Mental Health Moment: Let’s All be More Thoughtful

I posted the following on facebook earlier today and I got a really positive and supportive response. My husband has encouraged me to share it on my blog. I think that’s a good idea 🙂 Please feel free to post comment, questions,  observations 🙂

First of all, hello! If you left me a message of support and love, I did see it. It’s just taking me a while to respond. I am so blessed beyond measure to have people in my life who truly love and care about me enough to reach out to me when I was in pre-crisis mode. I can never thank you enough. 💕

Okay, rant time. 🤔 This is not directed at anyone here, just every now and then I hear these things and it burns me up💕

My mom was telling me about some things she had recently overheard about someone calling another person “bipolar” because the other person was moody.
My diagnosis has changed from Bipolar 1 Disorder with psychotic features to Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar type. Now, I’m sure many people will tell me not to be so sensitive, or to not let things bother me, or any number of things that will make them feel less uncomfortable. Joking about being bipolar or schizo is just joking after all, right? No harm done, just joking.

No. I don’t accept that.

I know that most people mean no harm when they throw around disorders like it’s no big deal. But. There is enough stigma attached to real diagnoses, I don’t understand why people need to throw around these words so casually. “Oh I’m so OCD (no you’re not), I’m so Bipolar (it’s quite doubtful), She has multiple personality disorder (really? This is a very painful diagnosis brought on most often by extreme, horrifying abuse).”

I implore you…next time you feel like saying you’re Bipolar because you have fluctuating moods, or that your coworker is Bipolar because she snapped at you, consider the fact that there are real people who live with mental illness on a daily basis. I’ll speak for myself. My mental illnesses are not cute or funny. Having an episode means I miss work when my moods are out of whack. It means I can get so manic that I have spent $6000 in one day, didn’t sleep for 2 months, told professors I can do a better job teaching, and believe that I can bring world peace, causing me to email POTUS Bush over 200 times. That’s just scratching the surface.

It means I have attempted to take my own life 5 times. It means I have said and done hurtful things to those I love and I enjoyed it at the time. It means that sometimes life hurts so bad that I don’t know how to exist. It means hallucinations, hearing voices, paranoia, and delusions. It means hating myself.

I’m in a great place now and that is in great part thanks to my mom, Van, my spectacular coworkers who have taught me what it’s like to trust and be my genuine self, and friends like Kate , Crystal, and Amber. And of course my sweetheart of a sister, Alexandria.

All this to say, be thoughtful. Be intentional. Be compassionate. I will do this, too. Next time you want to say you or someone else are/is Bipolar, ADHD, OCD, Schizo, Psychotic, crazy, remember that it hurts to hear something that has almost ruined your life tossed around so casually. Having these illnesses hurts. Let’s stop the stigma 😊💕 🕊

P.S.
I know it’s not a well known diagnosis, so here is what schizoaffective disorder is. The easiest way to explain it is if Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia had a baby. And the baby is me! Lol 🙃

And as far as people being careless because they don’t know what the disorders are or what the words mean…uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. If you don’t know what a word means, don’t use it? Or look it up. The internet is pretty helpful when it comes to things like that. Ignorance is not a good defense. Sorry, not sorry 🤔 😛 🙄

 

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