November 11, 2008

I long for a world where someone who is crying out in mental/emotional pain will be treated with the same consideration as someone with a physical ailment.Do people sometimes attempt suicide to “get attention”? * Sure… perhaps they do. Does overriding the most basic human trait we share (survival instinct)to “get attention” indicate there might be something very wrong? I’m going to say “yes”.The past week I have heard from two people dealing with incredibly difficult fallout from mental illness in loved ones. Each of them are rational, kind human beings. Neither of them get it. At all.

I try to explain but in the end it is a waste of time. You either believe mental illness IS an illness or you don’t. It sure doesn’t help that the science of diagnosis is so slippery, the business of selling medication so shady and the social understanding so slim.

All I can say is that you can’t have it both ways, people. Either you get excused for being a bitch because you are PMSing AND you have tolerance for intolerable behavior brought on by serious mental illness or you don’t. Either hormones and chemicals influence your emotions and your behavior or they don’t.

I imagine I am leaving gaping logic holes here that you are no doubt itching to poke through. That’s cool. What I am trying to get across at a minimum is that one of the most deadly and horrific afflictions in humans is not only dismissed, it is doubted, it is over-diagnosed and under-treated and it doesn’t have the respect it requires.

I suppose that there needs to be a larger magnetic car ribbon campaign in order to get people to take it seriously.
*One of the people in question told me that her sister was BiPolar and had been on medication for many years. In the same breath she told me she that her sister’s most recent suicide attempt (that might cost her custody of her daughter) was “just for attention, I know it.” I asked if her sister was in therapy along with medication and was assured that therapy was just a bitch session for her.


About psychesalve

Still working on getting this blog up & running. I mostly will concentrate on mental illness and my experiences with it here. I am combing through old blogs, journals, emails to flesh out my history with my bipolar diagnosis. When I find these entries I will tag them "Historical Entries". Being diagnosed with a mental illness is a difficult process and can make most of us feel very isolated and confused. Joining up with Bipolar Network is my way of trying to reach out, share my experiences and hopefully add my voice to a growing chorus of people trying to legitimize and normalize bipolar diagnosies. I remember a time when depression was far less acceptable to admit to than it is now, I know it is possible to reduce (though not remove) stigma and ignorance both in the community at large and within the bipolar community itself. I don't know all that I want to say will be relevant, but hopefully something will spark a connection.
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One Response to November 11, 2008

  1. lifeonaxis1 says:

    haha! i knew a girl who would call in sick or leave work if it was her time of the month, but who would turn around and say that people in therapy just need to suck it up and move on. thanks for pointing out that logical flaw! too funny. 🙂

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