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Motoko

dealing with the well-meaning ignorant

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Grrrr, a friend made me so mad on Facebook this morning.  I posted last night that I *do* feel better after exercising, with the hashtag 'bipolar'.  She replied by telling me that DSM diagnoses get entrenched in people's brains, preventing them from getting better.  While I'm perfectly aware that identifying with your illness isn't the healthiest thing to do, I know this person, and I know that she thinks mental illness in America is an industry driven by Big Pharma and that if we all took hypnosis (from her, of course) and did other things, that we wouldn't have mental illness anymore or need to take those evil, evil drugs, because she's "seen it happen".  You can *sometimes* make mental illness *better* with lifestyle changes, but by and large someone is not going to cure themselves of their mental illness through lifestyle changes alone.  I told her not to go there, though what I really wanted to tell her was to get the fuck out of my face with that ignorant bullshit.  She's perpetuating myths and stereotypes that most people have about mental illness and basically telling me that it's my choice to be bipolar (which she has done before, though not in those exact words).  I would have bitchslapped her through the computer if I could have.  I suppose she means well, but damn!

 

I responded by unfriending her (because I'm sick of her repeated attempts to tell me my disease is a choice) and posting a small rant on my timeline basically letting everyone else know that if they ever insinuate that my disease is a choice, they will be immediately unfriended without question.  I have enough  trouble in my life without having to deal with that ignorant bullshit.

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One analogy I've heard recently is to ask people if they would "choose" cancer.

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I understand this. I had a "friend" tell me (while I was going through ECT) that aromatherapy would cure me. Of course, only the brand she was selling, which was insanely expensive. I was quite confused with the ECT, and feel like she was being very predatory, not to mention judgmental.

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I have many friends like this and as I commented on your status......I have a friend that believes my house needs to be cleansed and that I need to place crystals at the four corners and that this would cure my MI. Hahahaha, tell me, tell me, tell me true, who seems nuts to you. (Woot woot, I rhymed)

Those that understand get it, those that don't wont.

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Your first responsibility is to yourself, and you can't get healthy and stay healthy with those kinds of people around.

 

I'm glad you were exercising---I think it's good for everyone, and not just MI people.  But I'm with Wooster---do people choose to get cancer?  I have Glaucoma----is that something I can get rid of by being positive, or by being hypnotized?  Nah.

 

You're better off without this jerk in your life.

 

olga

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I can't tell anyone about my dx due to the high levels of ignorance, disbelief and misconceptions surrounding it.

It's really shitty to be forced to exist in such secrecy.

Good for you for being able to stand up for yourself!

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I was told Jesus would make me better. Nope.

Prozac did, though.

Yeah, remaining in the padded rubber closet with people just makes sense.

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I think unfriending this person was a wise choice on your part. I haven't posted an ultimatum on my own Facebook page, but then, the people I have on my page are mostly family, or my siblings' "family of choice" friends. I have a reputation as a pedant, and it's gotten to the point where I'm comfortable asking someone to cite a source when they offer me advice. 

 

I also agree with Wooster: we don't "choose" to be ill, anymore than someone "chooses" rheumatoid arthritis or cancer. That's a bunch of shit. 

 

If changing your lifestyle helps you to feel better, doooooo iiiiit. I've changed my diet, made a habit of taking vitamins, and I get off my ass periodically. These things have helped in their way. But I'm under no illusion that I'm all cured now. This illness didn't happen by changing one thing. It ain't gonna disappear that way. 

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There's well meaning ignorant ("Just smile! Life's not so bad!") and then there are assholes spreading dangerous information and trying to profit from it.

Sounds like your friend is in the latter category.

 

You dealt with her just fine. Unfriending her was an excellent choice. Good job. I had trouble doing that with people because I felt mean. It's really not mean. Not at all. Especially if it makes you less angry.

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I have a friend (was real life but haven't seen her in years) with bipolar. I let slip one day that I suffer from what I suffer from in a PM and was promptly told I was basically imagining my diagnosis and all that was wrong with me was a bit of depression, that agoraphobia wasn't what I was suffering from.


Umm what? Not sure when they got their degree......

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I was told Jesus would make me better. Nope.

Prozac did, though.

Yeah, remaining in the padded rubber closet with people just makes sense.

I published an article about being mentally ill, and the Title was: "In the Padded Closet: Stories from a Secret Life." Your post just struck me because of that.

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