If we treated all illnesses the way we treat mental illness

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    • I luv these. The first time I had serious psychotic episode, my college withdrew me from all my classes and I was told I could come back the next year, after I got help and I wasn’t talking to God anymore. So naturally, I went to the closest center and saw a psychologist and psychiatrist, who I paid. The psychologist actually had “Snap out of it” in a frame on her table. lol. The psychiatrist gave me lithium for 2 weeks, asked me if it was doing anything, then basically told me to go away lol. I eventually came back to reality on my own. And well, let’s just say I never finished college. It’s the world’s loss…I basically revolutionize the way things get done at every place I have ever worked. Oh well…I’ll just go back to the box, everyone expects me to live in…maybe cause some actual trouble one of these days. They need more tragic sad stories for their news program, I suspect. And I’m the “crazy” one. I have so much to say, I could write a book…of course, I wouldn’t get paid for it (I’d probably be the one to pay), someone would put their name on it, and all the followers wouldn’t be able to follow it cause they don’t listen. If I get tested for drugs one more time…it’s gonna be my foot up someone’s a$$ and I’m NOT paying for it. I’m not going to line their pockets and their friend’s pockets anymore. You already got me to file for bankruptcy once, then turned around and fudged up my credit for years a second time. I get calls every frickin’ day, several times a day, reminding me that no one knows what the frick they are doing.


      • I just wanted to add, that I have found a medication that works. Turns out it’s a really old anti-psychotic. Do you know how hard it is/was to get? Every doctor wants to put me on everything but an anti-psychotic or give me some new drug, like I’m some lab rat. I had been taking this anti-depressant cymbalta and lithium, but when I had an episode, I stopped taking the meds and almost successfully committed a bizarre ritualistic suicide (look it up-not from depression or anything lololol). Were they trying to kill me??? Sorry, I just felt compelled to tell you all my story. The Nazis are getting smarter, but it’s all in my head, right? lol ff2#$#%#%$$ #$%$^%^ #$%$


  1. Years ago I had a suicide attempt (obviously unsuccessful) and had to miss work for two weeks to do intense therapy. I took the following Monday off because I was so exhausted, and truly just needed a me day. When I got back to work the following day, my boss dragged me into her office (meanwhile she knew what had happened. We were pretty close and my MOTHER called her to tell her what was going on with me) to give me shit about missing work.

    I marched right up to HR and said “No boss would ever speak to someone like that if they were out getting chemo, so it wasn’t right that she talked to me like that.”

    I was really hurt, and it goes without saying that I never trusted that boss again. People are really insensitive when it comes to mental illness. It’s like, they can’t SEE the ailment so it doesn’t really exist.


  2. Love from rocky, rainy Maine, USA. This is an effective, poignant cartoon. Sadly, I know many who would say pooh-pooh to any objections. Most of them are elderly — try that in place of mentally ill. or Government workers! We who get it understand, Those who don’t make excuses for their cruelty, or even no excuse at all!


    • Just adding to your comment for those who don’t understand…luv your comment btw.

      Government workers or SS?

      My elders usually quote me the bible and pray for me to get better. Probably not the best thing to give a schizophrenic…either, the bible that is. I have to say that I’ve met a few who are really understanding and wish that more people will seek help from a good doctor- one that isn’t and hasn’t been working for the government that is.

      I don’t think they know what they are doing, regarding cruelty, they are just robots sent to destroy, and doing their job. Heil hitler. They just thought they would be making more caring out the orders, I feel so bad for them…not.

      I think it’s amazing that these people with these ideas of what mentally ill people should be like or gay or a stigmatized race, etc, etc…, and then after getting to know them, think they are amazing people… Only to find out that they are who they are and see the surprise in their face. Watch them cry and apologize all over the place, and be forever changed (seen it more than once). On the other hand, I’ve met a lot of people who think I’m great, then find out I’m taking medication for schizophrenia and then, only then, freak out. I know, I won’t be telling anyone anymore. God knows, I still have my old friends who have seen me without my medication and still hold me on a pedestal, so who needs them. It’s just too easy for people to have these images when they don’t understand it and the media reports such unusual and tragic cases. It’s too easy to blame my illness and call me crazy basically, then face any of the facts, ask questions, or find any fault in themselves.


      • And therein lies the biggest challenge. As with any other negative reaction, people are calling us crazy because they know, in their hearts, that they are not exempt from some kind of mental illness. All anyone can ever do, at best, is know themselves deeply enough to make that final admission — “I’m not perfect, but I love myself as I am.” We who live with mental illness learn that lesson early, or go pretty damned nuts. Took me 50 years. I am getting ready to do a series of posts on The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. If you haven’t read it, please do — then pass it on to the next person who makes a dumb remark about mental illness. My mother won’t read those posts, because she is so scared of admitting that she’s just as fucked up as the rest of us.

        If you go to my gravatar page, you will find my email address –that might be a more practical way for us to communicate. All the best — and Merry Christmas. Here’s hoping the new year brings more understanding and less judgment!


  3. When I was going through depression last year, everyone kept telling me, “Oh, everything will get better” “Something better is around the corner”, That just made it worse. A lot of the time, people don’t understand.


    • I think telling someone with depression that everything will get better is quite an ignorant thing to say. I understand that most people mean well, but the very nature of depression that you can’t see any hope for the future, or even see past the current moment. You don’t tell someone with cancer that they’ll feel better tomorrow, or would feel better if they went to a party or bought new shoes. To often, depression can become a terminal illness too.


  4. Wow, this is so true!! People who don’t have depression or other mental illnesses don’t see that those of us who do can’t just snap out of it, do they really think we choose to live in this darkness?!


