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Made myself look mental (not what I meant really)


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I had to go to my local crisis clinic 2 times in the last week and half. Very depressed and distressed. Before I went I actually took some hair gel and completely messed up my hair so I would look like shit and appear like someone really needing help. Sometimes I think it helps a bit.My hair at present is overly long (male) - I just felt if I looked a bit wacko, distressed and disheveled I would feel better about going, I also didn't change out of my track pants', didnt even put a coat on (its middle of winter here) just told my wife drive me now! Normally I try to dress somewhat respectively. Maybe I'm perpetuating the stigma of mental illness, but I think it did help. One visit they suggested inpatient treatment which I declined.

Yesterday saw my mother-in-law for the first time since this recent depressive episode and guess what I did exactly the same thing! She appeared to look at me a bit strangely, considering she is helping me out with money, maybe a good thing. I just feel showing up at the crisis clinic with nice coat and pants might leave the staff wondering - whats your problem - so I've done this before.

This probably just me being affected by my depression - I've had some fucking weird goings on lately!

Anybody else pulled a stunt like this and tried to appear mentally ill?

P.S. I REALLY DO SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS

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And what brand gel does the well-unkempt mental patient use? ;)

am.

Now that I think of it, we have many posts about how people put on a "happy face" or game face for doctors, which often keeps them from getting treatment. This is probably the first i've seen saying the opposite. :)

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this is a way around the "but you look so nice/capable/pretty/together/etc" bullshit that some therapists and psychiatrists pull as a counter to telling them you're feeling like crap.

i'll keep the idea in the back of my head next time i need my Dr. to freaking listen to me.

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Yes I am going to do this, if ever again I am at a time where I am presenting well when I am not.

One time the emerge psych doctor asked me if I was one to always take my medicine without fail and I said yes, but failed to inform her that I currently was not! I was too sick to be able to communicate. That day my friend drove me and my mood had briefly elevated from being with her so it was detrimental.

Last time the police brought me in. I'm hoping that never happens again.

My other problem is I can become very active when extremely depressed. People think I am doing well if I'll be cleaning. It is a really bad sign.

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Well, I'm known for putting up "the act". See, both my docs before I started opening up more (talking about feelings frustrations difficulties & heavier stuff) BOTH said that I didn't "look depressed". But then I even make jokes during my sessions. :)

I'd be shaking and weeping uncontrollably, then later entering the office I couldn't (wouldn't!) squeeze out one single tear. Go figure.

Problem with acting is that,

since people (including docs) think things are ok (you may even fool your own self!--look at how long I lived under denial!),

or at least not-as-bad as they really are,

then yeah, stuff ends up not getting treated right, we don't fight with the right weapons... :)

Hey, maybe it was good Reco, that at first you looked all nice and and proper (and oh-so "in control")... then one day you show up there messed up. This way they had seen you looking "normal" and boy, now this one day here comes you all disheveled and in your jammies or something, I can see how only THEN they would think "oh it must be real bad for him now" (otherwise them only seeing you discheveled... they might think you're simply sloppy even on your best days? It'd be the same as they only seeing you neat)

A good doctor though should hear / see behind the acting (and nice clothes and combed hair and the fake smiles). In theory?

He / she should know how SO MANY of us keep so much inside,

that we may already be feeling so out of control and weak 24-7, that we might not want to feel that vulnerable in front of others / them too!

(it might've been good to have a nice crying fit in front of my doc, to get it outside, but I think I would've felt embarrassed / ashamed or too vulnerable!)

Not only that, but just like lachesis keeps busy, some of us don't go into inertia not feeling like doing anything (like me), some depressed & seriously in trouble people even obsess with exercise, doing stuff... looking at them nobody would think...

Oh well, them docs... they see too many patients and they can't read our minds (they're after all also human),

hell, some of them can't even pretend they really care!

But that they let the looks of a patient impress them like that... when someone that looks daily disheveled but it's not half as in a bad shape as me (looking allways nice and tidy) goes and gets more attention / is taken more seriously...

I'll sure keep that in mind!

;)

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Heh, this made me think of the time I sprained my wrist when I was 14. It happened on a Saturday evening, and my dad had to take me to the emergency room - no walk-in clinics in the area. I felt a sort of numbness after sitting in the waiting room for an hour. My dad asked me if it still hurt. I told him that it hadn't as much. He said, "Crap, you have to make it sound like it hurts, otherwise they might not see you!"

I think I get more obsessive about hygiene when I'm feeling bad. Thankfully all of my doctors have seen right through it.

