Gentle Mental Annie is a blog that has a bit if this and that, but focuses on mental illness. I want to create awareness that people with mental illness need to be treated like people and that the stigma about mental illness can be unfair and leave us at more of a disadvantage than we already are in.
People with mental illness are unique, individual humans. There many types and many levels of mental illness. Many of us would have been “normal” had it not been for mental abuse, physical abuse or other ongoing abuse during childhood.
Others of us have mental disorders from traumatic experiences. Mental illness does not mean “Crazy” and it does not mean “Dangerous.”
It is true that there are dangerous people in the world, but there are far more people with mental disorders of some kind, than there are dangerous people in the world..
There are only a few types of mental disorders which can lead the sufferers to become dangerous to other people. These disorders, are not common and people with these disorders are not always dangerous to other people.
People with depression, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, C-PTSD and other types of mental illnesses suffer from types of mental torment, which cause us problems in our own lives. Some of us may inflict self harm at times, but we are not in any way harmful to other people.
We are in just as much danger from the dangerous, predators of the world as “normal” people, if not more. Predators like to target people that are already having mental suffering. It makes them feel good to inflict pain upon people that are already in pain.
We often feel out of place, misunderstood and handicapped about competing in the work world in the world in general. Most of us are perfectly capable of working and also of being loyal, wonderful friends. Some people with mental illness have trouble working for various reason, but it is not out of laziness or a desire to manipulate the system.
Mental illness affects the brain in an actual organic way. In this way, mental illness is a physical disorder just as much as physical disabilities are. People in wheelchairs are given support and extra help to function, but people with mental illness are usually not.
Whereas people with physical disabilities are often open to be able to discuss their limitations and ask for what kind of support they need, many people with mental illness are afraid of the being judged and misunderstood.
Due to the stigma of mental disorders, many people do not seek help, for fear that a record of the diagnosis would ruin them. We often fear for our jobs and fear other types of discrimination. There are suicides each year that could have been prevented, if the people would have not been afraid to receive a diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness.
There is a fear of us losing our job, and having people treat us in ways that are condescending, fearful, critical and judgemental. Once people know you have a mental illness, often they see you differently. There is no going back in time and taking back the fact that they know.
Many people think that mental illness is something that you can just “get over” and that it is all in the person’s head.
Well, it is in the head, but there are neurological and chemical differences in people with different types of mental illness. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder looks one way in the brain. Depression looks another way in the brain. The brains of people with these disorders do not work in the way the brain was designed to work.
PTSD for example has an overactive amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain. The person can become triggered by reminders of their original trauma and the amygdala goes into hyper alert mode. This is not in control of the person and they cannot just turn it off.
The overload of fear chemicals and the amygdala in the “on” position, causes the person to go into a “fight or flight” mode. During an episode the person feels just like you would if there were a giant, scary dog cornering you and growling in a threatening way to you.
Just because you cannot see mental illness does not mean that it is not real. If you suffer from mental illness you are aware of the frustration of the lack of empathy about this problem
The more we make a place for ourselves in the world, the better off we will be. My blog to create awareness and it is also to be a support system.
I try to write posts that are informative and helpful. I try to write in a way that extends empathy and compassion to people with mental disorder like depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
Many of us have suffered abuse which we may or may not be aware is the root cause of our mental illness. Many of us have also suffered trauma and retraumatization as adults. Some of this had been because we were easy targets for predators.
Some of us have experienced retraumatization at the hands of therapists and counselors. It is always a risk to place your brain into the hands of another person, who claims to know how to help you.
I feel that blogging can be an additional therapy to any treatment plan you are in. Blogging opens up a world of expression and interactions with people who can understand how you feel…sometimes better than the therapist actually understands how you feel.
We all need to be heard and validated. We need to accepted for who we are…at least by some people.