Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic

Young yet so wise, he made me cry, because it’s such a relieve to hear someone say, that being depressed is ok, that I don’t have to be ashamed.

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Suicide and Homicide, the Role Models for Mentally Ill

One of the inspirations for this entry was an article from another blogger living with schizophrenia. I recommend you to read it: This Has Been Heavily Edited to Suit All Audiences.

 

Role models. Those are people who inspire us in some way, we want to achieve what they did, look like they do or something like that. We try to imitate them, behave like them, dress like them, talk like them, so we can have something they have. It might be a successful person in bussiness, it might be our parents, it might be a fictional character and so on. The “fun” starts, when you have some mental illness. Oh yes, looking for someone to inspire you is…well, bitter to say the least.

I tried to think about some famous people in my country with mental illness. I came up with few, one died of heart attack at pretty early age, one combined alcohol and pills and the combination was lethal, one died in mental hospital, because his illness got worse, the other two comitted suicide… When it comes to famous people abroad, some singer, actor, politician, just someone, I can’t come up with anyone. Well, I can, but Robin Williams also comitted suicide, so…

And that’s the “fun”! Think about representation of mental illnesses in media. How many fictional characters can you come up with that are mentally ill, but have normal happy life? How many of these stories are in news? Honestly, I can’t think of even one… But how many fictional villains are mentally ill? They are depressed, schizofrenic, just twisted personalities… Yeah, maaany… And news representation? Oh yes, stories of a mentally ill murderers are common, just think about the last one, which inspired me to write this blog.

The German pilot crashed a plane in Alps and killed 149 people and himself. That itself is terrible, but at least for a week media was full of him being depressed as the reason for this act. I stopped reading articles about this right after this discovery, it was too much. Unfortunatelly, I wasn’t spared the “depressed people are crazy” sort of comment and it actually came from my partner… He read some article and then said something like “it turns out that the pilot was crazy, he was depressed”. I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember the feeling. He sat with his back to me, so he couldn’t see my face, but I felt like I froze in place. And then I got really angry, thinking if this is what people think about me behind my back, that I’m crazy. Then I got bitter, wondering if I can actually be angry about that, considering what is the media representation of mentally ill people. And then I just got really tired of this situation…

We are portrayed as crazy people who cannot control themselves, who are just incapable of living normal life. Which is harmful in so many ways. First of all, think about the people who just realized they might have some mental problems, but are afraid to see a doctor and get treatment, because they are afraid of being labeled as “crazy”. Second, think of the people who are living with some mental problems, what are the messages they get, there are no role models for us, who would give us hope that we can live pretty normal life despite our problems. Yeah, our self-esteem might get really low because of this at times… Third, think about our families and friends, how are they to cope with our problems, when the messages they get are again that we are crazy, unable to control ourselves, our lives are doomed. Fourth, what about the strangers we meet, for example when we apply for a job, should we tell them, will it influence their opinion about us, will they think us uncapable of performing the job? And so on…

As I was looking up some mentally ill famous people, I made a mistake and read some comments under the articles about their deaths. And there is was, some people writing that people just need to work more, that they make this up to feel important or different, that they are just weak, because nobody strong would ever fall for such a nonsense. Oh and one saying that living with such a person (meaning mentally ill person) is something nobody could ever stand for more than few days. It felt really “great”, but it didn’t really surprised me…

It makes me frustrated and tired. I would really love to see someone out there, who I can relate to, who has mental problems and is happy and living normal life. May be even famous and successful. I’m tired of media emphasizing the fact that some murderer was mentally ill in a way to say “you see, normal person would never do that, this is just a crazy person”. Or in the case of the pilot, it is “you don’t have to be afraid of flying, this is just an isolated case of crazy person, nobody normal would ever do such a thing”. Which feels very “supportive”. I’m tired of questions popping up in my head, wondering if I actually have a chance for normal happy life, wondering if this is not exactly the reality that awaits me, ending up as another one commiting suicide, because they can’t take it anymore. I’m just tired of all this. And fed up of dealing with this everyday.

