I see a lot in the mental health community about stigma attached to mental health. I see it first person as well. I’m not unfamiliar with someone thinking its OK to talk to me in a certain way, or talk about my ailments like they’re a joke, or not taken seriously. One thing I would say is that even though there is discrimination towards mental illness, I would have to say my own biggest stigma is the one I put on myself.
I often think about how hard I am on myself and my mental illness. Having schizoaffective disorder is difficult because you can get paranoid about EVERYTHING! and when I say everything, I mean I even get paranoid about myself. I often doubt there is anything wrong with me, I also often believe I’m making everything up and I’m lying to everyone, including, somehow, myself. This isn’t all the time and I know 99% of the time I’m making nothing up and that those thoughts aren’t my real beliefs, and I am ill. I think this might be the first time I’ve ever said this. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone, including therapists, that I sometimes think I’m lying to everyone. My mind is really peculiar. Anyway, I think the point I’m trying to make is that I sometimes don’t take my own illness seriously, I think its not as serious as it actually is, and even when I do believe its serious I believe I don’t need the attention I get because of it.
Recently I’ve had man-flu and when talking to people I have said things like ‘I was ill the other day’ or ‘I was actually ill’. How about that! I’m still forgetting that my mental illness is an illness and that it should be taken as seriously, and perhaps even more seriously than other illness. And lets face it, man-flu isn’t exactly that debilitating, not like my mental health has been recently, at the same time as my man-flu.
There was something else I wanted to cover yesterday that I didn’t, so I’ll get to it now…..
I’m struggling with myself at the moment, especially with my worth. I think that would be the right expression. I don’t live on my own. In fact I live with my dad (unbelievable help recently). I don’t have a job. No one is dependent on me, and I’m dependent on so many people. I don’t feel like I control my life, and I don’t feel like there is much in my life. The scariest thing about all this is that I don’t see a future with these things. I imagine this is a short term thing. I’m sure I’ve felt more purpose in the past, even recently, but thoughts change, minds change, and so does the future. I’ll see where things go. I know I struggle in October and this might be a blip. Hopefully as we edge towards Christmas things will get better.