I could literally buy a villa in France if I had a dime for every time some “well meaning” ass said, “There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s all in your head.”
(And we all know “well meaning” is just a polite term for “ignorant troll”.)
Of course, it’s all in my head. Literally. That’s where the problem originates. My brain, for whatever reason, maybe because I used to inhale Pixie Stix as a child or mix Pop Rocks with Mt Dew…It sends out wrong messages. It’s a corrupted operating system and no amount of reformatting or upgrading is going to change that.
Odd how people have zero problem accepting that if the brain sends out wrong impulses, it can effect the use of your limbs.
Yet the notion that improper brain messages can disrupt your entire consciousness is too far out for them to comprehend.
The Donor used to say, “It’s not your mental illness, it’s your personality, you just won’t own it!”
Um…First off, I like my personality most of the time. I am feisty and I call a spade a spade and I don’t coddle people. Acquired taste maybe, but not really fatal.
Though I can see how the rage, mania, depressions, anxieties, can all amp up my personality so that it does seem to be the issue.
It requires intelligence to make the distinction.
Is she screaming and crying because she just wants attention?
Is she screaming and crying because her brain is sending out the wrong signals?
That is wayyy too much thought for mundanes to put into it.
It’s much easier to label us difficult personalities than educate oneself and face that the problem is very real.
The more mental health blogs I read, the more similarities I see amongst the diagnosis spectrum. How we think, how we feel, how we express it in our posts. For all our differences in experience, genetics, et al…The symptoms of the illnesses forever link us as some sort of relatives. One big biochemical mental maelstrom family.
I’d never have known this if people hadn’t left comments and lured me out of my self protective bubble. Once I started interacting, reading other blogs, I realized…Yes, it is all in my head, but validly so. I am not alone. None of us are inasmuch as the symptoms are so similar, we’d all have to be working in concert in some form of conspiracy to make it invalid.
Millions of people do not telekinetically link up, agree on what symptoms they want to exhibit, and work in tandem together.
Mental illness is very real.
Outside of broken bones and such, most physical problems start with the brain. The mental heath function lives in the brain. If goes haywire, it takes everything down with it.
It’s two plus two equals for and yet society is still out there trying to turn basic addition into some complicated algebra problem.
“These people don’t want to be better.”
“Mental problems are excuses for lazy people.”
“They just don’t want to take responsibility for their actions.”
“It’s a cop out, you don’t want to work.”
That ignorance is as toxic as injecting drain cleaner into the collective veins of the populace.
It’s gotten better, maybe because the internet has connected so many of us in a way that lets us know we are not alone and it’s not some character flaw. We talk about it, we share our experiences, we commiserate, we even joke sometimes. Because some days, that one simple snark on your comment page may be the one thing that makes you smile amidst all the bullshit.
It’s a start.
But I don’t think the mentally ill are the problem.
It’s the mundanes,aka those without mental illness, who can prove to be our worst enemy. Intentional or not, their ignorance, their lack of compassion and empathy, their harsh judgments…They’re as bad as the illness itself.
That’s the phantom we have to beat.
The only way to beat it is to keep talking. Keep writing. Keep fighting the stigma. Educate people whether they want to be or not. For every person that lets it go in one ear and out the other, there may be a person who takes it to heart. And occasionally, rather than be resentful they will be grateful.
Because mental illness is hard on those around us, as well. If they have more resources for understanding, their attitudes toward us might improve.
Of course, there will always be the assholes and you can only fantasize about them being stomped to death by a herd of pegacorn. Or would that be a murder of pegacorn?
Yeah, I am funny.
Keep writing about your experiences.
It’s our rebel yell.
And yeah…It IS all in your head.
Because it would be stupid if your brain was in your foot. Duh.