i'm living, i'm loving, and if you have a problem with either of those things well, you know how to get out of here.
i’ve debated with myself about writing this, because i’ve ranted about this issue before, and i feel like the opinions i hold are.. unpopular, to put it one way. let me just say before i get into it— no, i don’t guess i am technically an ‘expert.’ i’m not licensed in anything. i do hold a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Psychology, and i have also dealt with mental illness my entire life, both in family and friends, and in myself.
(as a note: i was diagnosed at the age of 18, after a few years of being in and out of therapy, with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and what can most easily be classified as ‘Borderline Bipolar,’ although that’s not an actual thing, per se.. i exhibit many symptoms of that particular disorder, but not in a pattern consistent with that actual diagnosis.. i’m a little closer to the ‘Dysthymic Disorder’ diagnosis on that particular spectrum however, i have exhibited manic episodes in the past and still currently experience them from time to time, and therefore don’t fit that diagnosis either. i have been institutionalized. i was, in the span of about 5 years, on 5 different medications at various times. i am a recovering self-injurer. i have, both past and present, struggled with substance abuse problems [mainly alcoholism] brought about as a result of my mental illnesses. i am comfortable divulging that while i most certainly should be, i am currently not in treatment for any of these things at this time. i don’t have health insurance, and doctors are expensive. i rely on the coping skills i have acquired over the years as well as the support of friends and family to keep myself somewhat ‘sane,’ although that is a relative term.)
with the recent happenings in Colorado, i have broken a cardinal rule of mine— reading comments from the general public on news articles about the killings. i must always remind myself that the general public, generally speaking, has no idea what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to.. well.. anything, really. especially anything regarding mental illness, it seems. people are so quick to judge, without stopping to think that they themselves more likely than not at least KNOW someone who has a mental illness. more likely than not, it is someone close to them, that they love. it’s a lot more prevalent than people seem to think. i’m not going to bog my two cents here down with statistics. if you want them, you can go find the evidence for yourself— the National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov) is a good place to start.
what i really want to say is that it will NEVER cease to amaze me the extent to which mentally ill people are stigmatized, ostracized, and marginalized. i am not in any way defending the actions of the young man who took so many lives, and attempted to take so many others. he brought tragedy and sadness to so many individuals— brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts uncles cousins friends etc. etc. etc. there is no excuse for that. what i AM saying is that i feel sympathy, and empathy, for him as well. i do not feel sympathy for him in the same way that i feel it for the people who lost loved ones and now have to deal with the trauma of their experience for the rest of their lives. it’s different, and unless you are someone who has dealt with mental illness, whether through having it yourself or through seeing a loved one deal with it, i think it would be difficult for me to explain it in a way that makes sense. i’m not even going to try.
what i would like to bring up is this. just a little food for thought, if you will. there are people who have diseases that they have acquired, basically, by their own choice. things like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD, many types of cancer.. anymore, these are by and large what are referred to as ‘lifestyle diseases.’ diseases that come about as a result of individuals knowingly not taking care of themselves. and while there are certain mental illnesses, such as addiction, that start out as choices, most of them are not a choice. most of them are the result of chemical imbalances that God (or who/whatever) saw fit to bestow upon you during your creation. they can be a result of genetics, sometimes they happen seemingly at random. sometimes they don’t manifest for years.. people can and do quite literally wake up schizophrenic, in some instances. the average age for that particular affliction to manifest is early to mid 20’s in men, and mid to late 20’s in women.
for the most part, i don’t ever hear people express sympathy for people with mental illnesses. it isn’t uncommon to hear folks lament about how it’s so tragic when someone finds out they have cancer, or when a relatively young person dies of a heart attack. those diseases were most likely the result of how that person CHOSE to live their life. and i am not in any way saying THAT isn’t sad, or tragic. it is. but since it is, it is also sad and tragic that someone cannot help their brain chemistry, and as a result is made fun of, ostracized, called a ‘freak’ or a ‘psycho’ or any number of other derogatory terms, when those other folks aren’t treated the same way. there is no special law that allows for people who knowingly stuff their faces with junk food all day every day to be taken into custody for involuntary evaluation in a facility that locks from the outside. there is no precedent for court orders mandating that people exercise and eat right to keep from having a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th heart attack after they’ve shown that they are clearly incapable of taking care of themselves, since after all, the first one happened as a result of their lifestyle choices.
