So here’s the disclaimer. I’m going to be honest on this blog. I’m going to give a lot of facts and research. I’m going to post articles. Some things will be my feelings and interpretations on situations. I’m going to share stories and topics and some of them will be rather uncomfortable. All of the stories are real – from my perspective. Some people may recognize themselves in the stories and they might not like that. Obviously I won’t name people unless I’ve had a conversation with them and have been given their permission. Obviously I’m going to do my best to be free of judgment and bias but if you feel like I’m not, I want you to call me out. Because this is the point. I want to challenge your bias. I want you to feel uncomfortable because that forces you, and me and all of us to face it and learn from it and hopefully grow.
Some of you are already thinking, “here she goes again using Bipolar Disorder as an excuse to be jealous, self-centered and once again causing a fantasy drama world.” If that’s your thought pattern then I suggest you don’t follow along. Erase me from your social media accounts because your lack of compassion, understanding or forgiveness shows how little you know and/or want to know about mental illnesses and if you aren’t willing to challenge your lack of understanding well we are not going to be able to be friends. Sorry. Actually, not sorry.
Here are my top 5 things I want you to challenge and change.
1. Mental Illness – from here on I will use the term brain disorder. Because that’s what mental illness is. The medical community is moving toward that term as well. Brain imaging is being used. In Bipolar Disorder there is evidence of shrinking grey matter during a manic state. Fortunately medication to stabilize moods helps restore the grey matter. (FTR my medical facts may be off – if you find corrections at any point please feel free to share)
2. Remove terms like “that’s so crazy”, “wow insane”, or “I’m totally OCD I like all my towels folded a certain way” from your vocabulary. You mean, remarkable or unbelievable or picky so use the many words available in the English language to say it. www.m-w.com has a great thesaurus if you are struggling to find the vocabulary.
3. Taking medication for brain disorders doesn’t make you weak or a failure. I have been told by my medical professionals that I will need to be medicated for life to keep my moods stable so that I can thrive but also survive. My disorder has a life-threatening aspect and my medication will keep me safe. There are hundreds of other disorders/diseases that need medication to survive and nobody judges that.
4. I have Bipolar Disorder. I am not Bipolar. Just like I also have asthma. I am not asthma.
5. Walking away from someone with a brain disorder whether it is Bipolar disorder, or depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia etc., is a shitty thing to do. Maybe you don’t understand the disorder. Maybe the things the person struggling with don’t make sense to you or shock you or ever go against your personal belief system but get over it. This is your own personal bias and not the fault of the person dealing with it. However, just because someone struggles with a brain disorder that doesn’t give them permission to behave like an asshole. If they are putting the time into treatment I fully think that if you both want it repair can happen and relationships can be restored.
Those are my top 5 but the list could go on and on. I’m certain over time I’ll dive deeper into them and add more. What are the top brain disorder biases you would like to challenge?
Again thanks for reading and thanks for the support!