When I was in high school in the early/mid-90s, they sold a product that would give grunge followers that unwashed-hair-look even if they'd washed their hair that morning. (I had a shag at the time - meaning the haircut, not the activity - and was using it to clump my hair into waves a little better.)

I think I remember that stuff! ;)

I bet pomade could work well for that I-haven't-bathed-in-days look. You could also smudge a dab of matte gray eye shadow under your eyes to make you look more sleep deprived.

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I don't deliberately make myself look mental. But I don't try and fake anything. I guess I can look mental naturally. No make up, no dressing up, hair not great.

But even if I think about wearing make up to work or dressing up (I don't have to dress up for work, it's casual), I don't because I don't want them to think I'm all better (because I'm not). And my heart isn't into it anyway. I feel if I start to look good and better at work, they'll pile more on my workload--which they will. (They add stuff now when I can barely make it in to work.) So I guess I deliberately try to not look better. Maybe if I was really better, I would actually care.

Kind of sad. Hmmm.

Oreo

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Guilty. I had to see a new pdoc the other day, and I pulled up my hair and wore no makeup. I was still dressed ok, but I didn't want to look 100% pulled together. I've found that docs DO judge you not as whacked if you look sharp, or at least my docs have. I'll tell them I feel like shit and they'll say, "well, you look good". Duh. That's because my parents raised me to look my best (appearances you know) and I had to explain that just getting that way took all my flipping energy.

I was marching into a brand new pdoc and telling him I needed a Parnate Rx Wed, so sure, I cheated a little. Turns out I probably didn't have to with this one. He was so fascinated that I have Narcolepsy that I could have looked any way and he probably wouldn't have even noticed. It was my lucky day too. My sleep specialist, GP and I have been looking for a neuro-psych but having a hard time finding one. This new pdoc is buddies with one at our University, and said his friend doesn't really see too many new patients due to his research, but he knew he'd want to see me because he's only got one other patient with Narcolepsy. Woo hoo. It's being set up and the pdoc gave me a script for three months of my Parnate because he didn't know how long it would take for my appointment. Then he said he wasn't going to charge me for the visit because he really didn't do anything. ;) It was a very, very good day!!

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OK: to address some of the comments - There isn't one ounce of faking going on here -I HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS - THERE WAS ABSOLUTLY NO ACTING as well - GOD I wish I was just faking it - if only -I felt a little hurt by some of the responses .I don't really know if anybody was trying to imply that there was faking going on, I'm not one of those dickheads who uses mental illness as an excuse for everything - but just to clear the air a bit:

I have had 5 inpatient stays at the phyce ward - commited for 1 month - 12 ECT treatments - off work for 1 year a while ago - 3 suicide attempts - seen at least 7 Pdocs over 2 year period and bin through all the meds from A - Z, currently so depressed off work again for 1 month and in another recent post you'll see I've began overmedicating to try and get relief. I dont think I could act all that out!

Showing up at emerge with that appearance is really a reflection of how I really felt at that time

On re-reading my post, I guess the title was not the best choice of words and the tone of my post did not come across like I thought it would Maybe I've even fucked up this response!

CATERPILLAR: I hope this comment wasn't intended for me directly

But that they let the looks of a patient impress them like that... when someone that looks daily disheveled but it's not half as in a bad shape as me (looking all ways nice and tidy) goes and gets more attention / is taken more seriously...

How do you know I'm only in half as bad shape as you? We don't know each other We

all have some sort of mental illness...or we wouldn't be in this group

I'm FUCKED UP RIGHT NOW! and I don't knowing what I'm saying or writing half the god damm time

If I misread things wrong here Forgive me

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if i could just go to a doctor looking like i usually do at home when there's nobody here...

but no.

i dont think exaggerating the look is a bad idea. you gotta do what you gotta do when you're desperate.

and i know first hand how i don't get adequate treatment because i can't just leave the house without my "armour" of makeup and clothing and hair. somebody might know.... (duh, that's the point).

i just hear you man. in a perfect world there'd be a "crazyscope" they would point at your head to measure your freakout level rather than your looks or ability to speak coherently.

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Hi Roco,

I'm sorry you interpreted my post like that, I really did NOT mean you as the disheveled!

Really not.

I'm sorry if it sounded I was saying anything about you,

I was talking about me and when I said someone disheveled-with-less-problems while me-tidy-with-more-problems,

I sincerely meant someone else, in general, someone that dresses sloppy every day anyways and goes to the doc, me, go to the same doc, and this person could get more attention because he/she looks less in control,

that's all, NOTHING was pointed at you much less in criticism.

I'm sorry if it upset or offend you in any way, really.

