Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stigma AKA Anonymous Letter Printed With Permission From The Author.

Dear YOU,

My identity remains anonymous because there is a stigma attached to mental illness in this country. The purpose of this letter is to address that stigma. The irony is not lost on me. However, neither is the double threat of silence and its evil twin, ignorance. No advocacy group or watchdog organization seems to have had any effect on rampant media speculation. As a result, public discourse recklessly associates precise medical terminology with all sorts of aberrant..., often criminal behavior. How can anyone expect you to feel comfortable asking for the help you need when this is the case?

The stigma is a farce because the term ‘mental illness’ is a misnomer. There is nothing wrong with your mind. The problem is your brain. You need your brain in order to function so I do not mean to put this lightly. Yet, regardless of your personal beliefs, the combined neurological and sensory data your brain produces does result in something more, something you might call perception using something you might call a mind. We’re talking about YOU. There is nothing wrong with YOU.
This should not even be about YOU. This is about your brain. Medically speaking, the information you regard as YOU is only to be interpreted by a professional as data used to diagnose and treat a disorder, an illness affecting an organ in your body. This should be strictly the role of a psychiatrist while therapy allows you to participate in your own treatment, on your own terms. Psychiatrists like to participate as well but quite frankly, all healthcare professionals should be concerned with your overall wellbeing. Now does that sound realistic to you?

As far as YOU are concerned, YOU are the sole expert, the lone advocate and the only qualified professional. Others may love you. Doctors may provide and act on data but it all comes down to you. You have to do the work. You must be your own advocate. With this in mind, trust your own judgment when you decide who to share information with and bear in mind that that is all you are sharing. No one can judge YOU because you are not giving them access to that. You are merely allowing them whatever data you deem necessary for them to assist you. If you all end up risking is breaking the silence and wasting time on the ignorant, this is not your problem.
Continue to do the work. Take care of yourself. There won’t be any certificate or medal. Don’t get hung up on the notion of others understanding YOU. Just demand their respect and attention. One day, you may find yourself wishing to share your success with others and write a letter just like this one. Who knows? Maybe you will even sign your name at the end.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Air Quotes

Dr. Evil on Mental Health Awareness
ADD or ADHD "Short attention span"
OCD "Anal" or "Meticulous"  
Bipolar Disorder  "Crazy" or "Moody"
Anxiety "The Jitters"
Depression "The blues"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stoic Irony


SCENE: A therapist's office. The session is just wrapping up.

Doctor: So it sounds like you're still doing a great job of keeping your symptoms under control.

Patient: Yup.

Doctor: So what would you say is your biggest problem?

Patient: Getting anyone to believe I have a problem.