Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stigma Hurts: Real Life Examples!



I have been working on the blog post that I mentioned to you recently for a few weeks now. I am having trouble figuring out exactly how to put part of it into words. The inspiration will come to me eventually it just may take me a little while longer, my apologies. In the meantime, here is something else for you to read, something that I believe to be so incredibly important. 

From time to time, I will ask a question on the Kissing Stigma Goodbye Facebook page and some of the individuals that like the page will post their responses.  Recently, I asked a question that is extremely relevant to part of my goal behind this blog and behind my Facebook page… fighting the stigma of mental illness. In this blog post, I am going to post the question I asked, along with the responses (word for word) that I received from fans of the Kissing Stigma Goodbye Facebook page.
The discussion below provides real life examples of the hurtful things that people say to individuals living with a mental illness. You can’t get any more real life than this, each of the responses below is an example of something or multiple things that have been said to an individual who is living with a mental illness or a loved one of an individual living with a mental illness. Many people don’t think about the things they are saying, I like to think positively and believe that much of the stigma comes from ignorance and not from hatred. Making individuals more aware of how hurtful the things that they are saying is of the utmost importance in fighting stigma. Everything you will read here is a real life stigmatic phrase, let’s all work to be more aware of the things we say. These things hurt whether the intention behind it is ill or not, they still hurt. Please take the time to read through what the amazing Facebook followers of Kissing Stigma Goodbye find to be hurtful. 

I have turned every individuals name into “Anonymous” and you will see “Kissing Stigma Goodbye” a few times throughout which is a response of mine throughout the conversation. I didn’t really make any changes outside of ensuring that no individuals name was used so everything is copied and pasted just as it was written by the individual.

This was the original post by me: 

Kissing Stigma Goodbye One of my most hated things that people say... "Bipolar disorder is just mood swings, everyone has mood swings". What is your most hated thing people say about BP or mental illness?

Here are the series of responses that followed: 

Anonymous "everyone has issues concentrating, and sleeping, and has mood swings, you're just calling yourself bipolar for the attention"

Anonymous You can get over it. Ugh I hate that.

Anonymous "You're not really bipolar. You take too much medicine. You just need to go off all the meds and you'll be fine."

Anonymous It's just in your head!

Anonymous I hate when ppl say u shouldn't have kids bc they automatically think its going to b passed on 

Anonymous "they should lock you up"

Anonymous Its all in your head...doctor said i have it too and i dont need all them drugs and i work.

Anonymous "snap out of it, you are just being a spoiled brat" is what I hate to hear the most.

Anonymous Youre just lazy...hou get a fat check. Omg makes me so mad

Anonymous I hare it Whenever anybody tells me that they're feeling 'bipolar today' ... AND I really don't like it when in trying to make a point in casual conversation someone in my family asks me if I've taken my meds today. Seriously people? Just because one is diagnosed with bipolar disorder it doesn't mean you can't be passionate or outspoken. And don't tell me you're feeling bipolar 'cause it's not an emotion!

Anonymous I don't have a "pet peeve" so to speak about it. ANYTHING said about someone who is suffering these or other ailments pisses me off. I'd love to just Smack some smart and compassion into people sometimes. :)

Anonymous I hate when people say "(insert name here) is bipolar because they are (put action the person doesn't like, here.)" when that person really isn't bipolar and you just say they are because you're just being a jackass.

Anonymous Not so much any specific comments, just that they can't understand that there are things I CANNOT do sometimes.

Anonymous Im a mother with a son who has EMOTIONAL DISTRUBANCE ADHD. Im so sick of how people puts lables on people who has disabilaties.I myself have ADHD N IM DISLEXIC ALSO.So my point is we r diffrent but we r not that diffrent from everyone esle.It just makes us AMAZING PEOPLE;)

Anonymous Get out of the house and do something! No wonder you're depressed, you don't do anything! Another thing, I'm on disability, I need to get off the "crazy checks" and get a job according to my daughter's dads side of the family

Anonymous "You just need to get your sh*t together, everyone has mood swings." OR "I really don't think you're bipolar." (like this person is a doctor?! Um, that would be a no!)

