Thursday, May 01, 2014

Don't Give People False Hope.

The mentally ill are not a monolithic community. There are a lot of factors that go into a diagnosis, so not everyone with bipolar, for example, experiences it exactly the same. There are two forms of bipolar...type 1 and type 2, however, not all ones or twos are the same either. Co-morbidity is very simply means the presence of additional disorders or diseases. It's rare that one is simply diagnosed with one condition. Psychological diseases are usually a complex group of diseases and disorders, further increasing the unique differences between patients. As an example, my diagnosis is the following: Schizoaffective disorder depressed type with sensory integration disorder, A.D.D. and P.T.S.D.  Bipolar 1, rapid-cycling. This makes it very unlikely that anyone else has the exact same diagnosis...irregardless of environmental factors such as: wealth, education, parenthood, work-status, etc).

This is why I cringe when I hear these "inspirational" , "success stories" of people over-coming a disability saying, "If I can do it...anyone can do it!" It's not because I dislike these people but rather because not everyone can do what they have done...not all disabilities are created equal. What might be easy for one person can be impossible to another. The only people who can truly "over-come" mental health problems are people who are otherwise healthy experiencing depression or anxieties related to a specific event or person. For example, conquering the depression after your divorce or you anxieties about being laid-off. It doesn't mean everyone with any form of depression can do the same. A lot of people have chronic depression that isn't tied to one specific event, therefore, it can't be ameliorated simply by learning to view that event differently. Severe, biological, mental illness is currently incurable.

It gives some people false hope and piles on the guilt for people who already feel bad enough. It's simplistic to boil-down all disabilities into the same pot. Maybe you're in a wheel-chair, and you feel "worthless" for not being able to "rise above it" like those paralympians. However, what most people don't know is that you lost the use of your legs in Vietnam, so you have other challenges like PTSD, schizophrenia and/or chronic depression, which only add extra obstacles to over-come.

It's easy to tell people they can succeed if they just "pull themselves up by the boot-straps," to use an American idiom, but what if you don't have any feet, let alone boots?! Sometimes these "inspirational stories" have the opposite effect on others with disabilities. It makes people think they aren't trying hard enough and that they're somehow a failure if they can't live-up to the example of the "hero" featured on the news. It gives the false impression that anyone can over-come their disability, which places undo pressure and expectations on an already emotionally vulnerable population.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Brandon Marshall Fined for Raising Awareness for Mental Health.

(Brandon Marshall's green cleats to raise awareness for mental health)

Chicago Bears player, Brandon Marshall, (who lives with a borderline personality disorder) was fined $10,000 for wearing green cleats on the field during an American football game. It was deemed inappropriate attire, which I find appalling. It's not like he was wearing cleats inscribed with "fuck" on one shoe and "you" on the other! That would have been inappropriate, but wearing green to raise awareness for severe medical conditions seems utterly hypocritical given the NFL's breast cancer awareness campaign. In support of this campaign, players wear pink everything: cleats, towels, gloves, etc. I'm not saying I oppose breast cancer awareness or wearing pink in solidarity but it sends a terrible message to those of us with mental health conditions that players will be fined for trying to raise awareness.

It reinforces the feelings of abandonment that are already coursing through the veins of people with these biological, mental diseases. Society has rejected us in ways that are as painful as they are humiliating. We have been stigmatized as "throw-aways." The NFL should be supporting Marshall, working with him to raise awareness rather than squashing it with such cold, heartlessness. They couldn't even be bothered to make a donation to Marshall's campaign. It's behind wrong; it's outrageous.

The irony, however, is that the fine imposed created greater awareness, so perhaps Marshall won in the end. That does not, however, get the NFL off-the-hook for being so cruel toward the mental health community. I have been a fan of American football since before I can remember; and I'm 38 years old! But, I am furious now with the NFL after this rejection. Fuck-you, NFL!!!! Take your blood-money and stick it up your greedy ass! If you had a heart bigger than your bank-account, you'd realized that you just stepped on the hopes and dreams of an entire community. Congratulations, assholes.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Rejected by My Own Kitty.

