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Wife: "Bellatrix Lestrange is so psychotic."

Me: (Scratches head) "How exactly is she psychotic."

Wife: "She kills people and enjoys it."

Me: (Face-Palm, and leaves the room)

So yea, I've been dx'd with SZA-bipolar since February and my wife apparently thinks psychosis is the same as psychopath. So I have to wonder, does this mean my wife thinks I would enjoy killing people? You'd think she would do just a little research about the affliction that affects me, or at least listen to me when I EXPLAINED IT TO HER .

Sorry for the anger venting. This really got to me when I realized the person closest to me doesn't even know what's going on with me.

So anyway, it got me thinking. What exactly did I think psychosis was before I got sick? Well, I guess I thought it was just disorganization and speaking gibberish. I never thought it had anything to do with intended violence. The only time I'd ever thought of psychosis and violence together was when someone psychotic thought they were acting in self-defense. I knew that psychopaths/sociopaths were a completely different kind of problem.

So this leads me to a different question. Exactly why do people think psychosis and psychopath are the same thing? Because they sound similar maybe?

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Sharing your feeling...

Harry Potter convention: "Bellatrix is mentally sick, she's so bipolar" ... Bipolar? How exactly is she bipolar? Do you know what bipolar is? Just "crazy"... good.... So, yes, 'normal' people are clueless about MI.

 

 

And, yes, it "sounds" the same,  so if you don't have a specific education about it, you don't know it. When my pdoc told me "so you are not psychotic" I had no clue what she meant, just because nobody had ever told me what "psychotic" meant, I just knew from tv shows that it meant "not fine"

 

 

So... how much does she know about your diagnosis? It's not necessarily that she is not paying attention, but it's easier (at least for my parents) to 'forget' all the names of what I have, and see me as 'needing some help'. Refusing to remember the names is their way to say "inabook is not crazy". It's uneducated, potentially hurtful because it means that they do not exactly want to see me as I am, but it is their way to protect themselves, and to say that precisely, they don't think I enjoy killing people...  I cannot know about your wife, but I am just offering one potential point of view.

 

I hope you get to explain what psychosis means and communicate with your wife about it.

 

(Sorry for intruding on this forum, and I hope I am not being unintentionally offending by doing so, it is not my aim at all. The 'Bellatrix' reference just reminded me so much this incident from one month ago)

Edited by inabook
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i am thinking maybe she just misused the word. it doesn't necessarily have to mean she has no clue what's going on with you. although i understand why it might feel that way. does she still try to understand what you feel? ask you what's going on? listen? that's important. i would focus on getting that from her rather than her ignorance about mental illness. 

 

i've often heard people use the term "anti-social" to describe being a little introverted. i've heard people use psychotic to mean angry, vindictive, upset, etc. sometimes people say it's bipolar to have a mood swing, or change your mind quickly. they don't understand the whole scope of the meaning of these words or what they actually mean. they figure it's similar, or they see it fit. i get annoyed.

 

 

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why do they think they're the same thing?

 

i think it's the misappropriation of clinical terms into the vernacular.

 

i can also see the similarity in how the two sound...but i think it's one example of a much larger issue about how clinical terminology finds it's way into everyday speech.

 

and...the really shitty thing? it's NOT just limited to those without mental health issues.

 

i can't even estimate the number of times someone *with a mental health diagnosis* has called a person "psychotic" when...no...s/he is NOT psychotic...a bitch? sure...a self absorbed asshole or whatever? sure.  but psychotic, technically? no.

 

people also say things like...in response to how's you, etc...i'm...paranoid/manic/depressed/etc...when they're not *actually* any of those things. 

 

another thing that fucking grates on my nerves is people calling situations or events or pets or anything, really "schizophrenic" or "bipolar" or "so adhd"... related to that...when people say they're having a ___ day or they're so ___ today...it makes me want to slap their face offa their face at times..because it's so... it's offensive, frankly.  my reply to such crap, particularly when the adjective used happens to be my diagnosis MISused... is to point out what assholes they're being because if they were really having a "schizophrenic" day...or "paranoid" etc...there's a solution to that and it's called haldol and i'm happy to ring a ride to the hospital for them.

 

it just annoys the fuck outta me. 

 

but i see it as an extension of that whole...trend toward, like...ever notice how, general people...how often do people say "i'm sad" or "i'm lonely"? no...there's more gravitas to saying "i'm depressed"...which...i think undermines mental health concerns being taken seriously. because those same people who claim they're "depressed" when they aren't clinically depressed...are the same ones who will turn around and be all...well...i would never take medication...i'd just turn that frown upside down/get some sunshine/eat more fruit/whatever and they then generalize their NON experience with depression into what's legitimate for everyone who is ACTUALLY dealing with depression.

