The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

I HATE the term Mental Illness and yet I’m hostage to it.

Why not just "Illness"?!

Why not just “Illness”?!

 

“Mental Illness” is a tag in a lot of my posts, and almost every image on Instagram.  I use it to search for other blogs to follow – I search for posts and studies on “Mental Illness” but you know what?

 

I hate the term Mental Illness.

I’m forced to include it in my lexicon if I’m to navigate successfully the waters of the internet to find relevant content.  I have to use it when speaking to other people about illnesses like Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Clinical Depression e.t.c.  Really though – Whenever I say Mental Illness I feel as though I’m asking it to be assessed separately to ‘Illness’ and isn’t this the whole problem?  Isn’t this the crux of the stigma that we’re all fighting against with all our might?  The fact that these conditions aren’t treated in the same manner as diabetes, cancer or heart disease?

I’ll keep using it when I feel like I have to in order to reach the right audience, I’ll tag my posts with it and I’ll search WordPress and google for it.  I don’t have to like it though.  F**K the term “Mental Illness”

What about you?  Are there any words or phrases in common parlance among our unwell brethren that you find distasteful or downright obscene?  I want to hear from you.

All the best,
H&J

62 comments on “I HATE the term Mental Illness and yet I’m hostage to it.

  1. lesserspottedhuman
    29/06/2014

    “Spiritually awakened” bugs me. The tag by some Shaman, witchdoctors and spiritualists

    Liked by 3 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      29/06/2014

      Shaman, Witchdoctors and Spiritualists bug me, generally. I’ve yet to be impressed by anyone of any of these denominations.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Liked by 4 people

  2. smswaby
    29/06/2014

    I wonder sometimes whether the term “Mental Illness,” it’s weight, identity and expectations add an additional burden? Some people reframe to Mental Wellness, or Mental Health. Everyone deals with varying experiences of Mental Wellness and to me it does not help to define our experience with a negative concept such as Mental Illness. No one should be owned by their experience, even a painful and soulsick one! Fight the fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marie Abanga
      01/07/2014

      Fight the fight indeed, yet the facr remains that once we lapse even only once, a ‘nasty’ tag like that will be yours for a v v long time to come.
      Regards, Marie

      Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I’d say that even if the idea of illness carries an inherent negativity it might be fair – none of us have ever wished to be ill, the issue comes with the segregation of these illnesses as being inherently different in how we should treat them to other life threatening illnesses. The unnecessary gravitas that you describe these terms as having is exactly the problem, you nailed it. People have no idea of what is expected of them or of us, the unwell. There is no social discourse around these diseases in healthy circles and it just reinforces a barrier rather than humanising the illnesses.

      Nice contribution!

      H&J

      Like

  3. Lisa Brown
    29/06/2014

    Yes! I’m with you 100% on this post. Keeping the illnesses of brain chemistry in a completely different and stigmatized league of their own, is the whole problem in a nutshell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. crimsonowl63
    29/06/2014

    I, also, don’t like this term. I have depression. It’s an illness, but do I have to say that every time? I hate labeling it at all, but like you said it is hard to make others understand and hard to search for relevant material otherwise. I don’t think I would mind so much what term is used if there were not the stigma attached.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I’d hate to run the risk of political correctness banning the language and leaving the problem in place but really I think the language used around these diseases is damaging at best. Asking for the illnesses to have any kind of special credibility is guaranteed to get up the back of people who have a hard enough time understanding them as it is. Healthy people generally cannot understand things like suicidal ideation, mixed states and depression because they have no experience of it. The language doesn’t close that gap at all in my opinion!

      Thanks for the contribution!

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  5. I also loathe the term mental illness. It just doesn’t adequately describe some of the diseases. And here is another “nervous breakdown”; what is nervous about it? What is breaking down? Truth is we really face an epiphany where we realise that we are too burdened, too strong for too long, can’t pretend any longer. Surely there is nothing broken that wasn’t broken already? I’m not sure what it should be called, and perhaps it’s just me, but I feel it needs a more suitable name :)

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      That’s a weird one, I always thought Nervous Breakdown was fairly descriptive and useful. As with MI, the problems come in when ignorant people re-appropriate the terms as a pejorative one, or an insult.

