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“I had an ‘interesting’ conversation the other day. The person who was speaking at me was rather….. misinformed about pretty much everything really, but mostly about mental health issues.
These are some of the gems that they stated….
“People with depression should just get used to it. It’s a fact of life…..”
Well… yeah life CAN be crap sometimes, but that’s not the point. Those with depression or any of its brothers or sisters don’t think that way.
“All this about bi-polar disorder is just s***!! There wasn’t anything like that years ago…”
Erm…. yeah there was. That’d be manic depression then, yes?
“It’s just another excuse to dodge work and sponge off the social…”
So not true.
“I heard that it’s brought on by drug use. I don’t have any sympathy for them. It’s self inflicted…”
Where did you hear that? The Jeremy Kyle Show??
“And whats all this about self harming? It’s like a fashion statement with teenagers….”
Admittedly, it CAN be, but there’s usually an underlying cause.
So, dear reader, there we have it. That is the general opinion of a lot (not all) of people. So…. lets look at these points one at a time, from a personal perspective.
Firstly, yes life can be a bummer at times, but I can’t regulate my moods without help. Some times I can be like a stocky 5’7″, 14 stone 40 year old child on a sugar rush, or, like that a playful puppy who needs attention!! I’ve been likened to a big, loud bear. I’m unpredictable, invincible and I know I can be overbearing but…. I can’t help it. Then there’s the flip side. The bad times. The times where you hate yourself. the times you want to peel every bit of your skin off because you feel like you DESERVE to be feeling like this. The times when you feel lost, unable to move, alone. During the bad times, I cant just ‘shake it off’, and the meds DON’T lift me up, they just level it out. This can last for hours, days, or even a week.
Bi-polar disorder was previously known as manic depression. There’s the mania (the highs) and the depression (the lows). As stated above, I can be extremely high, or extremely low. Neither is a good thing. A happy medium would be ideal.
I do NOT dodge work. I have quite a responsible and demanding job. The key? I told my boss about it. And, unlike some, he’s been understanding and very accommodating. There’s days when I just don’t feel able to move, but I do, because work is my way of dealing wit some stuff.
Personally, I have NEVER taken any drugs at all…… except for smoking (8 weeks and one day as a non smoker at the time of this rambling….) so that blows that statement out of the water. Yeah cannabis CAN bring on various effects psychologically, as can other recreational drugs, but that’s not the case for ALL people with mental health issues. It’s down to SO many other factors, each as unique as the person who has them. Mine are personal to me, so, dear reader, this will remain with me. As well as bi-polar disorder i also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and that certainly wasn’t brought on by any recreational drug.
Now…. the last one. This could be a contentious issue. I KIND OF agree with the person to some degree, but like with everything else this person thought, it was very generic. It’s what I call the Daily Fail mentality* (aka Daily Mail, Daily Hate etc etc…), but I digress. Anyhoo….. Back to the point. Self harm is something that SOME people do to get attention, when there isn’t anything wrong. I’m talking about those with marks that you can see – sometimes <strong>tentative</strong> scratches on the forearms or somewhere visible. I would never EVER ignore anyone with these marks, but one can tell if you know what you’re looking for. The sad thing is that it’s due to things like this that it’s almost seen as not important.
However, it’s NOT just the teenager in their room who wants to have something that gives them attention, it can be anyone. Male, female, young, old, and it’s not just cutting or scratching. It can be bruising, tearing, or even things you can’t see – hair pulling is another one that I have come across. It hurts like hell (if you’ve had a fight with a sibling, you’ll know how much hair pulling hurts…) but isn’t visible unless you pull chunks out. Personally…. mine is bruising and fracturing. All of my knuckles have been broken, and all my fingers have been dislocated, fractured or broken. It’s due to hitting out. Never at people, always at inanimate things. It might sound like a temper thing, but believe me, it isn’t. It’s just to make me FEEL. Something, ANYTHING. Good or bad, it’s a feeling. Try imagining, if you will dear reader, having no emotion, no feeling, no nothing. That’s the best way I can describe it.
So…. when this person said to me “And what makes you such an expert…?” I told them. I’m no expert. It’s just part of my life. Their response?
“BUT YOU LOOK AND ACT SO NORMAL….”
Funny that. I AM normal…. in my own little way. I have problems, like everyone else, but I don’t shout about my troubles. Everyone who needs to know about it, knows. Those that don’t need to know, don’t….
And, dear reader, if they knew all my ‘issues’, they’d know about melted chocolate and slugs, and that takes a LOT of explaining. No wonder they look at me like I’m mad………..
*The Daily Mail gets me all ‘ranty’. Best not get me started………”