 

what sucks is how much i see it in some mental health circles as well. it's like...it's almost like some fucked up symptom/illness presentation competition.  i've also seen it morph into a medication/"severity" of ailment competition at times.   

 

i know i'm a bit off your topic, but i do see it as in the same vein as misusing terms/being ignorant of definitions because what happens is that they outnumber us, basically.  and by "they", yes, i mean people without mental illness who don't really understand what they're talking about but slinging the terminology nonetheless...but also disturbingly more often than one would like to think "they" can include people who have some flavour of mental illness...but not the one they're minimizing/mischaracterizing...and that "they" is the fucking sad majority and what that creates is a culture that is either woefully or hostiley ignorant and yet they BELIEVE they are well informed.  they think they know what depression is...because they've been blue...that they know what psychosis is...because they saw a newspaper that used that word and went on to describe someone (seemingly) without empathy/social conscience who committed this or that heinous crime.

 

back to your situation though...your wife...prolly just needs more information and hopefully is amenable to revising her definitions as more information is made available to her :-)

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Honestly, I think my wife tries to ignore my illness. When I was first diagnosed, she didn't believe the diagnosis. She agreed with the bipolar part, but not the schizo part. Then again, she originally thought schizo was DID until I told her what it really was (I was guilty of that assumption too a few years ago, mainly because of that damn Jim Carrey movie.) Even after I told her what delusions/paranoia were and I went down the list of symptoms that I have, she still had trouble believing the diagnosis was correct. I thought it was denial, but I realized that I live so much inside my own head that she didn't really see my paranoia or delusions for herself (eg. When I thought she was dosing my food, I just refused to let her bring food home alone, I would go with her.) So my behavior wasn't obvious to her. Either way, after I was diagnosed, I explained my paranoia as psychosis and told her what psychosis was. That's why it baffles me that she still thinks psychosis = serial killer.

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usually people don't even realize what they'r saying. i've made some bad remarks in my life, used the word crazy not in a literal sense whileforgetting that other people do take those sorts of statements literally. I can't ssay how often I have heard people describe the wether as schizophrenic which only demonstrates how skewed people's ideas of words are...or perhaps more accurately would be to sy how bastardized our vernacular is...we don't respect language much and it creates a tower of babel effect. but digressing, in the hospital there was always a lot of stigma with patients too, like melifilous said...people on the ward and sometimes nursing staff too would still treat the "crazier" people badly. I know a lot of patients were afraid of people when they came in with restraints (ironically this was usually for patients who were a risk to themselves not others, it was falling patients not violent ones) or when people found out someone's diagnosis. Saying you were there for suicide wasn't as bad as saying you had a mental health issue, even among people with mental health issues. I did it too. sometimes i was scared of patients because i didn't know what they would do. other times there were people on a lot of meds...they talked funny and shuffled and drooled and people treated them like they were idiots....they didn't see in their eyes that they were still cognitively capable of knowing when someone was mocking them, I would see how frustrated they got because in that hospital if they "looked" the part of crazy, people would write them off. Patronize. Wouldn't even try to listen to them because they were crazy anyway...for all I know they might have thought the I was crazy too though. My friends from eating disorder treatment all left me when they started to think I was "really crazy" as if refusing sustenance and vomiting it wasn't already crazy behavior, its culturally sanctioned insanity. I think its just a human thing to be wary of differences though, and everyone is different in varying degrees. 

 

Most people don't have experience with MI outside of sensationalist news stories or movies and both are more concerned with being intresting than accurate and people find morbid things interesting. insane asylums. criminality. they don't think about how it looks in the real world, that its not so exotic maybe. i do get worried that because of those kinds of rampant misunderstandings that people will think I am dangerous. I had a friend who doesn't know my MI issues say that she would never befriend a schizophrenic because she would end up in a ditch somewhere. My own boyfriend said once he was afraid of me because he didn't know if one day i would actually try to hurt him, people think when you "go crazy" you lose your humanity. He didn't think human me would hurt him, but maybe the me that he doesn't identify with when he thinks I am sick. people are very afraid of  the unknown, if the constitution of a person's psyche is very different, it must be very scary. people don't know what to expect, so they expect the worst and its bolstered by the media. Every X-Files episode I ever watched that had a schizophrenic in the plot involved some sort of delusional hostage situation where the schizophenic was going to shoot a bunch of people. Things like that stick. We hear stories of people snapping. Whenever someone does something sick, people speculate about them being crazy because only crazy people do sick things to other people,they're deranged. most people don't know that people with MI's blend in all around them every day, they just don't know it because no one ever told them what to look for. I think another issue is not wanting to believe that "normal" people can do what we believe to be something "crazy". I know I used to almost hope my parents were mentally ill and still do because it would help me to explain their abuse or neglect. I guess everyone can use mental illness as a scape goat for human cruelty.

