Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org
Sign in to follow this  
mellifluous

friendships with non-MI persons

Recommended Posts

how's that working for others?

i'm getting to this point where people who don't have mental illness maybe aren't sustainable actual friends for me. 

the thing is, though, my partner ...i've been with him for almost fifteen years (will be fifteen years in july, married for eleven)...has no diagnoses. and not like he's undiagnosed but has MI...he's got a little social anxiety, but nothing diagnosable. he doesn't "get it" in the way that some of those posting in the SZ section or commenting on my blog entries get it...but he's not perpetuating stigma against mental illness either and he's super supportive.

i don't know if it's because i'm getting older and less able (or have less patience) to put up with people who really don't get it or if it's that i have so little time for friendships now that i have a small girl that i can't put the effort in to explaining why telling me "when i get sick of taking pills that cause suicidal thinking" is fucking idiotic and super irresponsible. 

i have so few friends left, thanks to this ailment of mine, that i don't want my in-the-flesh support to dwindle further, but i'm having a hard time seeing how being friends with people who aren't mentally ill is even possible. can anyone relate? x

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any friends IRL because of my MI...I go on here and LiveJournal to get my socializing fix. It would likely be different if I could work, at least then people wouldn't find out right away about my mental illness.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kittyloaf said:

I don't have any friends IRL because of my MI...I go on here and LiveJournal to get my socializing fix. It would likely be different if I could work, at least then people wouldn't find out right away about my mental illness.

i also don't work, but i have a small girl and suspect people think i'm a stay-at-home mum. really i've been deemed "permanently and completely disabled" by schizophrenia.

i think the reason it matters to me to at least try and have some....if not friendships, then at least casual friendly acquaintances, is that i don't want my child to be the kid whose mum is bonkers. or somehow be left out because i can't seem to get on with non-MI mums, if that makes sense...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like I can't be myself around people who don't have MI or at least enough personal experience to really get it. My partner doesn't have MI except for mild anxiety, but his mom has untreated psychosis of some kind (he's tried to get her help but without success). My mom and sister, who I'm close to, have bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. I don't have many close friends outside of family ... never been good at making them, and recently lost most of the ones I'd made when I started to get paranoid. There's one acquaintance we do play dates with but I haven't really opened up to her as I'm afraid to ruin that too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate, for probably a few similar reasons. 

 

Non MI people, I go right over their heads and it’s not their fault because they can’t get it, they aren’t capable off the top of. Table door that was. It’s kind of complicated. My “delusions” have ripped a lot of friendships to shreds and honestly it’s half of why I’m afraid to even try now because I don’t want someone else other than me to fall prey to my disease. I didnt quit anticipate the off point score but I did know I mean I noticed the dear beginning. 

There was something else I wanted to say but my

thought is gone

dropped out 

 

so I’ll leave this here and sorry I’m a bit scattered this afternoon... xxx

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Schizophrenic_Sanity said:

I can relate, for probably a few similar reasons. 

 

Non MI people, I go right over their heads and it’s not their fault because they can’t get it, they aren’t capable off the top of. Table door that was. It’s kind of complicated. My “delusions” have ripped a lot of friendships to shreds and honestly it’s half of why I’m afraid to even try now because I don’t want someone else other than me to fall prey to my disease. I didnt quit anticipate the off point score but I did know I mean I noticed the dear beginning. 

There was something else I wanted to say but my

thought is gone

dropped out 

 

so I’ll leave this here and sorry I’m a bit scattered this afternoon... xxx

 

yes to all of this! exactly....exactly the problem... i fear them and they fear me and i fear for them and they fear for me...but nobody can just have a conversation instead of being overwhelmed...

 

my small girl is awake, but i wanted to read and comment quickly. talk soon xx

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2018 at 4:15 AM, argh said:

Best I can do is have friends that are a bit strange. Not to the point of having an actual MI dx, but they sort seem off and you’d occasionally wonder if they went to the doc, if they would come away with a handful of pills if not an actual dx. I know for the most part they have all had an episode of being depressed but I think it’s more just occasional normal sadness vs actual clinical depression.

i keep people I deem as normal, like white bread everyday normal, at arms length.

i can sort of pass as people, superficially, however I have been told before, not in a joking way, that the more someone knows me the more off they realize I am.

I can sooooo relate to this!!!! I really struggle (moreso as I get older) in making and retaining "normal" friends. I still go out and try, and can function on that "superficial" level, but it's all quite exhausting for me and I feel very alienated inside because I cannot be my true self, or even talk about my personal experiences. I also worry that if I get too emotional or triggered in front of others, that they will be turned off or judge me (which I don't need in my life).

