Saturday, September 26, 2020

Comments by Megan Wildhood

Showing 11 of 11 comments.

  • I love this. It also makes me think of the double standard between the emotional labor expected of nearly all our jobs and the amount of happiness we’re allowed to expect from our jobs. It makes me so frustrated that our emotions are so managed by our workplaces to be mobilized on behalf of others yet everywhere I go, people tell me over and over again not to expect to be happy at work. It’s like I’m the freak for wanting a job I can both do well and actually enjoy while doing. I’m supposed to work in misery with a smile on my face and smile while people tell me not to expect or hope for anything less. Why do we as a society accept this?

  • Not to defend your father, but as someone with Asperger’s myself, being in a world that constantly misunderstands you but tells you that YOU are the one who misunderstands and that you’re the one with the deficient brain, and having to make your way through a loud, fast, smelly, sharp world with a nervous system turned up on high while being told you’re “too sensitive” is traumatic enough to cause PTSD. I need a lot of alone time because relating with humans who do not understand or want to understand is painful and having to deal with sensory and emotional overload is exhausting and depleting, especially when you don’t know what’s going on. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 28, so I grew up thinking I was weak, stupid and unworthy of relationships and am still trying to undo the decades of damage that believing those things causes.

  • I am so happy to come across this article! I am discovering that my passion is the intersection of theology (in which I have a Bachelor’s degree) and mental health. I’m not sure which direction to go, though, as I’m not a therapist. I’m a writer and a theologian considering mental health rather than a psychologist considering faith. In the 2,000-year history of the church, there has yet to be developed sufficient resources and support for pastors, lay ministers and others; this has kept the church damagingly silent and I want to do something about that. But I haven’t found a financially sustainable way to put these two together.

  • The problem is that, if we’re really honest about the causes of depression (and anxiety and panic and other distress), *individuals* really can’t resolve them because mental illness is a social construct – which I take to mean, an indication of failed environments rather than “made up” names and labels. We would have to work together to change society and culture, and in this society of rabid individualism, I’m not holding my breath for that.

  • What does this mean for pleading insanity in a court of law? What does this mean for removal of a president by 25th Amendment provisions? I am not a psychiatry apologist; I think mental illness is a social construct but I’m not willing to just throw those who are in enough mental and emotional distress to impair their functioning to the “shape-up, change-your-behavior” dogs, either. Trauma revises its sufferers physiology (ref: Bessel van der Kolk, among others); brain chemistry issues may not be the cause of mental and emotional distress, but could they not be one effect of environmental failure that provokes such distress?

  • I’m aware of what MIA is about (and am vehemently against the biomedical model), but wait: by “yes and yes,” you’re saying that this article *IS* to affirm the idea that bad behavior indicates mental illness. That contradicts the rest of your comment so I’m a little confused.

    Also, the whole “make better choices” story I see coming up in the comments is a little worrisome. Mental illness is a social construct – as in, an environmental failure. Poverty, racism, sexism, abuse, trauma, are sometimes spirit-breaking things to live through. Telling people to make better choices or grow up feels like victim blaming to me. It’s not that people are not responsible for their actions, but people function better when they’re loved and have supportive environments. This country doesn’t foster either of those things for most people.

  • Is the point of this article that Dr. Frances is a hypocrite? Or to affirm the stigma-producing and extremely harmful idea that bad behavior indicates mental illness?

    I hope it’s the former, since it’s absurd to claim that the president can’t have narcissistic personality disorder because he doesn’t suffer from being impaired by it. It would seem difficult by definition for a narcissist to suffer from the impairments related to being a narcissist. Is “suffering from the impairments” a requirement for diagnoses of all mental illnesses? If so, it would render a lot of them invalid: does not the very diagnostic criteria of sociopathy, for example, preclude one from suffering from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder?” (That’s also, by the way, an incredibly hypocritical criteria for the psychiatry industry to maintain, but you probably know that.)

  • I continue to ache for the loss of David Foster Wallace as much as I continue to resonate so much with what he wrote, specifically about depression. It’s hard to find those one can open up to without feeling the hot bloom of shame afterwards that is usually strong enough to deter at least me from speaking the whole truth again. So many think we just want attention – as if that’s a bad thing! Paying attention to what’s right in front of us is precisely DFW’s brilliant advice, brilliant because it is so rare anymore. And so many think that it selectively applies – and certainly not to someone in irretrievable-feeling dark who is seriously wondering if they truly are as worthless as they felt.

    One of the most haunting lines in all of poetry in my opinion was written by Mary Karr about DFW in “Suicide’s Note: An Annual”: “I wonder does your death feel like failure to everybody who ever loved you as if our collective CPR stopped too soon…” It takes work to care for depressed, suicidal people. Work that very few seem to want to do, few know how to do and many, mostly probably out of sheer tiredness or ignorance and not malice or ill will, stop doing too soon. At least in my experience.

    DFW’s younger sister, Amy, spoke about him in 2012 and, when asked to describe him to someone who’d never met him, she said, among other things, “He was an alien.” She probably didn’t mean it this way, but it is bone-crushingly lonely to feel like you’re on the wrong planet. She also said that when he tied his long hair up in a topknot, he looked like a starving sumo wrestler. She didn’t it mean it this way, either, but I think this is an apt description of those battling depression as well. At least in my experience.