Sunday, July 7, 2013

We too, have normal emotions just like you!

Here I am writing something for the first time in a while. I am sorry it has been so long, life has been keeping me busy. This probably won’t be too long but it is something I find important to address.
Those of us living with a mental illness go through the same regular day to day problems that the rest of the world goes through. We get down about the situations we have been dealt in life (not just the mental illness), the day to day stressors get to us, when things go wrong it gets to us, etc. Why do these things get to us? Not because we have a mental illness but because we are human just like everyone else. I found recently that when I was talking about some of life’s circumstances that have really got me down these days, people automatically attributed my depressed feelings to the fact that I have Bipolar. I took exception to this, wondering why people can’t see that I too am human and life gets to me just like everyone else. Just because I have Bipolar Disorder doesn’t mean that every time I am sad it is because of my illness. I have been feeling down because of life situations that I am unhappy with and feel trapped in and unable to fix. I have not been feeling down because I have Bipolar Disorder. In fact, my Bipolar Disorder is extremely well under control at this moment and it would be nice if people could recognize that instead of blame my bipolar for normal feelings I have about the way my life has gone.

Please don’t automatically assume that because an individual has a mental illness that all emotions and reactions outside of the realm of what is considered to be “normal” reactions are a result of that illness. Listen to what someone has to say and how they describe their emotions. You should hopefully be able to tell from what they’re saying if there are clear stressors in their life causing these feelings, indicating that it is not their mental illness or if there seems to be no real basis for the feelings, indicating it could be a chemical imbalance from their mental illness. If they are clearly explaining to you things in life that may be causing them the pain and stress they are dealing with, please do not discount those things by attributing how they are feeling to their illness. If you can’t tell for sure, please don’t automatically assume it is their mental illness causing these feelings. Think about how you have reacted to life’s stressors and when things haven’t gone right in the past (or presently). Individuals living with a mental illness have those same reactions so please don’t automatically attribute those reactions to our mental illness.

Yes, we have a mental illness, no it does not define us! Please don’t define us by our mental illness. Above all else, we are human beings, just like you!

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