalidating the struggle. If anything, it helps prove that struggles can make you stronger.

Does that mean I agree with this woman, this Emily? No. I don’t disagree with her either. If she feels free and content with herself by posting these things, fine. I wouldn’t do it, but I’m not her.

If you want something to talk about for #MayMentalHealthCultMindsetMonth, why not talk about the diversity of how our brains react to this life we live? Because that’s essentially what’s happening: life is a traumatic experience in itself and we all have different ways of dealing with that. If you want to believe that makes you defective, be my guest. Seems kind of self-defeating if you ask me.

I think I’ll go put on a party hat and grab some Whiskey Sours for Thoth and I.

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.

6 Comments on What’s Wrong With Dr. Phil’s Wife’s Face? Seriously. Someone Tell Me.

  1. What kills me is…is I can’t keep a train of thought, lol…I had something brilliant to add and it popped out of my head… oh yeah, there it is…haha. what if a lot of what we define or term as mental illness like depression, anxiety, self harm, eating disorders, etc are really nothing more than a completely normal response to the complete fucking utter insanity that surrounds us in this world. And perhaps the real mentally ill people are the ones that can go through life with blinders on and only see what they want to see, the judgmental, self righteous pricks of the world, that see the wrong in everyone else… the one’s who blame others for their problems. and think anything good in their lives is because they deserve it, and are better than others. What if those personality types, the ones we see everyday at work, school, places of worship, who are considered perfectly normal by society, what if they are truly mentally ill ones? To be able to conduct yourself, and act completely normal in a world that is going to shit, and getting worse everyday, perhaps these people are the sick ones and the rest of us dysfunctional folk who have a hard time just making it through the day at times, perhaps we are the normal ones?… Just food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I’ve always wondered the same thing and I think you bring up a really good point. It would help explain the environmental and cultural differences seen in what we call mental illness. And it would prove that all of it is reaction and not disorder, as they first assumed. Because, if you ask me, not having any reaction or response to some of the things in this world today is pretty weird. Going through life utterly blind. I don’t know, it’s a good point. Thank you for commenting, as always, I love hearing what you have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not saying all mental illness is a reactional (I often make up words, lol) response to negative environmental stimulus. Some might be attributed to injury, illness, biological or genetic defect. But for conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. perhaps those types of responses are just a normal brain’s reaction to fucked up shit, and it’s abnormal to be able to filter all the fucked up shit that happens in life and the world, and behave perfectly normal, perhaps that’s a form of mental illness the filter, and those that can’t filter out the bullshit are the normal ones. But than again who knows, I just like to look at things from different angles, as you also do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I mean, the way I see it . . . we’re all consciousness. That’s what we are. All we see, hear, touch, it’s all just what our consciousness is registering. So it follows that whatever we experience is a reaction. Everything at every moment is a reaction, physical or mental. I feel like we get stuck in this idea that because science can find a hint at a cause for something, that it’s there because of their perceived cause. But if we didn’t have a consciousness to perceive it, would it still be there? We’ll never known, because we as a human race can never not have a consciousness. Even if we’re knocked out in a coma, someone else is perceiving us and our physical body. I don’t know. It seems like to me that depression can be one person’s reaction to life, and hearing voices can be another person’s reaction to life–not a reaction to stress, or grief, or whatever, but just LIFE. . . maybe there is a physical predisposition, whatever they want to call it, but the point is if life is there, different reactions are there. If we all acted the same way, holly shit, there would never be any art or music or creative anything. It’s 8am, I’m still at work, and that tangent just kind of vomited from my fingers lol. Feeling creative and philosophical this morning.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I call him Doctor Pill, not Dr Phil for his advocating drugs for mental illness. Pills instead of confrontation of problems. I don’t have the specific episode example, it was several years back.

    Liked by 1 person

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