      Good contribution! Thanks

      H&J

      Like

  6. woundstofeel
    30/06/2014

    “Everything Happens for a Reason”. Fuck that! The biggest obviousism in our existence… Of course everything happens for a reason, because something else perpetuated it. Oh, I feel a blog entry coming on. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I struggle with notions of fate too. I’ve found that for the people who don’t believe in fate : “Everything Happens for a Reason” cannot provoke any response other than “Fuck you”. It invalidates the notion that it’s bad luck to have lost the genetic lottery for something like Bipolar; For me personally – I think it is unfortunate to end up with the illness.

      Good comment

      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  7. woundstofeel
    30/06/2014

    As for mental illness, yeah I don’t really like the term either. I like mental health better, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan Irene Fox
    30/06/2014

    I agree completely. The brain is a part of the body. When other parts of the body have chemical imbalances, it’s considered a physical illness – diabetes, thyroid, even allergies, etc. I don’t understand it all because I’m not a physician, but why, if there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, isn’t it still a physical illness?

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      It seems that we’re still not entirely sure of where our ‘Personality’ as opposed to our brain chemistry starts and ends. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea that eventually we will have a medical explanation for every part of our character and behaviour. I feel that eventually we will have that insight – because I don’t believe in any kind of divinity or spirituality. These things are the current labels for the bits of biology and chemistry that we can’t explain, in my opinion.

      I fall on the side of Hippocrates – it is a physical illness, absolutely!

      H&J

      Like

  9. Jenn S.
    30/06/2014

    I am totally picking up what you’re putting down: to me, the term “mental illness” is something like “male nurse.” I never refer to myself as “mentally ill.” I tell people that I have Panic Disorder, but I’d honestly never considered myself to be mentally ill until someone used that to describe my experience, and I must say that I was surprised to hear it, and thought “how quaint”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I rejected the term whilst referring to myself as Mentally Ill. My internal response to telling someone I was Mentally Ill was “Hang the fuck on. Since when did my illness put me into a specific class/category of person?!”

      Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      Thanks for the comment, by the way!

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  10. psychconfessions
    30/06/2014

    I don’t like the term ‘mental illness’ as the term has negative connotations for me. I prefer ‘mental health’ or ‘mental health problems’ . Maybe it’s because I feel that ‘mental illness’ is a disempowering term? Or because of the implication that we have ‘broken’ or ‘faulty’ brains? I suppose ‘mental health problems’ feels a more empowering term to me, as it seems to imply that mental health issues/diagnoses aren’t simply diseases, but problems that can be caused, exacerbated or triggered by the environment and the relational systems we are part of (and thus helped by changes in these factors too). I need to reflect on this more. Thanks for the interesting post.

    Like

  11. Ros
    30/06/2014

    I’m glad you said this. There is a strong and understandable movement within the ME/CFS world to put an end to the belief that our illness is ‘in the mind’. This is good, but there are times when I question what’s said by some in the ‘it’s not a psychological illness’ lobby. When it’s about gaining more access to biomedical research and treatment, fair enough. But when it’s about not wanting to be seen in the same camp as those who are depressed, I have a problem. OK, so ME/CFS isn’t *only* about having a konky brain. There are a whole host of other symptoms too. But we do have a konky brain and, at the end of the day, people with konky brains are people with konky brains. We should be working together, rather than trying to claim that one kind of konkiness deserves to be taken more seriously than another kind of konkiness. We could all do without the stigma. We could all use better research, understanding and treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nimslake
    30/06/2014

    I agree, it affects our body and mind. We are just ‘ill’, not mentally ill. Because just like a cold, it targets the ‘whole’ body.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Tales From the Looney Bin
    30/06/2014

    There are also people who take issue with saying “I’m bipolar” because they feel they are identifying themselves with the disease and prefer to use “I have bipolar disorder”. As far as “mental illness” I refer to it as a disease, much like nimslake does. Yet, I will also describe myself as crazy, so labels don’t particularly bother me on way or the other.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I think as my readership is expanding and I begin to try and hold myself accountable to certain standards these things that used to bother me less – now bother me more. I begin to feel like a hypocrite when I used a stigma-supporting phrase. I’ve jokingly described myself as crazy and unhinged, but when you do this and you realise that someone is taking you absolutely seriously because of their own views on ‘Mental Illnesses’ it gives one pause.

