Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Comments by Billiebob

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

  • For people who have psychological or neurological type conditions (or whatever the person themselves calls it, labels at the end of the day are more descriptive than scientific) it can feel very overwhelming growing up and eventually becoming an adult. When I was 18 and started to question my autism and depression diagnosis (diagnoses?), it seemed to become about more than just me. There were the mainstream mental health folks who said I should take pills and do CBT, who told me I should be a “good depression patient” and “acknowledge and take responsibility for my disease” there were the natural health folks of all kinds, who suggested everything from veganism to putting butter in my coffee to large doses of vitamin b12 to fecal transplants (don’t google that if you’re eating your breakfast!)
    There were also the crowd who say it’s all in my head and all I needed was to go for a run, sleep for eight hours and stop eating cake, all of which I already have been doing for the last 20 years! (Mum raised me to be fit and active, so I was already well used to very little junk food and strict bedtimes anyway!) I don’t know if there’s an objective diagnostic criteria for fat lazy slob syndrome, but why the hell they think all depressed people are those things is beyond me! All these different people made me feel ashamed and judged, like maybe it is my fault, if I stopped eating tofu and started running ultra marathons instead of the regular kind and popped the damn SSRIs like candy then maybe I’ll finally be a good little patient and make all the doctors and naturopaths and even the Karens very happy and I’ll wonder why I ever bothered to go to all the trouble of faking being a very sad misfit. I get that the discourse around illness and faking it is complicated. But why do we need to go on witch hunts and force people to spend years trying all these different treatments just to prove they are “a real disabled person” or “traumatised enough” or “disabled enough” How can I possibly know when I’ve isolated every possible origin of my distress? Does life and identity need to be a court case? I know it’s possible I could have rare, hidden allergies I don’t know about. I know I haven’t tried EMDR or DBT or Gestalt therapy. What I do know is that I am human, and that if I had stable housing and a job that didn’t make me suicidal, I would feel a lot better, and could be in the world in a much happier state. Whether that is enough, whether I am “enough” is a question which may forever perplex me.

  • There are certainly a lot of rules around suffering in Western culture and other cultures probably have those too. I found when I was going through a very hard time there were rules that were very hard to interpret and some even contradicted each other. When I tell people the rules are not completely objective, they will say that we are doing the best we can, and if we didn’t have the rules for suffering and it’s expression there would be complete and total anarchy and we would all be carrying too large a burden from other people expressing their feelings to us “too much” But why are their rules the ones we should use? Why not my rules, or Evan from down the street’s rules, Chinese rules, or even none at all? How does one objectively measure “too much” suffering to express to others? Can you weigh it with a scale or measure it with a ruler? The Wiccan Rede is “As it harm none, do what you will.” But how does one measure harm to others and where it begins and ends? Even the most ardent religious fundamentalist follows the social norms to some degree. When I grew up in church, they preached boundaries as defined by Western culture, Western definitions of common sense, and backed it all up with the Bible. I always thought Jesus broke a couple norms from his culture too! 🙂 When I was younger, I thought it was okay to not conform and to break the rules, but as I grew older I was told it was the only way to exist and be a good person, but I couldn’t make sense of the rules or believe in their objectivity. I turned to a psychiatrist, and when the drugs he gave me made me suicidal I turned to several psychologists and therapists, but nothing has helped. Western norms are the gospel I cannot pin down or follow, and psychology was unable to be my saviour from myself and my suffering. I am starting to advocate for living free of the rules, but it is hard. I always feel like saying to people when questioned, “Well, I’m not a murderer, I have never felt the urge to commit an armed robbery, and I believe in compassion and have found it a far more effective tool for helping myself and others. It’s the best thing since CBT!”

  • I watched quite a bit of this show and I did really enjoy watching it, just like I enjoy watching The Batchelorette or Project Runway, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to be a contestant on them. Anyone who nominated someone for a reality show would probably do well to think about how the person will react and what they will get out of it. That being said, if I was in a dark place I would rather have these guys turn up on my doorstep than the police, a psychiatrist or a drill sergeant. (Or all three at the same time, because that’s probably happened to someone somewhere!)

  • I have been a part of the psychiatric survivor movement for a few years now after my own experiences with forced treatment. I have also survived several periods of what one might call crisis in my life. I have always felt “different” from most other people as well, and when I was younger I was diagnosed with autism. Then came the labels of depression, anxiety, hearing voices etc. My differences in relating to people and the perhaps rather eccentric way that I live my life and make choices that are different from the norm have been called all sorts of things and been put into all sorts of categories by people. I have been hated for my rejection of capitalism and praised for my creativity. In the end, after everything I have been through, I choose not to have any labels. Yes, I may be different, eccentric, extremely creative, or whatever one might choose to call it, and a lot of things to a lot of different people (everyone is really, we are all complex and have various relationships throughout our lives in many different capacities) but at the end of the day I am just me. I am me, and I am proud. That doesn’t mean that I think I am superior. I am simply a unique human being, Just like anyone.