health, life, mental health, mental illness, religion, self-help, spiritual, spoken word

Abnormality is defined as a deviation from the accepted thoughts, emotions and behaviour

Abnormality is defined as a deviation from the accepted thoughts, emotions and behaviour

What is  ‘normal’ ? It is  an invented idea related to conformity.

Conformity to the status quo and the manners and behaviors that the vast majority are comfortable with. Saying “fine” when someone asks how you are, is the accepted behavior.

Following the rules at a workplace,  even when there is an obvious , glaring exception to the rule, staring you in the face.

Going along with our plans and our schedules like drones , without thinking about what we are doing. That is the status quo. That is conformity.That is a lack of creativity and individuality.

When people all follow what someone else thinks, no one thinks at all. Who is making the social norms? The people at the top who are benefitting from it. All the drones underneath have the impression that they are the ones that benefit but it is not true.

Loss  of humanity and individual thinking. Taking each individual situation for what it is and thinking and and making and intelligent , thoughtful plan of action. This is all lost in the confusion and the illusion or orderliness.

People have the impression that the status quo rules are neat and orderly. They think that they like the rules ans that the Normal accepted behaviors and reactions are going to keep them safe and protect them.

if this is true, then why is suicide on the rise and mental illness more and more prevalent in society?

Maybe mental illness is caused by the infliction of an untrue reality upon independent thinkers. The forcing of a reality that someone created and is telling us is safe. But when we see that it is not true and it is unsafe for us, we are seen as abnormal people. The ones who do not fit in.

This results in isolation and alienation. We can see what the reality is. But they tell us we are not conforming to their thoughts and their reality.

People that have survived, or their children have survived sexual abuse, are expected to attend holiday functions with the offending family members. They are expected to sit there are pretend nothing ever happened. Ot to pretend that the abuser is rehabilitated and no longer a threat.

Women living with abusive men are told that things are not as bad as they think. People think they are exaggerating and the “poor guy” is just venting from a hard day.You should be thankful that he works so hard to support you. How do they know how the guy is supporting you? They don’t even know if he shares any of his money with you. Why do they assume?

Even family members sometimes support the abuser and treat the victim as though she is in some alternate abnormal reality. You have to be a better wife, a better girlfriend. Maybe he would be a better man if you were more supportive. It must be you… Crap! Crap! BS!

I have always been supportive in relationships. Begging someone not to leave you and a child with no money in the bank account and no food in the fridge, so they can go to live in another state with friends to “find themselves” and their “Purpose” and a job, is crap. Why should you suffer with no food and no money, to be supportive of someone who does not want to work. Someone who leaves you stuck with his parents, because he can’t stand living with them anymore.

When our feelings do not match what the others tell us to feel, we become mentally ill. Our brain suffers because it tries to hold onto the actual reality while other people are messing with it.

anxiety, health, life, mental illness

Saying “I am just Tired” Rather than saying “I am depressed and having severe anxiety”

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I saw this depression cartoon on tumblr and I thought it would be something a lot of my readers would understand and relate to. You can follow the artist on tumblr by linking to the cartoon.

I do this all the time. Someone asks me if I am ok and I will say “I am just tired.” That is the go-to answer for many people. For a while I thought it was just me but the fact that this cartoon is so popular, lets me know that I am not the only person that responds this way.

You feel overwhelmed by what is going on in your brain. You feel the aches and pains of depression in your body.

You are afraid that if anyone actually knew what was going on inside of your head, they would judge you or never want to talk to you again. Or they might use it against you in some way, knowing you are weak.

Another fear is that they will say something that minimizes how I feel or invalidates it completely. They won’t understand how you are feeling or really want to hear the truth.

It is just simpler and less risky to respond with the “I am just tired” line. I must say that 10 times a week, at work.

Of course there are people that will use it to undermine you and stab you in the back. This is a woman to woman thing in the workplace. Many women are very supportive of each other in the work world, but there are a few “queen bees” here and there. Those women love to screw other women over.

So, we keep it to ourselves and people must just think we are always tired.

If there is one person, or a couple of them, outside of work, that we can be honest with, then that is a blessing. It is bad enough to feel attacked by your own thoughts. Having to choke down those feelings all the time makes it worse.

I sometimes feel so paranoid that someone at work will find out I have mental illness issues, that I voluntarily mention that I feel tired today.

So here we are. We are all tired.

And we are tired, to be sure. But in addition to being tired , we are weak and we are vulnerable to other people who do not sympathize with us.

It seems that it has become harder and harder to pass off the “I am just tired” line at work anymore. I feel uncomfortable when people ask how I am feeling in the workplace. I also feel uncomfortable in certain social situations.

For the most part, I only like discussing my real feelings with one person in a one to one situation. Even then, it has to be someone who understands anxiety and depression.