      Thanks for the contribution!

      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  14. transcendbipolar
    30/06/2014

    In the language of a group I used to belong to, Dual Diagnosis Anonymous, the term used was Brain Chemistry Disorder, which is really what it is. If you think about it, perception is dependent on chemical activity in the brain. We have a disorder of perception caused by brain chemistry gone haywire.

    Sadly, DDA was not sustainable, as it was self-run by people with Bain Chemistry Disorder.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. transcendbipolar
    30/06/2014

    Oops! I meant Brain Chemistry Disorder. I also have typing disorder.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. mstoywhisperer
    30/06/2014

    I’m with you 100% also. There’s enough stigma, fear, unknown, prejudice, ignorance and denial around the entire topic. We don’t need an inaccurately profiled title as well. It provides even more negative press before we can even begin to educate others. You are not alone. God Bless.

    Like

  17. Wordsgood
    30/06/2014

    I agree the term “mental illness” just contributes to the stigma. It seems to unconsciously imply several things…the sick person intellectually deficient, lazy, lacking motivation, looking for attention and sympathy…the list is literally endless.

    It doesn’t help that the medical seem, in my opinion and experience, to be divided along the same lines as much of the public. Either they think your symptoms are a simple mind over matter issue and all one need do to be healthy is to choose it. The flip side is those who want to drown you in medication. Of course that’s not true of all doctors, but it certainly seems to be the case of all too many.

    And then you have the armchair doctors. The people with zero medical training who think that they are somehow qualified to diagnose others, as well as dispense unsolicited and frequently unwanted, medical advise.

    I have dealt with major depression for most of my life, going back as far as my tween years. I’ve also dealt with an ever increasing amount of other “invisible” but very real and debilitating symptoms, including a lot of pain. Two years ago I was finally, after decades of seeking help and being brushed off by almost everyone in the medical community as being basically a wimp and/or drug seeker, with MS. My MRI scans indicate that I’ve likely had this disease for almost as long as I’d been trying to get help. Why did it take so long for someone to finally take me seriously enough to do an MRI?

    Because of my lifelong struggle with depression, of course. It was just assumed by all but one physician that all my issues could be explained by the depression and any physical symptoms were ‘merely’ psychosomatic manifestations. The only doctor that did believe me, tried very hard to get me properly diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately, all the specialists he sent me too ran the same basic blood tests that of course showed up clean, so they would write him a nice patronizing letter and send me on my merry way.

    Aside from the fact that the many symptoms anyone with a mentall illness can suffer that are indeed very *real* and can be devestating in terms of how it affects their everyday life, I think there’s also a huge danger of anyone with a mental illness diagnosis being completely written off by the medical profession. It happened to me and several other people I personally know.

    Physicall illnesses and disease do not wander into your body, take a look around and decide to leave you alone simply because you have already been given a mental illness Dx. It makes me wonder how many people are suffering that could be helped. And how many are ignored until it’s too late and end up dead from an undetected until the final stages of some disease. Or end up killing themselves because their symptoms became too much to bear any longer. I have been very close to doing that myself more than once and would be lying if I said it doesn’t still cross my mind when the pain levels are very high and I cannot get relief. (Even with a concrete diagnosis, I am still being denied effective pain relief. And this despite having passed endless tests that prove I do not have, and never have, had a substance abuse problem.)

    So yeah, *invisible* symptoms, whatever their cause, are hugely ignored and/or trivialized by the medical field and the general public. I think the biggest problem in getting any illness/disease who’s main symtoms are for all intents and purposes, invisible to both the naked eye and standard medical tests, is a general unwillingness on the part of people in and outside the medical field, to take their blinders off and accept that they don’t know everything. Ignorance is not a bad thing and can be rectified…but first you have to be willing to listen and learn. Many folks are simply not prepared to do so.