  5. People who don’t understand mental illness feel you should be able to just turn it off or just take some Tylenol and move on with it. Or suck it up. It’s not like you WANT to feel lousy or depressed. More should be done to educate people that don’t suffer from it.


      • My best friend in the entire world once told me to “just get over it.” He said I brought up my history of depression and suicidal thoughts as a way to be overdramatic. Hearing that from my best friend, the one person I truly ever trusted, hurt me almost as bad as my depression.

        All I could think of as I wrote this comment was this excerpt from a poem:

        “Find me by the window
        Following my past to that trail of blood in the snow.
        The day I opened my veins
        The doctor who stitched me up asked me
        If I did it for attention.
        For the record,
        If you have ever done anything for attention,
        This poem is attention.
        Title it with your name.”

        Poem is “I Sing The Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out” by Andrea Gibson.

        Thank you for your time in reading this comment.


  6. My favorite was always, “It’s all in your head.” Duh, of course it is but that doesn’t make it any less real than your stupidity! I haven’t actually said that outloud, but I have thought it on many occasions. Intolerance and ignorance are paraded around with such pride by so many people it really frosts my cookies. Okay so I’m feeling a little anxious and nasty at the moment but I’m just climbing out of the depression hole again. I’m sorry for any offenses given.


  7. I love this diagram. It’s so true. I suffer from depresion, anxiety, and now infertility. For the most part I am able to control the depression, though it took many years. The anxiety I have meds for, without them I would be lost. The infertility is a new discovering and people tend to walk on egg shells around me. I have a co-worker that was hospitilized for mental illness, and many people are inconsiderate and complain how she is treated different because of her illness. Her issues are more sever than my own, and I admit, even having been down the road, I have a hard time understanding her difficulties, because it’s different for all of us. Some cases are more severe, some people handle it differently, no two cases are alike. People don’t see it as an illness because they can’t see physical symptoms. It’s quite sad.


  8. Reblogged this on Undoing Crazy and commented:
    A perfect example of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Although I’m not sure how I’ll handle negative feedback when it comes to me (and I know it will) I’m finally confident that I’m making the right decision with getting treatment. I wouldn’t expect myself to “just deal” if I had cancer.


  9. I have Aspergers Syndrome and Severe Depression and people always say ‘Oh it can’t be bad enough to make you miss school all the time. You’re just over-reacting. Just push through it.’ And I just think that’s like telling someone with cancer to walk around like nothing bad is happening. They can’t see how much it kills me inside because I am unable to express emotion towards people. It makes me want to just end it sometimes.


    • Listen, don’t end it. I personally struggle with suicidal thoughts even now that I’m 6 or so years past my attempt. Sometimes I feel like I’m more afraid to live than to die. I work through it. I live for my niece and nephew. Find something (!!) to live for and hold on to that. I’m not going to tell you that life is roses, heck, no one on here will….But we are all in the same boat together. And we hear you and understand you. Talk to us.


    • Honest answer? I think a lot of us have been where you’re feeling; not your exact situation, but that overwhelming frustration at society’s inability to accept that not everyone fits into this little perfect niche. I don’t think anyone can blame you for wanting out; life can be unbearably painful. I’m not going to tell you that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, because I hate it when someone says it to me; it’s making light of a very upsetting and disheartening situation. What I will say though is I’ve attempted suicide four times. Two have been serious attempts, two have been… well, I don’t know what they were.

      Was I glad the doctors saved me? Hell no. I was angry. I wanted to die.

      Years later, am I still angry? No. Without them, I wouldn’t be living the life I am now; it’s not perfect, but it’s turned around dramatically, and I’ve seen how beautiful the world can sometimes be.

      I missed school a lot. It turned out it didn’t matter; I’m doing okay without certificates. The friends I had in school? I mostly forgot them. Life has a funny way of surprising you, it really does; and this is coming from someone who often wakes up and wants to suffocate herself with the pillow.

      Happiness is out there, you know. It’s just not something you can buy from the shop… it takes time. You seem able to put your feelings into words, even if you can’t express those emotions; that’s a good thing. It’ll get you far, and that’s worth remembering.

      If you want to talk, feel free. Talking online is much, much easier. Take care of you x


  10. I was in counseling for the past eight months. However, I was nervous at my last session because I knew I would not be able to get counseling over the summer. Additionally, I recently lost some very close friends I could confide in. Finding this blog and seeing everyone’s stories will give me the strength to make it through the summer. Life sometimes has a funny way of throwing you a life preserver just when you need it most.


    • Firstly, thank you so much for the comment, Dan. When I started this blog I had no idea it would turn into a community of sorts, and I’m so pleased that although I may not always have the emotional resources to help others, others have told their stories and offered hope. Seriously, it’s a lovely thing.

      Was your counselling stopped over the summer, or did you have to move away?


  11. Cool article. It’s interesting because I couldn’t find anything on the net about illness being just in your head. I believe all cancer and other disease starts from stress, which is collected in your body and never flushed out. If your brain doesn’t take a shit every once in a while, the toilet over flows, ‘naw mean?


  12. I have been talking about the fact that “mental illness” is no different than a “physical illness”. You have to go to a MD to get medication to treat both so why are they considered different? And I have only found a limited amount of articles related to this because it isn’t something people want to think about. It is easier to label people nutty instead of thinking maybe there is something to it. Where I live, people with disabilities that also have “mental illness” are discriminated against when it comes to receiving long term services. Big surprise, someone that has major brain surgery might be a bit down afterwards.


  13. Pingback: If we treated all illnesses the way we treat mental illness | the musings of a psychic witch on prozac

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