Like @argh said, most of my previous friends in school were a bit "strange" ecclectic, passionate...not perfectly "well-adjusted" or part of the mainstream clique and less intimidating to be around I guess. These days, I can only get close to (or trust) people that have been in therapy or on meds at some point (and they accept that fact that I choose to stay on meds). They don't necessarily have to have the same diagnosis, but there is a deep level of understanding, support, vulnerability and empathy (that the majority of people I encounter in life cannott offer, unless they have gone through a similar crisis)..I think these traits often come with having a chronic mental (or physical) health issue.

Edited by Blahblah
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/23/2018 at 7:34 PM, mellifluous said:

how's that working for others?

i'm getting to this point where people who don't have mental illness maybe aren't sustainable actual friends for me. 

the thing is, though, my partner ...i've been with him for almost fifteen years (will be fifteen years in july, married for eleven)...has no diagnoses. and not like he's undiagnosed but has MI...he's got a little social anxiety, but nothing diagnosable. he doesn't "get it" in the way that some of those posting in the SZ section or commenting on my blog entries get it...but he's not perpetuating stigma against mental illness either and he's super supportive.

i don't know if it's because i'm getting older and less able (or have less patience) to put up with people who really don't get it or if it's that i have so little time for friendships now that i have a small girl that i can't put the effort in to explaining why telling me "when i get sick of taking pills that cause suicidal thinking" is fucking idiotic and super irresponsible. 

i have so few friends left, thanks to this ailment of mine, that i don't want my in-the-flesh support to dwindle further, but i'm having a hard time seeing how being friends with people who aren't mentally ill is even possible. can anyone relate? x

It really hasn’t worked for me. I have zero friends in my real life. I only know the wives of husband’s friends but we never hang out or talk or anything like that. Plus they all have kiddos and husband and I do not because of me. So I’m further alienated and left out. 

Husband is probably the sanest person I know. He calls himself “OCD” once and a while because he likes a certain thing a certain way, but really all he is doing is minimizing and stigmatizing the illness. I need to get better at correcting him. It’s bullshit really and he needs to stop doing that.

And now that my groups the day group therapies have been canceled I do not socialize at all. At least before I was around other MI folk for 3 hours a week most weeks. I’m still pretty devastated and shocked over these cancellations. My social skills are dwindling and fast too I feel. I’m very sad. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I struggle with it also.

I have depression and anxiety, so everyone thinks they know what that means. "Everyone gets depressed sometimes, right?" It is frustrating. No, I don't think most people know what it's like to have chronic suicidality and to struggle to bring in all the groceries or do the laundry or even just bathe. Even fewer people understand hurting so much you hurt yourself just to feel something "real". 

But people with MI? Even with different MI? They get it. Sometimes. They don't always get how severe mine is, but they are playing in the same ballpark at least.

Mostly though, I am awkward in person. The combination of introversion, severe depression and social anxiety gets in my way. That and I'm a geek. I'm different. I don't like to socialize the way people in my age group socialize (that is, in bars while drunk and listening to too-loud music). I don't have many friends IRL.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it came down to non-mi people having completely no idea what to do when I tried to confide in them...people used to get angry with me if I was struggling and something bad happened. It meant I had to shut down sharing which was just as bad cuz then I'd get anger for not being open enough 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2018 at 8:28 PM, Geek said:

I have depression and anxiety, so everyone thinks they know what that means. "Everyone gets depressed sometimes, right?" It is frustrating. No, I don't think most people know what it's like to have chronic suicidality and to struggle to bring in all the groceries or do the laundry or even just bathe. Even fewer people understand hurting so much you hurt yourself just to feel something "real". 

This is one of the struggles and frustrations of MI diagnoses. Depression and anxiety do feel so common to so many people, even if they aren't diagnosed. Many do have these diagnoses, though. And that does make them more socially acceptable. Maybe people misunderstand just how serious depression and anxiety can get, but they still have an idea of what it's like.

People with the more "serious" disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia have a much harder time getting empathy. I try to be an advocate for my illness but still fall back on "I have intermittent depression," rather than calling it what it is. Bipolar disorder. I feel like if I disclose bipolar, everything I do at my job will be scrutinized as "Is this bipolar crazy?" So I just shut up. And I'm one of the more steady and reliable employeeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't intentionally avoid non-MI friends but, come to think of it, most of my closest friends have one dx or another. I spose the mentally interesting are just more the types of people I can relate to.