    Okay, it seems I wandered a bit off topic. Sorry about that! 😶 *climbs down off soap box and returns you to your normal programming*

    Liked by 2 people

    • cafloyd
      03/07/2014

      I think off-topic works – especially here. :-) Anyway, I’ve always hated the term “substance abuse”. It’s a whitewash term that journalists and the so-called mental health and drug/alcohol treatment industry came up with – especially after drug addiction moved off skid row and out of minority communities into the (white) middle class. Also, they wanted insurance companies to pay for “treatment” so the rhetoric had to be toned down. It’s a politically correct vomit job. If someone is an alcoholic, they’re an alcoholic. If they’re addicted to a drug – then say that. WTF is “substance abuse” anyway? Practically everything on earth that you can touch is a substance. So, if you beat on a table with a bat, you could be a substance abuser. … and that’s my off-topic for the night. ;-)

      Like

      • drheckleandmrjibe
        08/07/2014

        Substance abuse seems deliberately vague, perhaps in an attempt to be ‘polite’? I’ve got no idea. There isn’t much ‘calling em like I see em’ in much of the medical language and your assessment of things like alcoholism being recognised in the middle classes probably contributed to the prettying up of terms like Alcoholic.

        Good comment.

        H&J

        Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      Stay on that box, I forbid you from stepping down!

      The issue you’ve described is ESPECIALLY difficult for people with Borderline Personality Disorder because manipulative behaviour and ‘attention seeking’ are listed as symptoms of the disorder.

      I do find ‘attention seeking’ a particularly pernicious and vague label for a symptom, when you consider we live in the age of the selfie and imagecrafting is automatic behaviour for the facebook generation.

      Great contribution!

      Thanks
      H&J

      Like

      • Wordsgood
        08/07/2014

        Yes sir! 😄

        I had a response all typed out, jiggled my phone and lost it. Sigh. Anything larger than one or two lines I generally write in draft format outside WP. Pretty tired at the moment though so didn’t remember and now I’m too pooped to retype!

        But yes, I know what you’re saying and completely agree.

        Like

  18. Alex
    30/06/2014

    I dont like crazy – loca ;)

    Like

  19. ritlingit
    30/06/2014

    I’m not a big fan of the term “client” or “consumer” when referring to people who deal with the system and have a mental illness. I usually try to use “MI” instead of “Mental Illness” or Mentally Disabled”. Unfortunately the stigma that surrounds mental illness is so strong that not only is it an issue for people who don’t label themselves as having one (and may or may not have one,) it’s an issue for people who do have one.
    Mental illness is difficult to understand at best and even easier to dismiss it seems also. I used to talk to students in grades elementary to college age about how mental illness was not mental retardation, that shows you how ignorant the general public is about mental illness. It’s not something that is taught in our public schools either so I don’t see it getting any respect until it becomes a part of a child’s education.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      Here here! I think it is absolutely DISGUSTING that we aren’t taught anything about self-awareness or logical thinking. The fact that we’re wilfully ignorant and happy to remain so about medical conditions that affect 1 in 4 people is just mind boggling. They will look back on us in a hundred years time and say we were still in the dark ages.

      Thanks for the comment.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  20. AuthorJoePerroneJr
    30/06/2014

    As a victim of ADHD (yes, Virginia, I take Ritalin at age 69) and occasional mild depression, I am not offended by the term. Because the mind and body are, in essence, two distinct units, I view the term as just a more accurate way of discriminating between the two. Certainly we can just refer to Bi-polar as a “disease” as we would Diabetes or cancer, but really where is the harm in referring to it by an all-encompassing term such as mental illness?
    My mother suffered from agoraphobia, but, honestly, how many people would have any idea what that was if it weren’t classified as a form of mental illness?
    Labels themselves aren’t that important; what’s important is how we deal with the illness. Bi-polar and all forms of mental illness (there’s that word again) need to be recognized precisely for what they are, illnesses, and treated equally like organic diseases with proper insurance coverage and research funding.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      The harm for me comes from the fact that having a separate umbrella term for brain diseases as opposed to body diseases suggests that it is a disease of our personality, soul or character. It’s part of the reason that people cast sideways glances at the ‘mentally ill’ in my opinion.

      I agree that in certain contexts the view of the mind and body as modular units can be useful – but that particular viewpoint when it comes to chemical imbalances seems to me to only be damaging because of the above reason.

      Still – I don’t believe that the language is the cause of stigma, I just believe that it doesn’t help us deal with it and can reinforce ambiguous or ill-informed views.

      It’s difficult because we are forced to speak about our symptoms using metaphor and allegory – this makes us seem airy-fairy and without rigorous understanding of our conditions.

      It is the ambiguity that allows ignorant and prejudicial opinions to take root, I think.

      Thanks a lot for the comment!