To My Dad. You Will Probably Never Read This, But You’re the Best

I’m getting more crazy than usually… Or more drunk. Or something in between or something totally different. I just saw new trailer for Star Wars VII and it just brings so many memories. SW is one of the things I share with my dad, but it also made me realize how I don’t know him. Don’t worry, my dad is still alive, but still. Just this past year I slowly learned to tell my parents that I love them. But I also learned, that I don’t know my parents. Especially my dad.

When I was pretty young, he started working in another city, commuting there for better job and better pay; my mother was pretty much the “boss” of our family since then. But my dad has always been the one to support my sister and me in our reading habbits, we have lot of fantasy and especially science fiction at home. We had had Lord of the Rings way before the movies, before it became fashionable, the same with Hobbit. My sister got some big books full of illustrations inspired by Tolkien years before LOTR came to cinemas. And yes, I loved Legolas way before Orlando Bloom :-).

I remember being really young (I guess about four five years old) and my dad watching some movie, on VHS, rented, so yes, it was yeeaaars agoooo. I really liked some whistling robot, but my dad told me I was too young for this movie and he would rent it again when I would be old enough. Yes, it was Star Wars, but I don’t know what episode, four or five I guess. I remember watching the movies years later on TV and my classmates laughing at me for my teenage crush on Han Solo, because the actor is like generation older than me. Strangely, most of my favourite actors are generation or more older (Sean Bean, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons…and that’s just some…). But yes, I fell in love with SW, I think episode two is the one I went to see with my dad. I also remeber seeing episode three two times in cinema, but no longer with my dad.

When I heard the title melody tonight I just cried. It’s something connecting me to a man I wish I knew better, but don’t know how. It’s like me saving his old guitar, out of tune and not really repairable, but it’s something his, something I don’t want to give up. I wish to have the courage to talk to him. I love him, he’s my dad, but I know so little about him. Crazily, my fianc√© is a lot similar to my dad. Crazy, or common, I don’t know. One day I will be watching SW and crying, because I will remember my dad and all this. SW will always mean my dad, always.

 

Dad, you probably won’t never read this, but I love you. You’re the best dad I could ever wish for and I’m so proud to be your daughter. Love you Dad.

There Are So Many People Out There

I went to my psychiatrist to get a paper to school, so I can ask for lower tuition fee and I found there a poster for a website about depressions. I decided to check it, because I want to learn some more information about my disorder and to find some professional staff I could post here, beside of the creations of my malfunctioning brain.

It was a good and also bad decision. Good because there really are useful information for me and also for people outside these problems, bad because the web has a section for personal stories… So many people! I mean literally, so many people asking, if their problems are normal, if this is curable, saying they’re exhausted of all this. It almost made me cry, because I wish I could tell all these people, that there is a chance for them! That what they’re going through is hard and painful, but it doesn’t have to be like that, that they are not weird or broken, because they feel this way. How is it possible that so many people still have to suffer the pain and shame and exhaustion, because there is a lack of information about mental health?! I mean, we can travel to space, we can travel pretty much anywhere anytime around the Earth, yet some teenage girl writes there that when she talks about depression with her parents, her mother laughs and her father thinks she just wants to skip school! It makes me so angry! I was that teenage girl, afraid to tell her parents, afraid to tell my friends, putting up a mask of perfect daughter, perfect student, yet inside suffering terribly, desperately wanting someone to tell me that I’m not making this up, that I’m not alone, that I’m not crazy! Well, when I told my friends, just about five of them actually tried to understand, the rest thought I’m really just seeking attention, so I can understand the girl’s fear. How is it possible that we learn so much about physical health, we know what to eat or don’t, what is healthy, what sports are good and so many stuff, but we don’t learn about mental health?! How how HOW?!?!

Next time someone asks me why I need to “advertise” my depressions, I’ll tell them that THIS is WHY! If I can spread the word about mental disorders to just a hundred people there, most of them my friends on facebook, than I DID SOMETHING! If I can change what just a few people out there think about mental problems, show them that it’s nothing weird or unnatural or laughable or weak or despicable or just bad, then I do a good job! If I change the world just a little little bit, then it’s worth opening up and writing about the darkest thoughts and feelings my mind can produce. Nobody deserves this, NOBODY! I just wish I could hug all these people and tell them that it will get better, tell them, that they are not alone… but I can’t, so this is the least I can do.

