Many of my regular readers are aware of why I write this blog;
- I find it therapeutic (and easy) to vent here, and I can do so without feeling guilty about putting it on one single person. In a way, it’s my ‘safe space’
- It helps others who are experiencing similar struggles realise that they are not alone (I for one read a number of similar blogs, for this very reason)
- I hope that it will provide a little education for those who have little or no experience in dealing with mental illness
If you can’t understand my reasons for writing here, then perhaps you’re in the wrong place.
Around Christmas, I was called ‘crazy’, and it was said that I ‘fell out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down’. It was insinuated that I am unstable and suicidal. The following day, the same person suggested that my blog is ‘self-absorbed’ – that is kinda what a blog is, no? My place to talk about whatever I want, however and whenever I want without worrying that people will attempt to troll me and use my experiences against me? Further into the message, the person that said these things said they had suffered from GAD and anxiety. There was also an attempt to shame me for ‘going on and on and on’ about my ex. The breakdown of my relationship and the way it came about was quite traumatic and out of the blue, as well as it happening at the same time as a number of other huge events in my life. I admire anyone that can get straight up from the things I experienced and not make a big deal out of them, the thing is though, it takes people time to recover from trauma, and I will not apologise for that.
Their behaviour raises many issues. Why abuse me if you apparently have a clear understanding of what it is like to suffer with mental health issues? This person also says they are a teacher. Is this normal behaviour for someone working in education? Surely they are the people that can make a difference, so why would someone who is supposedly intelligent behave in such a manner?
I find it really sad that at the end of a year that has been so bad for so many, there are people out there so happy to just be plain mean. It hurts. Eventually this bitterness will eat them up from the inside. Do these people really have nothing better to do with their time?
No one is perfect, but to attempt to make oneself feel better by attacking others is pretty crazy behaviour.
I asked my friends on Facebook for their experiences of being called ‘crazy’ as a result of their being diagnosed with a mental illness. One person had experienced something very similar, and likely due to similar reasons.
One particular response though, I loved;
‘Crazy is interesting. Better than being boring. If crazy is a bit eccentric but with occasional problems with mental health, then 50% of the population falls into the category, and those that say they don’t are not crazy, but liars. I know which I’d rather be. Embrace being you and ignore the rest.’
I feel safe in the knowledge that I am supported by my family and friends, so one little blip is nothing in the grand scheme of things, really, and I shall continue to write about my experiences. It’s sad that anyone would try and twist things in such a manner as to attempt to benefit themselves (for what reason, I’m not 100% sure…).
So how crazy am I?
In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience some sort of mental health problem each year (Mind)* The same article goes on to explain that every 7 years a survey is done in England to measure to number of people who have different types of mental health problems. The last survey was published in 2009 and reported that 2.6 in 100 people suffer with depression, 4.7 in 100 people suffer from anxiety, and 9.7 in 100 suffer with mixed anxiety and depression. So being ‘crazy’, isn’t as uncommon as one may think.
At the end of the day, any person who will try and use another person’s experiences against them has my deepest pity. That is another reason I write this blog. I like to think that maybe it does help those with such a clear misunderstanding of the issues surrounding mental health, and creates an awareness that just because someone has a diagnosis, that doesn’t make them ‘crazy’.
Bullying people is crazy. Bullying people and then calling them self-centred when they are open and honest about their experiences….that’s crazy.
Being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and doing something about. That’s definitely not crazy.
Living your life, dealing with nonsensical idiots and using such experiences to, I don’t know, maybe write a blog crating awareness about certain issues, I don’t see that as being crazy in the slightest.
Think about how you treat one another. You have no idea what the person next to you may be dealing with. If you are a friend of someone dealing with mental illness, support them, be there for them. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to ‘fix’ them, but at the very least, don’t make them feel ‘crazy’, that’s counterproductive and can be very, very damaging.
I’d like to hear about your experiences of being ‘crazy’. Have you been bullied because of your diagnosis? How do people treat you? Do you think that a lack of education and awareness of mental health issues will eventually help to change attitudes?