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  21. AuthorJoePerroneJr
    30/06/2014

    Great post, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post. A lot of people don’t like the term mental illness. I have been asked recently to stop using it in a group because someone was uncomfortable. EFF that. I get your point about stigma. If we don’t stand up, take the phrase mental illness back and use it in proper context the more power we allow stigma to have. Mental Illness is a medical term. No different from cancer, epilepsy, blood disorder. An umbrella statement covering the range of mental disorders which are illnesses.
    I hated it at first. Now I say it all the time. I own it. If someone is uncomfortable when I say it, or I get the look of fear like I’m a lunatic or the blank stare – I offer to explain what I mean…and I don’t give a flying fuck what they think. Cancer use to be stigmatized. Another one for me is Rape. Took me 16 years to say it out loud. All in all they are just words. Take the power away and we lessen the stigma. Or not. I sometimes say Mental Wellness or Mental Health. When some makes me mad I do actually tell them my brain is broken but it’s on the mend :))
    PS I hate the phrase “That’s classy” …anytime I hear that I cringe and assume the person is stuck in the 1980s or has no class to begin with. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      Fair go :) If you’re going to own something so forcefully, I don’t think that any misunderstanding is in the making while people speak to you. Context lends a lot of shade to these words and in no way do I fall under the ‘political correctness’ banner when it comes to banning words or believing that language completely determines outlooks.

      Thanks a lot for the contribution! :)

      All the best,
      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  23. smswaby
    02/07/2014

    This is a fascinating post. Labels like mental illness can help a person to gain access to treatment and the label can make it clearer to a professional what they are dealing with. Labels can be reclaimed and liberated. Labels can also create bias.

    I see words like Bi-Polar, Major Depression, Agoraphobia, ADHD. But what I also see is people’s lives, dreams and hopes. Each of us experiences our world emotionally, cognitively, socially, physically and spiritually. I fear that a label becomes a definition of all that a person can be. I grew up in an alcoholic home, I experienced abuse, I responded by overeating and isolating, I experience recurrent depression. These experiences can be labelled many things yet the labels do not do justice to the life that is lived.

    This is what I hear from the dialogue, that a label whatever it is, cannot define life. Some labels are needed for clarity or for treatment coverage, but recovery means reclaiming the rest of a person’s life.

    Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. smswaby
    02/07/2014

    I also hate the term “Addict.” Everything said above applies to this label as well. Once an addict always an addict? I say BS. What about the times when a person does not drink or does not use? Or when they resist the urge to eat or look at porn? Or when they invest themselves in healthy pursuits like work or family?

    Labels can be self limiting because they tell us what to look for and what to ignore. Look for the ‘addiction’ and ignore when it does not occur or occurs less severely. We end up feeling at the mercy of our label, afraid of relapse rather than building a life that can be a path to greater health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Once an Addict, always an addict” means that during drug use and viewing one’s self as an “addict” that once off of drugs, you are still the same cool, fast, and neat person you were on drugs. You can’t change you. You don’t need drugs to keep yourself with you. Or need drugs to be cool.

      Like

  25. cafloyd
    03/07/2014

    first, just fyi, wordpress actually lets you say fuck, unless you don’t want to. took me awhile to discover this.

    also, thank you for the *like* you gave my post on … I believe it was ‘suicide prevention’ . . .

    I avoid using ‘mental illness’ – esp when describing myself, partly because I don’t think it really tells people anything. And, let’s face it, the next person I meet who does not have a mental/emotional health issue – which is usually how I phrase it – will be the first person I meet who does not have a mental/emotional health issue.

    Also, I have a question for anyone who follows this blog (as I do); right now on my blog I pretty much blast everything – photos, writing, music, rants … – but am thinking maybe a separate blog about mental health would be better – yes, meaning, maybe more people would read it.

    On the other hand, I think it’s important to show someone with these problems can do lots of things – sort of have it be part of a complete picture; rather than something kept separate because, as I’m sure everyone here knows, being isolated because of this sort of problem is devastating.

    I’m working on a post called “Another Tin Foil Hat Day” – which, in fact, I am having today. But, see, I can write this and no one would ever know . . .well, that there is something else going on here if I had not already blown my cover earlier in this reply.