I only wrote so much because I feel it's unfair that doctors (people in general) are affected and judge by other people's appearances too much, especially when they KNOW we put up acts and looking good and smiling doesn't mean we're not falling apart inside.

I don't think at ALL that you don't have problems, on the contrary, mine are nothing in comparison.

I think what you did was a nice move, one I'll probably even use one day! And I hope you feel / get better soon.

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Hi Roco,

I'm sorry you interpreted my post like that, I really did NOT mean you as the disheveled!

Really not.

I'm sorry if it sounded I was saying anything about you,

I was talking about me and when I said someone disheveled-with-less-problems while me-tidy-with-more-problems,

I sincerely meant someone else, in general, someone that dresses sloppy every day anyways and goes to the doc, me, go to the same doc, and this person could get more attention because he/she looks less in control,

that's all, NOTHING was pointed at you much less in criticism.

I'm sorry if it upset or offend you in any way, really.

I only wrote so much because I feel it's unfair that doctors (people in general) are affected and judge by other people's appearances too much, especially when they KNOW we put up acts and looking good and smiling doesn't mean we're not falling apart inside.

I don't think at ALL that you don't have problems, on the contrary, mine are nothing in comparison.

I think what you did was a nice move, one I'll probably even use one day! And I hope you feel / get better soon.

I feel I have a better understanding of where you were coming from after reading this. Maybe I overreacted to some of the responses - I guess I didnt get it. Anyway thank you for responding so quickly and again like I said before - Please forgive me

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Oh and I think one of the things (grounds for this misunderstanding) is how I came into this post still thinking of another recent post where me and Steve were talking about acting, how him and I act more in control and happier to other people than how we really are,

how people looking wouldn't know we're messed up & suffering.

So when I saw your post I through directly of that, of acting, NOT that YOU were / are acting (much less in the sense that you're not really in a bad shape!),

I meant how we go to doctors so often and act happier / healthier than how we are,

for so many reasons... not wanting to look & feel even more vulnerable, not wanting to open up to someone that we don't really know and who might not really care, not to worry other people, to pretend (even fool ourselves) that things are not as bad, etc...

Sorry again for writing in a hurry and not as clearly.

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I think I's horrible how we are judged by how we look. Some of us present much better than others and even at times can function better than expected but still suffer unbelievably.

There are times when I can do my homework and put on a "face" and seem ok but I'm crying every night in my room and feeling like utter hell. THough my parents don't even know why I keep switching medications.

Just a few days ago I told my therapist that I wasn't doing well, and she said that I didn't look like I usually do when I'm not doing well. It really felt invalidating. I don't think she meant anything by it, but it still effects you, ya know?

I really think doctors, etc. need to listen more and look less. Sometimes we feel like we have to make the effort to "get ourselves together" and hope it makes us feel better and sometimes we just don't have the energy. So you really can't tell.

But you have to do what you have to do. There are rarely times when I've thought "Whatever, I'm just going to the doctor." because I still see it as a professional relationship.

I think it's good sometimes to let it all hang out though. It lets people see what's going on on the inside.

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I think I's horrible how we are judged by how we look. Some of us present much better than others and even at times can function better than expected but still suffer unbelievably.

There are times when I can do my homework and put on a "face" and seem ok but I'm crying every night in my room and feeling like utter hell. THough my parents don't even know why I keep switching medications.

Just a few days ago I told my therapist that I wasn't doing well, and she said that I didn't look like I usually do when I'm not doing well. It really felt invalidating. I don't think she meant anything by it, but it still effects you, ya know

I totally relate to everything you said. I hate it when docs have told me I look fine when I feel like crap. It's happened to me more times than I can count. What's worse is that the pdocs seemed to not take me seriously because my mood seemed ok or positive. I told a series of pdocs for decades my moods were ok, I was just flipping exhaused. Of course, all the medical tests said I was fine, so the only answer was depression. Finally, one suggested a sleep study, but it took almost 20 years.

Also, when I wrote my response, I was not intending anything negative. It never entered my mind you were faking Reco. I wasn't faking it either. I could have spent tons of energy doing my hair and makeup (and it does take tons), but it wasn't worth it. And I didn't want to make a humongous effort to look like a "normal, non-suffering" person because I was afraid the new doc wouldn't take me seriously either. So, maybe cheating wasn't the right word. I guess not expending much lacking energy to put on a show is more accurate. However, I see nothing wrong with going to the doc in pj's if needed. It gets their attention and probably more so than if you went in a suit, even though it may take the same effort to put either outfit on. A good doctor should realize how much we "fake" looking good because it's expected. I used to spend all my energy just getting ready to leave the house. Not anymore. If society doesn't like how I appear, screw em.

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