and yes, i am well aware the argument can and should be made that in a lot of cases, people with mental illnesses are not only a danger to themselves, but also to others. clearly this happens, as we’ve all seen recently. but that is the exception, not the rule. not all mentally ill people are one marathon session of Call of Duty away from shooting up their school or work place. those are just the cases we hear about. i mean.. i’ve never snapped and threatened to plant a bomb at my school or job. for the most part, i manage to function like a ‘normal’ human being. sure, sometimes it’s difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning. sometimes i have to search for reasons to keep behaving like a contributing member of society rather than just staying home, in bed, and sleeping all the time. sometimes i really just don’t see the point— of getting out of bed, of going to work, of maintaining relationships, of.. breathing. (which is NOT to say that i’m suicidal. i don’t want to kill myself, although it would be a big fat gigantic lie to say that i’ve never gone through a period of thinking how much easier it would be to just not be alive anymore.)
i guess, really, the point of this little ramble/rant is to say that i wish more people would take the time to even TRY to understand mental illness and how it works, and how it can affect the lives of both those afflicted with it, and those close to the afflicted. i wish that people would stop viewing ‘crazy’ as a choice, as if those of us who are can just flip a switch and turn it off. i wish that people didn’t think that we just act this way— whatever way we may be acting— simply because we like the attention. trust me, i’d much rather never get any attention for anything at all, rather than the negative kind that comes from my mental illnesses manifesting themselves.
and as i’ve said.. i understand that unless you’ve dealt with it yourself, that it’s difficult to comprehend. but think of it this way.. why would anyone WANT to live like that? to me, that’s about like waking up every morning and saying ‘i WANT to be physically handicapped. it’d be awesome to be paralyzed from the waist down so people would open doors for me and feel sorry for me all the time and not know how to behave around me and in general treat me like a second-class citizen.’
i just.. i wish people would make even the smallest of efforts to put themselves in my shoes, or the shoes of anyone who is mentally ill, for even a brief moment. i think that would go a long way towards fostering a better understanding of how truly awful it is to deal with being the way we are.
i’m not into minecraft at all but this was SO adorable, and really well done.. beautiful. :3
Bold what applies to you!
- I am a male.
- I am a girl.
- I am shorter than 5’4.
- I think I’m ugly.
- I have many scars.
- I tan easily.
- I wish my hair was a different color.
- I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
- I have a tattoo.
- I want a tattoo.
- I am self-conscious about my body.
- I’ve have/had braces.
- I wear glasses
- I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
- I’ve been told I’m attractive by a complete stranger.
- I have more than 2 piercings.
- I have a piercing in a place other than my ears
- I have freckles.
- I’ve sworn at my parents.
- I’ve run away from home.
- I’ve been kicked out of the house.
- I have a sibling less than one year old.
- I want to have kids someday.
- I’m in school.
- I’ve lost a child.
- I have a job.
- I’ve fallen asleep at work/school.
- I almost always do/did my homework.
- I’ve missed a week or more of school.
- I failed more than 1 class last year.
- I’ve stolen something from my job.
- I’ve slipped out an “lol” in a spoken conversation.
- Disney movies still make me cry.
- I’ve peed from laughing.
- I’ve snorted while laughing
- I’ve cried from laughing so hard.
- I’ve glued my hand to something.
- I’ve had my pants rip in public
- I was born with a disease/impairment.
- I’ve broken a bone.
- I’ve gotten stiches/staples.
- I’ve had my tonsils removed.
- I’ve sat in a doctor’s office/emergency room with a friend.
- I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed.
- I had a serious surgery.
- I’ve had chicken pox.
- I’ve had measles.
- I’ve driven over 200 miles in one day.
- I’ve been on a plane.
- I’ve been to Canada.
- I’ve been to Mexico.