UPDATE: Things are infinitely better with Yoshi, the cat. It wasn't too long after I wrote this post that Yoshi warmed-up to me and now we're best buds. It was only a month when I wrote this and I've since learned that it takes new kittens several months, at least, to fully feel comfortable with all members of the house. I've won him over with tuna and chicken, so now he purrs all the time and loves to play with me. Yeah!!! I'm SO excited and happy to report that our little family is doing just GREAT now!! And, everyone is happy. I can't imagine life without Yoshi, now. Please, disregard the rest of the post. When I wrote it, it was way too early to make such conclusions about how my relationship with Yoshi would be.

Handsome B. Wonderful

Don't let his cuteness fool you! He's a snooty, spoiled, lil'

If you don't know--we adopted a cat. It's been a month and a half since we brought our new Balinese kitten home. He is now about 4 months old. At first, he was afraid and skittish of both my wife and me. However, now he's comfortable around us--well, not "us." He's comfortable around my wife. if my life hasn't been depressing--or hard enough, now we have a cat that finds me repellent in nearly every way--and it has broken my already dented and corroded heart.

The pathetically sad truth is that one of the big motivations behind getting this cat was to have a companion and friend for me while I'm home alone trying to managing my crushing depression and mental illness. Being disabled from schizoaffective disorder, I get lonely sometimes. I get overwhelmed hanging out with other humans but I have always been good with animals. Including cats, and so, I was looking for an animal friend that wouldn't be too hard to care for because of my limitations. A cat seemed ideal for my needs. We read all the "experts" books and have been preparing for years, actually!

But, that was all pretty pointless now because our lil boy, Yoshi thinks my wife is his "mommy" while I'm just some dude living with her that he has to tolerate. He makes an exception with play-time but only play from a distance with those fishing-pole toys you can fling like a bird through the air. If I try to pet him or even touch him, he quickly jumps away. I know he's just a cat but it still hurts. It never feels good to be rejected, regardless of who does the rejecting. This is all despite being the one who feeds him! Meals, and a special treat at 3pm.

And, you know, it kind of bothers me. My wife is gone all day, so I'm always available to cuddle and interact with him throughout the day. Yet, he doesn't approach me at all. Usually he just sleeps all day in the other room but not on the weekends. On the weekends he's "miraculously" no longer tired enough to sleep all day in the other room. He cuddles with my wife all day, instead. I don't exist. Except when it's mealtime.

Then, suddenly, he becomes my "best friend"; rubbing up against my legs and meowing. I'm essentially being "used" for But, as soon as my wife walks through the door, Yoshi is all over her. He spends the entire night either laying on her, or laying next to her sleeping blissfully. He'll not only let her pet him and cuddle with him but he let's her clean the edges of his eyes of "eye boogers."

I am frustrated, sad and confused. I've cried several times over it, and I haven't cried over anything in years! I'm frankly embarrassed a bit at how much it's bothering me but I didn't expect to be rejected by a pet. Certainly not by one that I was hoping would be my friend during the day. Man, I suck at pets. I can't even succeed at finding a therapy animal! FML

Friday, September 06, 2013

Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Flight Tail Footage.

Want to know what it's like to fly along the edge of space? Check out this thrilling video of a rocket ship designed by billionaire Richard Branson reach the dizzying height of 69,000 ft!! Pretty cool. I love the long, fiery, contrail behind the craft, but then again, everyone knows how much of a pyro I am.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Great Video on Depersonalization.

A fellow sufferer from depersonalization made this video on the psychological condition, and I wanted to share it with others who struggle with depersonalization, too. I found myself nodding a lot in relation to the words within this courageous video: 
Denise Dixon, thank-YOU for sharing this video with us!!