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The way 'normal' people treat the MI


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With the way [ostracizement, ridicule] that people with especially less understood MI's are treated in today's society (even among the people who are supposed to be treating them, ie. "professionals"), how does one avoid becoming a misanthropic, reclusive cunt (not exactly to ticket to happiness, now is it?)?


This seems especially troublesome for those of us with very little or no healthy relationships at all,  to balance the social feedback we get from people who really don't give a fuck and want to have nothing to do with you. Wearing a mask of normalcy is tiring, and not to mention unrewarding - when wearing a mask, it's not really you interacting with others, rather than just a crude facade, something created for others.


I must admit though - I'd probably be as interested in the problems of the mentally unbalanced as the average guy if I wasn't personally affected by it, being 'abnormal' myself and having relatives with problems, too.


How do you deal?

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I haven't really analyzed my behavior in this sense, but here it goes:


I think, over the years, I've turned my reaction to these people from general anger and outward hate, which I found to often be wasted


seeing ignorance, misunderstanding, misinformation, and all actions associated with those things as defects on the parts of those individuals.

And here's the hard part probably: I still try to see it as their defect and react with "why are they doing this?" even if they are accompanying their actions with hate, anger, etc.


I'm not going to say it's easy or that I succeed every time.

But there are definitely times that I encounter people and such encounters could end up in a massive flame out, but I tried "what's going on from their point of view?" and education instead, and it seemed to turn out better.


No, it's not fair. And maybe it's not "right".

Not right that one should have to feel like a walking representative of their given diagnosis. And if you don't want to take that route, than that is really perfectly acceptable as well. 


There are other ways to deal with people.


This is just what works for me. And there are certainly days I just don't want to deal with people at all.

I think the optimal reaction, though, is likely no reaction to negativity, maybe.


Sorry you deal with so much of it.

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i have got to the point where i honestly do not care! at the end of the day there are people that love me and support me and those who want to be

a******s. I keep my illness to myself as from experience the reaction is not good.


Look at it this way! if you had a physical illness would you feel the need to tell everybody, or be expected to .



Just be yourself even through the illness and the right people for you will not care.

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I seldom tell people that I have Bipolar 1.


It is just not their business.  It is a private medical issue.

And, I try to be very, very med compliant and stay stable so I am not symptomatic.


I did tell a work friend recently and she was remarkably accepting - turns out her assistant

of many years was bipolar.


She wasn't surprised at all at my DX.......maybe I don't hide it as well as I think.


but reallly - it is your private business

stigma from doctors or other medical professionals is another issue

Edited by bpladybug
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I rarely tell people about my severe anxiety/depression (although I realize those diagnoses are not as stigmatized)..... since I agree with ladybug that it is none of their business and much of the time, I am functional. The few people I have shared with (when I was last working) were people who first shared with ME (like a type of MI-radar, they knew I would be receptive.)  


However, I have a son who has was (mis) diagnosed with Schizophrenia in college . . .  later determined to be bi-polar . . . .  who has lost many friends (he is now 35) due to two manic episodes in his twenties where he acted - well - you all know how he probably acted!    


My feeling, and I hope it is now his as well, is that you have a few true friends and/or family who know what's going on with you, and the rest of the people/public can go f--k  themselves.    I don't know if this is a very good answer, but it is the way I feel.


Maybe I will think of something more helpful to the OP later.  

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i try (TRY, not always succeed) to think about what kind of judgements i make about people i don't know.  i have a bad attitude about money and the people who have an abundance of it, for example.  i tend to think they must be terrible people who are greedy, etc.  but i don't really know that.  i'm just reacting to the stigma that my neighbourhood (ghettoish) and living in povery have taught me.  there may be rich people all over the place that i would absolutely love, if i could get past what their homes look like.  there could be people here on this board who are totally rich but i don't know it (because it's none of my business), and i might think they're awesome.


i have the same biases about religion that are all wrong.  i'm extrapolating from the dogmatic folks i've had bad experiences with to assume that all religious people are going to judge me.  that makes just as much sense as people making assumptions about me because i'm mentally ill.


so as much as it hurts to be treated that way, i gotta remember that i'm no different.

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A recent report suggests that stigma is reducing in some ways, though we have miles to go. I know that many people find mental health hard to deal with sensitively not because they hate or find mentally ill people weak, but because they feel awakward themselves at their lack of education or fears of making things worse. I think it is easy to assume that the kind of hatred and presecution that existed is why people react the way that they do. The reality is that mental health problems are so pervasive and cost so much in terms of cash that sooner or later, mental health will have to be acknowledged by society. If one in four people in the UK have a mental health problem at any point in time, one in a hundred will have schizophrenia/BPD/Bipolar (the rate of one in hundred is for each illness respectively) one in every fifty people have OCD, four in every hundred self harm and the suicide rate per 100,00 was 13 in the UK in 2011, then this country at least will have to see that. If someone doesn't have direct experience, they will know someone who has.

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