- I’ve been to Niagra Falls.
- I’ve been to Japan.
- I’ve celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
- I’ve been to Europe
- I’ve been to Africa.
- I’ve been to Hawaii.
- I’ve gotten lost in my city.
- I’ve seen a shooting star.
- I’ve wished on a shooting star.
- I’ve seen a meteor shower.
- I’ve gone out in public in my pajamas.
- I’ve pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
- I’ve kicked a guy where it hurts.
- I’ve been to a casino.
- I’ve been skydiving.
- I’ve gone skinny dipping.
- I’ve played spin the bottle.
- I’ve drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
- I’ve crashed a car.
- I’ve been skiing.
- I’ve been in a play.
- I’ve met someone in person from Facebook.
- I’ve seen the Northern lights.
- I’ve sat on a roof top at night.
- I’ve played chicken.
- I’ve played a prank on someone.
- I’ve ridden in a taxi.
- I’ve seen Rocky Horror Picture Show. (the movie)
- I’ve eaten sushi.
- I’ve been snowboarding.
- I’m single.
- I’m in a relationship.
- I’m engaged.
- I’m married.
- I’ve gone on a blind date.
- I’ve been the dumped more than the dumper.
- I miss someone right now.
- I have a fear of abandonment.
- I’ve gotten divorced.
- I’ve had feelings for someone that didn’t have them back.
- I’ve told someone I loved them when I didn’t.
- I’ve told someone I didn’t love them when I did.
- I’ve kept something from a past relationship.
- I’ve had a crush on someone of the same sex
- I’ve had a crush on a teacher.
- I’ve been kissed in the rain.
- I’ve hugged a stranger.
- I have kissed a stranger.
- I’ve done something I promised someone else I wouldn’t.
- I’ve done something I promised myself I wouldn’t.
- I’ve snuck out of my house.
- I have lied to my parents about where I am
- I am keeping a secret from the world.
- I’ve cheated while playing a game.
- I’ve cheated on a test.
- I’ve run a red light.
- I’ve been suspended from school
- I’ve witnessed a crime.
- I’ve been in a fist fight.
- I’ve been arrested.
- I’ve passed out from drinking.
- I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
- I’ve smoked
- I’ve taken painkillers when I didn’t need them.
- I’ve eaten mushrooms.
- I’ve popped E.
- I’ve inhaled Nitrous.
- I’ve done hard drugs.
- I have cough drops when I’m not sick.
- I can swallow about 3 pills at a time no problem.
- I have been diagnosed with depression.
- I have been diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorder.
- I’ve taken an anti-depressant. (just not for depression)
- I’ve slept an entire day without needing to
- I’ve woken up crying.
- I’m afraid of dying.
- I hate funerals
- I’ve seen someone dying.
- Someone close to me has committed suicide.
- I’ve planned my own suicide.
- I’ve attempted suicide.
- I’ve written a eulogy for myself.
- I own over 5 rap CDs.
- I own an IPod or an MP3 player.
- I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga.
- I own something from Hot Topic.
- I own something from Pac Sun.
- I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece.
- I collect comic books
.@soundguynick.. i forgot that this one got posted, too. :)
This is a Ralph McQuarrie illustration from the Isaac Asimov story “Robbie”.. something about this illustration just struck me the first time I saw it. I love that it’s black and gray and kind of stark looking, yet at the same time full of emotion and warmth between Robbie and Gloria (the little girl.) Done by Bennett Edwards at Trinity Tattoo in Virginia Beach. He’s awesome. Go give him your money.
i’ve reblogged this before, but i’m messing around with my tumblr for the first time in forever and.. yeah. this definitely still applies.
this is the 2nd time i’ve reblogged this.. but it bears repeating. pardon the profanity.. i didn’t write it, i just agree with it. :)
Yesterday was the first day it’s been sunny enough to wear just a t-shirt out of the house and hot enough for it to be necessary. I have full sleeves on both arms, meaning not one square inch from wrist to shoulder is still bare skin. I have tattoos on my fingers, my neck, my legs, everywhere. I…