Anonymous This is all so frustrating to me because I never knew everything I needed to know about my disorders until about 5 years ago and I've been talking medication for 27 years. So my past and my behaviors have followed me this whole time. I want so bad not for anyone to feel sorry for me but to understand!! Understand I can't make myself feel a certain way when I want to! My BF and I have been together for 4 years and he sees my struggles but still doesn't get it!! I have to get away from everyone because I get so upset. I can explain, or try to explain how I Feel, I'm told there's nothing to be mad, sad, scared about or of. Just think this way instead, if I could I wouldn't needed my medication...

Anonymous Get over it rages me!!!

Anonymous everyone has a cross to bear pull your big girl panties up and get over it.

Anonymous That I can control it with my mind. And basically saying its not real.

Anonymous get over it is the big one that just makes me want to slap someone, and how everyone has bad days

Kissing Stigma Goodbye Another one that I hate... "Well you look normal", I got that one the other day!

Anonymous My son has autism, epilepsy, speech delay, and something called intermittent explosiveness disorder (very similar to bipolar). It makes me insane when people ask me whether the doctors think he'll be able to "grow out of it."

Kissing Stigma Goodbye I was diagnosed as a teenager and went through a lot before I was stable on meds and someone once said to me at that time, I see you've decided to be good now as if it was a choice I made to just snap out of the bipolar symptoms that had been negatively affecting my behavior all that time.

Anonymous "Did you forget to take your crazy pills today" if I am in a bad mood or tired

Anonymous I hate when people say snap out of it. And I really hate when they say I must not be praying hard enough at church because we Christians etc.

Kissing Stigma Goodbye (in response to above comment) I hate when people tell me that god will fix my mental illness and all I have to do is ask god, no god won't fix this for me- My own active role in treatment is how I manage the symptoms of my illness. Or when people say I'll pray for you, I just want to say, I'd rather you show some understanding that would go a lot further for me than prayer in this situation.
 
Anonymous I am faking it and get a job, if they only knew

Anonymous I get the "everyone has problems with blah blah blah" as I said in my first comment.... a Lot from one of the bosses at work; makes me wanna deck him every damned time, or the bf "everyone has days where everything goes wrong" dude.... you don't f*cking GET it 'cause you don't HAVE it ((I myself have never been diagnosed with anything other than depression several yrs ago, but have experienced Many 'episodes' so to speak in the past year, mostly brought on by the high-stress & high-dipshit content of where I work.)).

Anonymous "If it's to do with your mind, then you can control it"
and "You choose your mood"

Anonymous People have said to me, "oh thats convenient" or " doesn't everyone have bipolar

Anonymous When I was first diagnosed in 2004...I sat down with my father to tell him...all I got in return is the comment its all in ur head...fucking hate that!!

Anonymous You are just lazy, worthless, crazy and should be put into a asylum

Anonymous Lazy. Just get up and do something you'll feel so much better

Anonymous That we are crazy!

Anonymous "Mom and dad were too good to you" as a primary reason and "You're unpredictable" as a reason to keep me out of his (my only sibling) life.

Anonymous My x ( why he is my x) You only get sick when you want to get sick.

Anonymous ….Or when I overhear...."she's bipolar....she really can't be trusted those people scare me"

Anonymous Oh we are all a little bipolar! Lol that one makes you want to scream.

Anonymous I was kept out of my family's lives because they "could not deal with me."

Anonymous Just snap out of it. Also, don't you think it's time to get off the meds?

Anonymous You're not really bipolar. You just use that as an excuse for your behavior.

Anonymous "Chin up, you don't need medication. You're just not giving it to God". Arghh! Hate that one. Very hurtful..

Anonymous I hate that they won't acknowledge it as an illness and think your making it up or perhaps it's all because of a lack of good parenting


-Kissing Stigma Goodbye-

2 comments:

Dr Jeanette said...

THANK YOU FROM MY 11-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, MY MOTHER (WHO IS DECEASED, BUT HAD BIPOLAR, AND ME-- I HAVE MAJOR DEPRESSION/ANXIETY)!!

THIS SITE IS A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and MUCH NEEDED. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT, AND YOU HAVE MET A HUGE NEED, FOR "US" OUT HERE.

Love to You!
Jeanette

Sara Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much Jeanette! That means a lot to me. I am so glad that my site has been able to help you! XoXo