Smiles XII – plus thoughts my brain is gnawing on

  • I filled the bird feeder for the finches and another feeder with food that the woodpeckers and cardinals love. I have enjoyed their visits, and so have the cats.

You know what? That’s all I found yesterday because my mind is occupied with something Dr. Chill said to me, and jokes about mental illness.

I know that I have a chronic problem with depression. I thought I had accepted the fact that this was my life. Since I have delusions that I am a warrior 😀 I thought I could conquer that black dog nipping at my ankles. I told Dr. Chill how frustrated and mad I was by wasting time being depressed. Her statement/kind of question I have been pondering—maybe this is a part of you that you have to accept. The last puzzle piece to the acceptance of myself. I have to accept it because swimming against the tide is exhausting. I could use the time to be more compassionate toward myself, and move along.

The second…you know those silly tests on Facebook about discovering your hippie name, which Beatle you are, what’s your hillbilly name, and such? The other day I saw one that asked to take the test to see how Bipolar you were.

Another was a statement….Your complete lack of responsibility for a situation you created, leads me to believe you might be mentally unhinged. (Of course this one was a hidden message regarding President Obama–ignoring the fact that we have an obstructionist Congress)

In my opinion, racism, bigotry, ignorance—and I will have to add lack of compassion and empathy, is passed down from parent to child. Maybe peers or personal experiences play a roll, but where do our peers learn this ugliness–from their parents.

….and yet my long-time friends (yes, they know I’m a sufferer) totally disregard my feelings, or those of other sufferers because the joke is funny to them.

Depression, mental illness in any form, and anxiety are not funny. Mental pain and despair is just not funny. Even though they are ignorant, I wouldn’t wish the experience of depression on anyone so that they would finally get it.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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10 Responses to Smiles XII – plus thoughts my brain is gnawing on

  1. mewhoami says:

    I don’t think that most people mean any harm when they say these things, it’s just that they don’t think about how their words could effect someone. They make, what they consider jokes, without considering how hurtful it may be to others. You’re absolutely right about mental illness, anxiety and depression. They are not funny, not joking matters, and should be taken seriously. The people who suffer with it sure do.

    • April says:

      I realize no harm is possibly intended, but they are in poor taste. When was the last joke you heard about a cancer patient, a diabetic, a person with cerebral palsy? Race and religious jokes are another matter. I believe we all think we’re a bit crazy at times, but joking about ones mental faculties is just as bad as jokes regarding other recognized diseases, race, religion, sexual orientation….

      If we are serious about reducing the number of suicides worldwide, we have to quit making excuses for the jokes which bring shame to the sufferers, preventing them from reaching out for help.

      • mewhoami says:

        I wholeheartedly agree with you. Suicide is an epidemic and joking about it is not helping anyone. It’s making matters worse, because people are blinded to the reality of it. I also agree that there should be no difference between mental conditions and any other mental or physical ailment. They should all be treated seriously and should never be joked around about.

  2. Cathy Bohlae says:

    April you are so right that this is not funny. I for one am paying a whole lot of attention to what you say and go thru. While I read I wonder how the people who suffer with these types of problems get help. I see that you have pushed yourself to get help. You will try different things to get the “cocktail” correct. I imagine you have tried pills and stuff that haven’t worked but have stuck it out and tried again and again and again. So how does someone who is further into the disease get help or how do we as a society help? I know as a society we do not have much patience so I just continue to wonder and hope that something helps. Hugs to you always April….never remember laughing at you but I am sure I laughed a few times with you!!!

    • April says:

      Cathy, I have read many articles lately about people crying out for help–trying to get the help–and ending up frustrated. Street drugs and alcohol can be a friend to the sufferers. I know I used alcohol for many years.

      I didn’t do this totally on my own, my husband keeps things in perspective for me. And I have grit—just as others don’t want to live in this type of existence, I was determined to do something other than alcohol. I made a conscious decision to be a compliant patient and I had to go through a couple of doctors until I found the one who would listen.

      Treatment can be cost prohibitive, medications too expensive.

      Some people (like me) find a way to go through the motions, some simply can’t work. Some can’t get time off work to seek help. Some doctors who are on a timeline to see as many patients in an hour don’t always listen, and the doctor/patient relationship is not a close one–the patient is a number.

      To some, depression is something to be ashamed of. They suffer in silence until they can’t suffer any more.

      Robin Williams was one who continued to muddle through life, and turned to alcohol and drugs to dull the pain his mind was torturing him with. I’m sure he had many loved ones around to support him, and he certainly had the means to pay for psychiatric treatment. So what made him choose the way he did to escape it? Only he knew, but I can imagine that his thought processes weren’t working as a normal person’s would.

      In my opinion, we need to quit joking about it and remove the stigma. There is no shame in being treated for a mental illness.

  3. reocochran says:

    I don’t think mental illness is funny and the reason why I believe it should be handled with kindness and caring is because those who deal with it are sensitive. What we say out of our mouths can hurt someone, maybe lead them to suicide. It is a way of bullying and sometimes of showing who they think is in ‘control.’ It is mean. I appreciate this place where you included being nice to others, trying to be open-minded and teaching children to be compassionate. You did an excellent job in raising your children, April. Now, sometimes I admit to others I am a bit ‘nutty’ or forgetful, but it is okay to say this about ourselves; not others. Once I noticed your comment, I realized this may hurt someone to say this, so I will be more careful and not include ‘crazy.’ Smiles!

    • April says:

      Robin, the jokes I was referring to were the ‘what’s wrong with her? is she bipolar?’ —-or, if someone does something that seems unusual to another, their assumption is that the person is mentally insane, unhinged, psycho.

      Not that I mean to sound like I have a double standard, ‘I’m nutty’, ‘I’m going crazy’ kind of comments directed at ourselves isn’t the same, I use them as well on myself. My favorite word is batty. It’s the jokes in regard to others.

      I know I can be sensitive if I am having an episode of depression, but it isn’t over the kind of comments people use to describe themselves.

  4. Glynis Jolly says:

    Although those ugly traits are passed down, we can lessen them but fighting them. When I hear one of those jokes, I tell the person it isn’t funny and why it isn’t. I don’t say any more about it and let it sink into the person.

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