Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness or your specific illness(es)?
Cons – Well, I have a hard time keeping a job, making friends, enjoying life — my depression and anxiety really inhibit me to do a lot of things. It isn’t fun at all. With anxiety, I really hate going out. I am scared of meeting new people. Then when I do make a friend, I get really overwhelmed if they keep asking me to hang out, so I quite answering their calls or texts – and well, they give up on me, which I don’t blame them for. I get overwhelmed with jobs too – so I feel sick and can’t go in, or I have panic attakcs during them, or I just stop going, or I quit. When I get depressed – nothing makes me happy. I can sleep for days. I can not shower for days. I am not interested in anything. My mania with my bipolar even stinks — spend lots of money, get agitated and frustrated. Nothing good from that. Basically — it just sucks. So nothing good about the mental illness there.
Pros – Hmm that is a hard one to even think about. With bipolar, there is mania. Most people like that. They say they are productive and all that jazz. For me, I hate my mania – nothing good comes out of it. So I cant even list that as a pro. I think I am more empathetic though. I see the world differently than most people. I feel pain. I know what it is like to hurt. I guess I don’t want to say I understand things better, and yet I also do want to say that. When someone is hurting or down, I feel like I really do understand them. I do feel like I see the world completely differently than someone without mental illness – I feel like I have a better perspective. I know that sounds bad and mean and wrong and as if I am better than them — but I feel like I just have a better understanding — or a different understanding I guess.
Word Press Post A Day – When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?
I just started doing these Post A Day things from Word Press – I thought it might help me expand on my topics – bring in new ideas to relate to mental health…which is what my blog is about. For the most part, I think it has helped a bit. I think most of them I have been able to relate to mental health/illness in some way, even if it has been a bit of a stretch at times. Except Unlikely Pairing – that one, nope, I just couldn’t tie in. I wrote about it anyway, just to write.
I am passionate about mental health though. I have been affected with mental illness my whole life. There is so much stigma associated with mental illness though. You rarely hear about the great people that have mental illness, just the horrible stories related to it. Everyone just gets a bad picture.
I created this blog to show my struggles, but also my triumphs over my disorders – my bipolar, my borderline personality disorder, and my PTSD. All of which I struggle with daily. I also overcome it everyday though.
Each day I get up, I write on here. I write about what mental illness is, or how to cope with it, quotes related to it, how it has affected me, how it might be affecting me that day, what I am going to do in the future to overcome a challenge that I faced because of it, suicide, sexual abuse, past traumas, therapy, etc.
I’m sure I had writers block in high school related to some silly essay my AP English teacher wanted me to write. When it comes down to something that I am interested in though, something I am passionate about – no, I haven’t had it. I am sure it might come eventually, but so far, it hasn’t hit me. I hope it doesn’t because this is a topic that needs to be spoken up for and needs to be heard.
This is my coping skill. It’s keeping me mentally healthy right now. Or as much as it can anyway.
Stigma. Stigma creates so many barriers for those of us with mental illness. I know it has prevented me from sharing my illness with people, at least when I was first diagnosed. Although that quickly changed. I was in nursing school – and I ended up in the psych hospital —- the same semester we were doing psych clinicals. So, all my fellow students walked in there ready to work with the patients, and I was one of them. I couldn’t hide it anymore. I was so freaked out. I ran to the room and shut the door and refused to come out. It didn’t matter though, my name was up on the board and they had my chart. My whole history!
After that, there was no point in hiding it. I just decided to be open. Of course, I still was in denial at this point and was in and out of the hospital. I had dropped out of school for the semester after my first hospitalization, but still saw my fellow students throughout all my hospitalizations. I was open with them about what was going on with me. They never talked bad about me to my face and I think they were understanding.
Stigma really hurts though. There are two types of stigma:
1. Social stigma – this is the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that other individuals direct towards those with mental illness
2. Self stigma – this is when the person with mental illness perceives the discrimination in their own way and internalizes it – leading to poor self esteem, guilt, shame, etc
Because of self stigma and social stigma, those with mental illness avoid treatment for fear of how they will be treated. They do not want to be diagnosed with something that might make them “different” from others. They do not want a diagnosis that will cause others to be scared of them. Many people often think that those with mental illness are “dangerous” when in reality, people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence (by someone else or to themselves, i.e. self harm or suicide) than to be violent towards someone else (shooting, murder, all those stories they show on the media, etc).
The only way to get rid of stigma is to continue to educate those around us about mental health and mental illness. People might not want to hear about it. We cannot push people to hear about it. But we can bring it up here and there. We can be honest about our struggles instead of hiding them. If someone asks how we are doing, we can tell them, we can be truthful. We can take off our masks and tell them we have bipolar or ptsd or anxiety or whatever we might have and explain we are having a rough day. We can write to our leaders in government to help expand funding to mental health resources. We can leave brochures at libraries or other public places about support groups. We can make a difference in helping defeat the “bad name” that these disorders have gotten.
Did you know that July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? If not, you’re not alone. Sadly this month is often overlooked by the majority of Americans. It is a time when summer has bloomed, fireworks have entered the scene, and multiple summer parties and cook-outs are in full swing. It comes at a time of the year when so many people are outdoors, enjoying the summer time weather and penetrating sun. This lack of awareness, however, not only affects minorities struggling with mental health problems, but our society at large.
There are multiple things we need to do to bring greater awareness to minority mental health:
- Build awareness
- Remember services are difficult to locate
- Remind clinicians and mental health professionals to be culturally competent
- Understand that:
- Many cultures lack knowledge about mental illness or see it as taboo
- Lack support from their own culture to seek services
View original post 26 more words