Sunday, August 24, 2014

Everyone Is Crazy Except Me

As an introduction, my name is Jane and I write a blog about bipolar disorder with the help of my husband, son, and daughter. When I started writing blogs I wanted to keep my posts inspiring and uplifting. I realize that dealing with mental illness is not an easy task so I try to find examples of hardships that a person with bipolar disorder experience. I do not deny that my writing does not cover the entire scope of what all people with bipolar disorder go through. I can only write about what I know.

This post will have to do less about bipolar disorder and more about mental illness in general. It is more of a rant about people who declare that they either have or do not have a psychological disorder. This post will be consist of my interpretations. Names will be omitted to protect the identities of the stupid. I will use poetic license; some details may be dramatized. In turn, please forgive me for not looking up the facts to support my ideas. Adding to this disclaimer, be forewarned that I will offend people, especially those who see these behaviors in themselves.



Bipolar Disorder

My first rant is about the people who casually use the word bipolar. I am not talking about the people who describe the weather in the Pacific Northwest (where I live) as being bipolar. A popular phrase that I hear often is, "If you don't like the weather in Western Washingtonwait five minutes and it will change." Examples like that do not bother me. 

What does piss me off are people describing a woman as a "crazy, psycho, bipolar bitch". One time a guy used those words to describe his ex-wife. I told him that I was bipolar. He shut up real fast. He then started backpedaling making excuses to why he called her that even though she did not technically have bipolar disorder. I do not deny that there are "crazy, psycho bitches" in the world but I highly doubt that each and every one of them is bipolar.



Chemical Imbalance

"I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. It affects my behavior but I am not crazy. It is a medical condition. I do not have any psychological issues." I have to look up the definition of psychological disorders. Maybe my ideas about mental illness is totally wrong.


Phobias

A person comes running out screaming saying, "I saw a spider in the bathroom! I have arachnophobia. My fear is so bad, I refuse to use the bathroom ever again." I think that person is full of shit.

"I have agoraphobia. I cannot leave the house." That is until they have a good reason. Something important as going to a restaurant, visiting a bed and breakfast, or going on a shopping spree." Eating out because you are too lazy to cook? Needing a weekend getaway? Retail therapy? The examples of the way you deal with your problem is ridiculous. What other methods do you employ to manage your phobia?



PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)
First of all, I have to admit that I do not have much personal knowledge about PTSD other than a one hour lecture on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of this disorder in addition to watching a documentary during a psychology class. My knowledge of this disorder is very basic. One does not have to be a war veteran to have PTSD. It can also be caused by horrendous childhood experiences or being witness to some horrific tragedy.

One story of PTSD I have heard about is where someone who was in such a rage that she punched a mirror, saw her own blood, and had to go the emergency room to get stitches. She claimed that she acquired PTSD from the incident and whenever she sees her scars, it is a reminder of that traumatic incident. It makes her so angry that she wants to punch the person who wronged her in the face. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think that is an accurate example of PTSD. It may be another psychological disorder instead.


Others have also used examples of lesser circumstances and claim to have the disorder. I think to myself, "You've got to be kidding me...seriously...WTF?" If they indeed have the disorder, would they describe their experiences so casually and with such joy in knowing that they have something to add to the conversation? It makes me want to dramatically collapse onto the floor in desperation, look up to the heavens with my hands in the air and ask, "Why?"


When I hear such stories, it infuriates me. I believe that it is totally disrespectful to the individuals who legitimately suffer from PTSD. I think the casual use of the term is disgraceful because it takes away from people with PTSD because it minimizes the importance of their experience. It literally makes me sick to my stomach.



SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

"I have seasonal affective disorder. I cannot live in Western Washington because of it. I have to live in sunny states." My biggest question for her is, "Why are you moving back here for the third time if SAD is such a problem for you?" She must not have learned anything because she is moving back here despite her past experiences. The thing that comes to mind is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


In conclusion, I just don't understand why people are quick to point out that they have a disability when it is convenient to them, but yet refuse to acknowledge that these things they describe is a psychological problem. They are probably in denial or do not understand the conditions they claim to have. Some of these people seem to be the type that self diagnose without getting their "illness" confirmed by a professional. It is probably a way of bringing attention to themselves because they want to show off or throw a pity party. I think these people are asinine.
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