Slovakian Referendum and All the Thoughts My Mind Created from It

This is my thoughts surrounding yesterday referendum in Slovakia. There is nothing super informed in this piece, I just need to clear my head from the huge amount of thoughts that is there.

The referendum was basically about homosexual weddings, homosexual pairs adopting children and sexual education. I have to say I’m glad it’s invalid because of the low turnout. I also have to say I didn’t read all the stuff connected to it and I didn’t follow Slovakian media, but all this just got me thinking. What is so wrong about homosexual weddings that some people feel the need to “protect society” from it? Why is it so bad that a homosexual couple would adopt children? Or that children would be educated about various sexual things at school?

Take the sexual education, the question was about obligatory sexual education that children would have to participate even their parents or themselves didn’t agree with content of the course. It’s weird, really. Probably every family nowadays has at least one computer with internet connection, children have smartphones with internet, how can someone think that they won’t know anything about sex unless they are taught that at school. And even if some parents decide to control every page their child visits, the children have friends who have internet, friends who have information… And sex is everywhere, look at some advertisement, so many adds I see have naked men or women, even if the product has nothing to do with them… so many adds are simply sexist. And what about songs or movies? That’s all full of interaction between people (and not only heterosexual), from flirting to anything else. When you don’t talk to your children about sex and everything connected with it (sexual abuse, contraceptive methods…) you’re just making them super vulnerable! And what if you decide to tell them that only heterosexual is normal and they “fail” to be that. Well, congratulations, you “created” a person, that will always be ashamed of who they are, that will never be opened to you and that will probably hate you because you made them hate themselves. What an accomplishment! (*sarcasm sign*) And if they are heterosexual, you’re spreading hatred anyway, which is still wrong, in my opinion.

And why are people so offended by anyone not heterosexual?! I hear tons of s**t about “traditional family” created only by man and woman, which really just makes me laugh. What is traditional family? If it is man and woman only, what about all those divorced couples? What about single parents? When people get divorced, should we take their children away, because they are no longer “traditional family”? Well, as far as I know, about 50% of couples get divorced, that’s a lot of children, what are we going to do with them. Another argument I keep hearing is that children need both man and woman role model, which also makes me super angry. Again, when a couple gets divorced, what role model is that? Or single parent, where is the other model? Well, they are usually replaced by someone else, another family member, may be a teacher… And how many children have such a great relationship with parents that they take them as a role model? Or what about abusive families, is that a good “traditional family”, because the parents are together? Or is that a good role model for children? I don’t think so.

And why so many people even insist on keeping marriage just for heterosexual couples! I understand why non-hetero people want it. I really want to get married one day and I cannot imagine not being able to just because of my orientation. For me, marriage is something amazing, something I truly wish for, without it the relationship just doesn’t feel completely right, but I’m heterosexual, so for me it’s not a problem. But I cannot imagine feeling this way about marriage and don’t have the opportunity to get married, that really feels terrible. Why should someone be denied this just because they aren’t heterosexual. And when a heterosexual couple doesn’t want to get married, should we deny them having children, because they are not “traditional family”? Some people just act like marriage is the most important thing in the world, when for many people it doesn’t mean a thing. For me, it’s important, for someone else, it’s not and that’s ok. But that doesn’t mean we should take away marriage from people that actually want to get married, take away they freedom to choose.

And why shouldn’t children be raised in a non-heterosexual family? Just because the couple cannot adopt a child, that doesn’t mean they cannot “obtain” a child some other way. Being heterosexual doesn’t automatically make someone a good parent, it’s about what kind of person they are, not about sexual orientation.

I just “love” all this talk about anything traditional and why should we change something etc etc etc… Well, some decades ago, a traditional family was man working, making money and controlling the family and woman sitting home, being good wife, not having any chance to express her opinion, no chance for education, no chance for career. Is this a traditional family? Or is it even more time ago, when woman was considered a man’s property, something being transfered from her father to her husband, without her having no right to say anything? Just because something has been in some state for some time doesn’t automatically mean it’s good.

Ok, end of my rant, I emptied my head of some opinions. All this hatred and prejudices and all makes me sad. Although I don’t have the experience of non-heterosexual people, I do know how it feels to be bullied, hated, how it feels hating myself, being depressed because of that… And I don’t think this is the right thing we as a society should deliberately create, that’s really wrong.