 

sometimes its so innocent though. my family might have some idea about MI, they might still view it as something a little scary and exotic because their lack of education makes it beyond their comprehension. Most people think I have split personalities when they hear the schizo part. my ED made everyone assume I was vapid and self absorbed and just needed to have my self esteem boosted. Other times because they don't know what my conditions actually mean they start rattling on about having to pull up my boot straps and how one time they got depressed because they think all MI is related to depression/depression is all they can relate to me on because they don't witness or experience the other things. Its irritting and sometime hurtful but its all out of their lack of awareness. the few times i had a therapist explain things in lay terms to my family it helped. its not that they don't want to understand, they just don't yet. i'm sorryy its very frustrating though in the meantime!

Edited by kitkatt91
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My mom thinks my psychosis is funny and cute. <_< 

 

'Normal' people definitely don't get it. 

 

My brother said to me today, "I don't wanna be one of those people that has to be doped up on drugs to function." 

 

Needless to say, I was extremely insulted and told him off. 

 

People's ignorance just astounds me. 

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I'm perhaps guilty of misusing the phrase "antisocial" in describing myself.  I never realized I did that.  

 

When I first got out of the hospital my whole family would tiptoe around certain words.  Like my father used the word "paranoid" once to describe his fear/anxiety over something, and then apologized profusely as he remembered my paranoid delusions.  Which was really worse for me than if he had just used the word "paranoid."  I don't like feeling like I'm being handled with kid gloves.  

 

But, yeah, I agree that the misuse of these words is irritating and offensive.  

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Drives me nuts when people misuse psychotic.  Or use schizophrenic to refer to DID.

 

But I am also a shockingly pedantic person, so it bothers me partly b/c of the ignorance, and partially b/c it's wrong and that on its own is fairly offensive to me. 

 

(I, of course, am never wrong.  HA)

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[...] afraid of people when they came in with restraints [...]

 

Sadly, that was me : ( They tied me down from the moment I got into a hospital. Funny thing is, even though my report (which I read much later) said I supposedly mentioned the possibility of killing an undefined someone, I highly doubt I would have been able to hurt anyone, even myself. The nature of my delusions, difficult thing to explain, made me, I think, the most peaceful person in the world. I wouldn't have killed a bug in that state, but still, they tied me down for days... which I obviously didn't like (although I can barely remember it).

 

 

On a separate issue, WTF?! Really? Funny and cute? My parents barely understand what I go through when psychotic but they surely don't call it funny and cute.

 

My mom thinks my psychosis is funny and cute. <_<

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Yeppers, Lemmiwinks. Sadly. 

 

I was floridly psychotic and rambling on and on to my mom about how the sun wanted me to kill myself and she was laughing the whole time. Nervous laughter? I dunno. She also said I was cute and reminded her of my uncle (her brother with schizophrenia). My mom is a strange one. 

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I have only had one episode of hearing voices and having delusions, but when people found out, everyone thought it was a joke...even though I had been hospitalized...nobody could understand what it was like to hear things inside your own head...the hospital told my husband I was having a "psychotic" episode and he was the object of my delusions so he couldn't visit right away...so of course he took that to believe I was out to kill him at first...people don't realize that one slip of the toungue can change the way your viewed...i have heard that I am too smart to hear voices or that its just that weird noise everyone hears when they are nervous..."normal" people try to talk you out of your symptoms cause they want you to be normal too...it makes it easier for them to cope...

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They're just people.  People by and large are stupid, ignorant individuals who say some obscenely uninformed, thoughtless things.  Just listen to talk radio or read YouTube comments, they aren't focusing their ignorance on MI, its just one more thing they spout off on.  

 

Unless I'm being hit over the head with the discrimination hammer overly hard, I tend to let things slide.  After all, I'm sure I say a bunch of uninformed shit about things that are important to others.

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yeah, it could be offensive.

 

my family has finally come to terms with my psychosis after I was in the hospital for 2.5 months. Sometime they tip-toe and it bothers me but what else could I expect?

 

but there are ignorant people out there and sadly we just have to learn to deal with them, cause they're not going to go away.

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Back in the olden days everyone that was mentally ill was called a "psychopath"(or hysterical or some other crap I don't remember).  It wasn't until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that things like schizophrenia got their names.  I think that's probably a part of why.  Old habits die hard? 

 

Also, psycho is the root in both of those words, it's no wonder people get confused if they know nothing about MI. 

 

What really pisses me off is when people hear "schizophrenia" and then they ask, "how many personalities do you have???"  :wall:

Edited by Schizophrenic_Sanity
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