    So, feedback is appreciated.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      08/07/2014

      I started this blog with the explicit intention of exploring and overcoming the illness in the context of my life and my personality.

      For the first few months I kept the content almost entirely about my illness. This fairly reflected my life at the time – these things are a full time job to get your head around at first.

      I’m striking out now into a brave new world of possibilities, in the full knowledge of my illness and how best to deal with it so far. So the content is also becoming more diverse.

      It’s a tightrope to walk but for me – time constraints mean that I only want to tend one blog. I also intend to show that these illnesses don’t HAVE TO completely define a person.

      I say go for it and diversify your content to include pertinent thoughts about the illness. You can see what kind of response you get from your readers and take it from there. You won’t ‘ruin’ anything I don’t think.

      Thanks very much for the contribution and the support!

      Like

  26. cafloyd
    03/07/2014

    Reblogged this on Walking Wall Street and commented:
    The Mental Illness Dilemma As Told By The Bipolar Bum

    Like

  27. “mental” illness is due to derivative, that the brain is the organ affected, as well in the condition the word mental again in things that the brain processes. Mental illness does not mean retarded or stupid, it means the brain and brain process. So if you see it that way, it’s not offensive, it’s all inclusive. “Mental Illness”.

    Like

  28. kate58
    04/07/2014

    “Man up”, which well meaning people love to spout to those who are battling depression. :/

    Like

  29. gnoostic
    05/07/2014

    I like the term feta, even though I have no real idea what I mean by it. it’s some kind of evolution of “Theta-wave-induced” to “theta-wave” to “Theta” to “feta” and I think of the f like the forte symbol in music, kind of gives me the feeling of pride to be a feta (chees -y I gno(sis)!!)

    Like

  30. bipolaraftermath
    07/07/2014

    Gee how about MANIC DEPRESSIVE, HYPOMANIC, SCHIZO-ANYTHING, DISORDER period!!! All is offensive to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. cafloyd
    08/07/2014

    You know, I’m on your side.

    Like

  32. bipolar2what
    09/07/2014

    I try now to say I have bipolar disorder. Instead of saying I am bipolar. I feel like this simple wording change helps me make it clear that it is a part of me but it does completely identify who I am. I may “be” bipolar but I am so much more. I am a great teacher, gifted with relating to kids, I am witty, I a beautiful, I am smart, I want to identify with al of the great things about me and although I have to accept and deal with the fact that I have bipolar disorder it is not all and it won’t consume me. I will try to encourage myself about my better qualities and try to keep others around that do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      09/07/2014

      Hey, thanks for the contribution and good for you!

      A lot of people prefer the distinction you’ve outlined here and I can completely understand why.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  33. smswaby
    10/07/2014

    What are the gifts, the surprises that come with an experience of bipolar? I completely agree that identity changes with a simple word like “mentally ill.” I like to think that I experience depression, overeating, overwork because that leaves room for the many other things that I also am. I find it helps to think about Who am I aside from this condition or experience?

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      17/07/2014

      The ‘gift’ such as it is with me is that I have a history of obsessively taking on new projects and skills, usually with a very high level of aptitude, very quickly. This has been a poisoned chalice in so far as I may have a ‘knack’ for a lot of things at first but I’ve never specialised in any one of them. My confidence has been smashed at the end of each mood cycle before I knew I was ill. It just meant that I climbed mountains and fell off them, quickly.

      Everyone experiences things differently but I had only just started to effectively harness my hypomania when I was diagnosed, and consequently medicated to not have it anymore.

      I am not a case study for Bipolar. I’m a full human being with a less than usual list of presets. My dials and gauges are set differently.

      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Chris
    13/07/2014

    Completely agree with what your saying, it’s an unneeded stigma and an added stressor. At least the doctors have come a long way, 17 years ago I was being told it was all my fault and it was just in my head, now I’m talked to like a sane person with a serious disease.

    Like

  35. smswaby
    15/07/2014

    I came across this quote by Gary Greenberg. It summarizes the idea that health is really on a continuum rather than a category(either healthy or un/healthy).

    “We all live stretched between instinct and conscience, between memory and desire, between brutality and civilization, so we all suffer degrees of the same illness; to have a personality is always to at least flirt with neurosis.”

    P 264, The book of woe.

    Mental illness is just a shade of the same experience that we share.

    Liked by 1 person

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