I was blindsided at the therapist visit last week. This is the therapist for my family member, not for me. The family member agreed to have their sessions video taped. I was on the video camera and the therapist asked me about my personal feelings about a part of the whole situation that is very traumatic to me.

I was not expecting the personal feelings question. In the past they just included me as a family member from time to time for support. I suddenly became aware of the video camera on me and i freaked out.

I felt like I was in a room full of people and being forced into a sever emotional state by the question. It was not so much the question about my feelings, but the fact that I had to think about that trauma and talk about it in front of the video camera. I had the feeling of a room full of people, rather than one therapist asking me to identify my feelings.

I have such anxiety about answering the” How Are You Feeling” question that the” How Did You Feel When…” question can be worse. If it is about a traumatic memory to me then I don’t want to be asked it, in a room full of people.

I did not know how to explain that the camera felt like extra people in the room to me. In effect, it really is. So I just fell into this anxiety attack and said all kinds of stupid things that didn’t connect. I must have sounded very crazy because I kept changing the subject to things that were less painful to talk about. My answer came out very disjunct.

I wish I had just said “I feel tired today. Let me think about that question until next week”. Then I could have told her afterwards to please not do that to me with the camera on.

Anyway, that is how I am feeling today LOL

Namaste,

Annie

health, life, mental health, mental illness, psychology

Mental Illness Stigma

“What is Stigma?
· An attempt to label a particular group of people as less worthy of respect than others
· A mark of shame, disgrace or disapproval that results in discrimination
· Not just a matter of using the wrong word or action – its about disrespect”

quote from NAMI multicultural action center web site

People with mental health issues sometimes have to put off receiving needed treatment, due to stigma in our culture. Once they are diagnosed with a mental illness, people  have to live with the consequences. There are potential consequences in regards to employment, insurance and education.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. According to the Department of Labor web site ,The Disabilities Act protects disabled persons in the following ways…

“prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. “

Interestingly, when I went to the Disability,gov web site and typed in Mental health, there was no information on the entire web site. It just gave me a list of links to non-government web sites like Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The same thing happened when I typed in Mental Illness. Just a list of links to non-profit organizations not affiliated with the government. Here are the links below.

https://www.disability.gov/

https://www.disability.gov/?s=mental+health&submit=

https://www.disability.gov/?s=mental+illness&submit=&fq=

The disabilities act may protect people with physical disabilities, but  it does very little to protect people with mental illnesses like depression, PTSD, severe anxiety disorders,  OCD, and  bipolar disorder.

People that have been diagnosed with mental illnesses are discriminated against on a regular  basis. They are discriminated against in the workplace and when seeking employment.

The employers will get around it by fabricating reasons not to hire someone. They cannot fire someone for having a disability  but they can make up another reason.

The stigma of people with bipolar disorder is that they are  unpredictable and possibly dangerous. This is very sad since the friends I have that suffer from bipolar are the gentlest people I know. They are kind and understanding. They go above and beyond at their jobs to make sure everything is done properly and fully.

People with clinical depression and bipolar disorder are discriminated against for life insurance because they are perceived as a suicide risk. The funny thing is that life insurance does not ever cover suicide anyway!

People with diagnosis for anxiety disorders, bipolar and depression are sometimes discriminated against by colleges. If the college finds out that you have a diagnosis with a mental illness they do not want to risk their precious reputation on you. You might do something to ’embarrass them”

They also do not have confidence that you will be able to handle the course load. I know people with mental illnesses that attend college and work harder than many other students. They know what disabilities they have and they work hard to succeed in spite of their condition.

Mental illness is stigmatized in the media and in the movies. When friends find out that someone has mental illness they sometimes assume it is like what they see on tv.

They are afraid of being embarrassed  and are afraid the person may suddenly do something unstable, They may perceive their friend differently even to the point of being afraid of them. This is all due to stigma.

People are all individuals. People with mental illness are also individuals. No two people with bipolar disorder are the same. They are unique individuals that you have to get to know to find out what they are like.

Nevertheless, a diagnosis of a mental illness can cause discrimination and a loss of opportunities. It can cause problems socially and with our career. Once people find out you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, they see you differently, even though you are the same person you were before the diagnosis.

The fear of the stigma keeps many people from seeking the help they need. It is understandable that people feel afraid.

The fact is that 1 in 5 people has a mental illness of some kind. Of the mental illnesses that are diagnosable  only one- third seeks medical treatment which could help them.

The failure to seek  help for a mental illness can lead to deterioration of quality of life and in some cases suicide.

Stigma about mental illness is a huge problem in America. As long as it is not dealt with,  people will continue to suffer.  Many of these people would be an asset to employers, schools and friends, if given the opportunity.

As a result of the continued stigma, people with mental illness often have a lower quality of life and a lower income potential than they should have.

There needs to be more awareness of this important issue. It is unfair discrimination in an age where almost everyone else is protected by discrimination laws.