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.

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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.

I Really “Love” Coming Home

I really “love” coming home to my parents… I’ve come today after two weeks and I wanted to go back to my real home just about five minutes after meeting my mum. I think of a real home to the flat me and my boyfriend share with five other people, that’s ironic…

Well, I came home and then a friend came to bring me somethings. I went outside, just in the things I wear at home, leaving my “normal” things spread on bed, because I’m really “tidy”. I’m stressing this for the things coming. So anyway I was talking to my friend outside, when I saw my mum coming home and waved at her, convinced she saw me. I spent there another five or ten minutes and then came back, meeting my mum outside the apartment behaving like I ran away or something! I mean, what did she think? My laptop was on, my things were inside, I obviously went out couple minutes ago just in my home things… Oh and the flat was locked, so nobody obviously kidnapped me. She said herself, that she thought I just went outside for a few minutes for something, but she freaked out anyway, she said she searched the apartment (even the bathroom, what she expected, me in a pool of blood?!), she called me (I had my phone in my pocket, but didn’t hear it outside) and she was going outside to look for me. I have never seen her acting like this, saying I stressed her out so much she needs a drink… And then, a thought came to me, that somehow, she freaked out because of my mental problems. I asked her few times what she thought and she just muttered something and I really felt like she was worried so much because of my illness…and she made me feel super guilty for making her worried so much.

In that moment, I felt like I need a drink. It felt so humiliating! Like I was some sort of weird unpredictable creature that can do something stupid anytime. I know I overreact a bit, but it’s just because I get so frustrated with her. I try to understand how hard it is for them to deal with my problems, I try to answer all their question patiently, no matter how uncomfortable I get or how many times they asked the same question, but still, I feel like their looking at me as some sort of alien with two heads or something! I really don’t know how to deal with this, how to approach them…

And I am at home for about 8 hours and I feel like I need a drink really bad, well more like a whole bottle. My mum arguing with my dad over some stupid things, telling me what to do with my life and what she thinks about me deciding to end one of my studies… Yes, she means it well, trying to help by giving her opinion… And I don’t have the courage to tell her that I don’t asked for her opinion, because I don’t want to hurt her, when she’s trying so much… and I try to remind myself of this over and over again, but usually I get so tired after two days at home that I don’t want to come back for looooong time. And then I feel guilty, because my mum tells me how she misses me and how she looks forward to seing me again…honestly I feel like the worst daughter in all the world and I have no idea what to do, how to behave, how to get comfortable in all this… And I feel totally ungreateful for having so caring parents, then feeling like nobody’s listening to me here and then I usually have a panic attack. Or drink(s).

So after all this super confusing and exhausting coming home, I really need a drink. Thank God we have wine.

2010-12-27-Best played alone

 

Christmas is Coming, Yippee! Or Not.

I have to admit I’m quite afraid of Christmas time. I always feel pressured to be happy and feel good and I feel guilty when I’m not that happy as I think I should be. Also my parents think I should sit with them talking and watching TV, when all I want to do is make a good tea and read a book or watch a movie, alone… So I feel compelled to do what they want and not destroy Christmas and as a result, I’m tensed and upset. Or perhaps I just miss the enchanting time Christmas used to be when I was little, when I actually loved doing all that without thinking if I’m happy enough and if I’m not, what is wrong with me.

I love giving presents and thinking of the best gift, I just don’t like that I’m expected to spend with my parents, just so they would be happy. And I really don’t know how to explain that without them getting angry, because I have different needs. Somehow, people have hard time understanding, that I don’t need group of people around me all the time. I like people and I like hanging out with friends and all, but sometimes I also enjoy being completely alone. When I say this I see this “are you normal?” look, like it’s so weird that I don’t need other people to have a good time. It’s really driving me crazy! And I’m tired of explain this again and again hoping for people to understand and getting lot of hurt instead, because if I want to be alone, that means I don’t like them, I’m selfish because they want to spend time with me and I don’t want them and…!!!

I just hope that this Christmas will be calm and happy, but I guess I’m just naive.