Tim Lieder (marlowe1) wrote,

The mental illness stigma

There was a moment a few months ago when I thought that I might have Depression - unipolar or bipolar - and I was thinking of going to a therapist and getting some drugs for that. It would definitely explain some seriously messed up things that I've done and thought. I could also explain the reluctance to get any treatment based on the stigma. No one wants to admit that they are mentally ill (or alcoholic or a drug addict or a hoarder) so maybe I've just been dealing with this stuff on my own. That was around the time that my mom mentioned that when she went to a psychologist (according to her it was to stay on welfare benefits and not be forced to get a job) he diagnosed her with bipolar depression (or manic-depression as it was called at the time).

Not to diminish the fact that I would probably benefit from some therapy that doesn't involve me typing away on stories about doomed love and monsters, but that explains things a lot better. I just don't have the manic episodes and the lows associated with depression. A lot of it is based on external conditions - granted these are external conditions that I seek out and then pretend that I'm powerless to prevent it - so it does make more sense that I have been socialized to accept certain behaviors as normal when really they are pretty fucking outside the norm and not in a good way.

Anyhow, I was thinking about this because Pacione has been making the rounds and I don't have much of an opinion - pro or con - about that. I mean I have an opinion but it has nothing to do with Pacione talking shit about me (or my friends) and everything to do with how hard he makes it to sympathize with his plight. Part of his mental illness (I think he's depressive but there are other things - most likely borderline personality disorder) is that he is hostile to everyone and he is always attacking someone. There are many frustrated writers in the world - seriously, guys don't follow your dreams - but Nick tends to be the most vocal and most eager to blame others for his lack of success. I hope one day he gets the treatment he needs - but I think he's already getting some and it isn't working as well as it could.

Also, someone posted a news story from one of those YU papers. It was a guy who was refusing to wear his yarmulke at YU. I read it and found it pretty whiny and rather eager to take a stand where a stand doesn't really need to be taken. I left a sarcastic message, only to find out that my friend had posted that article because this guy killed himself. Seriously dude, don't let me comment on a lame article when the guy who wrote it committed suicide. The thing is that I use a different judgment for if the guy is alive or dead. If he's alive, he sounds like a whiner, but if he committed suicide, he sounds like someone who was going through some seriously terrible shit and one of the ways that he expressed himself was to act out in the proscribed manner of the culture that he was part of. If he was going to a Christian college, he would have expressed some anti-Jesus ideas, etc.

Apparently he hung himself from a tree near a public school.

Of course, we don't know why he did it, or if that article was part of the isolation that he felt in the community or part of his need to be isolated from the community by purposefully testing and stepping over the boundaries.

But the thing about it is that I just read it and thought "douchebag" without bothering to consider that this behavior and article might be part of some deeper concern (I mean a major one and not the deeper concerns that we all have). And I think about all the things that I've said and written and how much I expected others to understand and tolerate me.

So is this going to come to a "what goes around comes around" spiel? I hope not. I don't necessarily believe in karma, but there is a need for compassion and patience. Of course, if you rarely experience compassion and patience how are you going to act compassionate and patient? But then again if you never act compassionate or patient, how are you ever going to expect others to give you the benefit of the doubt?

And why does the "oh shit, I should be nice to this guy" only kick in when there is a suicide or something drastic?
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