I'm probably lucky in that I can "pass" for a non-MI person who is just very odd. Nobody I work with knows I have MI (I'm very careful to keep that under wraps) although they know I have some mystery medical issue that I don't talk about due to all my dr. appointments and such. Friendships with people who don't know are necessarily shallow, though. MI and MI treatment are such a huge part of my life. 

I've definitely had non-MI friends who said really stupid, irresponsible, or cruel things about my MI symptoms and treatment. They're not my friends anymore. I think I've developed much less patience for such things as I've gotten a bit older.

All my current non-MI friends are understanding and kind, even if they can't necessarily relate. They understand that they don't understand, if that makes sense. I don't have any trouble maintaining friendships with those sorts of non-MI people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rabbity9 said:

This is one of the struggles and frustrations of MI diagnoses. Depression and anxiety do feel so common to so many people, even if they aren't diagnosed. Many do have these diagnoses, though. And that does make them more socially acceptable. Maybe people misunderstand just how serious depression and anxiety can get, but they still have an idea of what it's like.

People with the more "serious" disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia have a much harder time getting empathy.

It’s not a contest. Your illness is no better or worse than mine. My point was that people misuse the words “depression” and “anxiety” to the point where they don’t even understand what they don’t understand about the diagnoses. Their empathy is meaningless.

With MDD, it is not uncommon to be told “oh, just” do xyz thing. Exercise, eat, sleep more/less, stop being sad, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, just want to be happy and you will be. As if that’s all it takes.

People who express their pain through music or clothing choices are “emo”. People who cope with the pain through food, drugs, alcohol and/or self harm are seen as having made the wrong choices in life. People who die by suicide are called selfish, the grief of their loved ones superceeding their constant inner pain.

Do you know what it’s like to plan your own death? Research methods, write a note, gather tools, start saying your goodbyes (in a cryptic way, of course)? Have you spent months or years making the deliberate and conscious decision to live each day? Any idea how exhausting that decision alone is?

I don’t see or hear things that aren’t there, and I don’t become manic and high. I have spent more than 15 years in a deep dark hole, trying one thing after another that promises to get me out... and they don’t. Society says that’s my personal failing. I just don’t want it enough.

MDD is as severe, as serious as other mental illnesses. That you disagree tells me you misunderstand too, if only because your depression is “intermittent”.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is really hard for normal people to understand depression and anxiety because they never experience true clinical illness.c They assume depression for you is like when they feel a little down or a little anxious. They try to put together their experiences to understand what you are going through. They don't understand how much bigger the magnitude is of suffering for a clinically ill mental health patient vs. what they experience. What they experience does not meet the clinical definition of major depressive disorder or anxiety.

Denial is a common way to deal with what you don't want to and minimising is another poor coping technique. People want to deny or minimise and these reactions are really hard for the truely ill to hear. That's where "you don't look sick" comes from; I can't stand it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/16/2018 at 1:02 PM, Geek said:

It’s not a contest. Your illness is no better or worse than mine.

MDD is as severe, as serious as other mental illnesses. That you disagree tells me you misunderstand too, if only because your depression is “intermittent”.

I think you fully misunderstood my comment. I used quotes around "serious" because I know full well that major depressive disorder is quite serious. It's more that people, as in the general public," think they "get" depression. You're less likely to be viewed as "crazy" for having depression. Bipolar is, overall, more stigmatized in the general public, meanwhile, many people don't take depression seriously enough.

Edited by Rabbity9
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm similarly struggling. My best friend and I (20 years) haven't been on the same page in a long time. On my part, I haven't been a good friend, which I know and have owned. On her part, she refuses to ever accept that she has caused any hurt to me/our relationship, and only seems to turn it around that all our problems are only due to my mental illness. I can't talk to her without her being utterly patronizing or downright unkind. (Even worse, probably, because she loves to couch it in phrases like "you're spiraling...", while only adding to my feelings of shame and aloneness.) She has extremely severe and chronic Crohn's, so for a while, she was one of the few people who got suffering on the inside. She says she's getting nothing from our friendship anymore, but if *I* change, she'd reconsider. 

Tl;Dr- she has gotten some therapy, I have not. On the other hand, I acknowledge personal flaws, and am sincere with apologies and trying to do better; she does not. 

At this point, after going this same way for a year, do you guys think it's something that will actually be salvageable, and is worth it? 

 

P.s. this is all compounded in that she's close with my family, and they will openly gossip about me at this point. So she will- has- told my sisters some very judgemental things, not under the guise of wanting to help; to openly and specifically be as hurtful as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't share what my depression and anxiety are like.  It would cause intense distress to those close

to me if they knew what was really in my head.  Ruminating around my head.

So there is a distance there because of this.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...