Our Mental Illness does not define us

nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
edited November 2016 in General Discussion
I am working on something. I am trying to start a mental illness campaign to to lessen the hate and shame associated with mental illness. The reason I am posting something here is because I need some help.
First if anyone has a mental illness they are okay talking about, your story about your life and what it's like living with a mental illness would be great. I would also like to know how you are treated by others who are aware of your mental illness and what you want to change about your treatment. I also want to know the ideal world you could live in with your mental illness.
Next, I am probably going to be starting a blog and/or vlog to promote this idea. Reading/ watching these will help, and once they get stared I will notify anyone who reads this or is interested.
If anyone is really creative or artistic, I need to design posters and other things like this to promote this as well.
Any of these things or any ideas to help me with this will help.

I would also like to quickly mention that this is here for discussion and inspiration for one another concerning mental illness, because I can't do this alone and I need help, and you guys can do that. Mental Illness needs to be talked about and this can be a beginning of something.
by nerdykitkat04


  • Mental Illness is something that people need to learn about, talk about, and be open about. I need some help doing this. I need help getting the word out and expanding and improving my project.
  • I started to make videos about mental illness.
  • SmithSmith Posts: 16
    edited November 2016
    *EDIT* It occurs to me after sleeping that I missed the point. I will leave this on here because that alone might help. Still feel free to pm me if you would like it deleted.

    Hello, I have a few comments/questions If any of this is out of line/unwanted pm me and I will gladly delete this.

    First, Where is the hate coming from? I do know that some people will harass anybody they think they can get away with but is there a specific place or area that is worse than others?

    Why is there shame attached to mental illness? What is the source? i.e. is it shame felt because outside sources talk down? Or is it more frequently an internal source? I do not personally believe that anybody should feel bad about anything that is out of their control.

    What about self diagnosis? I know more than a couple people who have self diagnosed mental illness. Should they be encouraged to seek professionals? How should we react? I do not want to say they do or do not have a specific illness but two examples would be: Depression – This can be a serious condition that sometimes (often? Always?) needs medication to deal with. If somebody has self diagnosed depression what do you do?
    “My OCD” is a phrase I am sure everybody has heard. I've only known one person with it and he seriously struggled. Why do I hear that phrase from so many otherwise socially conscious people who very obviously do not have it? Usually used to justify some petty character quirk? Not to say that people do not have OCD but specifically people who do not have OCD and the use of the phrase “My OCD”.

    I do not expect a specific answer. Just throwing out ideas with questions I have. Hope they help.
    by Smith
  • The hate just is there. I'm not sure where it is coming from exactly but it exists.

    There is shame associated with mental illness because of the inability to understand them and our history (Like in the past the mentally ill were seen as weak or demon possessed). There is also a lot of shame because of the societal norm in some places that say you have to be perfect or cool, and mental illnesses don't tend to fall into those categories. Some mental illnesses cause the person suffering from it to have very negative thoughts about themselves, causing themselves to doubt themselves and their worth. Mostly it comes from false views, misinformation, and ultimately just the lack of education in this area. The source also comes from violent incidents that involve the untreated mentally ill that are taken out of context.
    There is also stigma about seeking help and taking medication for mental illnesses within and outside of the mental illnesses community. It's a combination I think of personal hate and the feeling of weakness and the off-handed jokes or purposeful hateful or misinformed comments from others.
    Many people are just not open minded so that also causes hate and stigma as well.

    Self-diagnoses is useful, but seeking a professional is advised. A lot of times symptoms can be misinterpreted or downplayed by people who aren't professionals. Also in teenagers hormones can be causing things that look like actual symptoms. Official diagnoses don't usually happen till adulthood for the more serious (I don't like using this word here because most mental illnesses are pretty bad).
    The weird thing about treatment is that depending on the person different treatments work. If a person is suicidal or really depressed that it is effecting their life significantly they definitely should seek out professional help. Depression could also be a companion to other mental illnesses. In general if a person is suffering then they should talk or seek help from somewhere. Therapy is a great option but also seek out a professional diagnoses. If you have a friend who is suffering from a mental illness encourage them and love them so they are comfortable with seeking out help.

    This is a hard question I'll be honest. I think it is because of misconceptions and insecurity. Let's say you are very organized and your friends say something like "that's weird" or "why are you so obsessed with color coding". There is nothing wrong with being organized but humans tend to get rather defensive so if they say "I have OCD." those people will drop it because it seems like a normal thing. I think it all started with someone trying to normalize this mental illness. I'm really not sure.

    I hope this answers are what you were looking for, I would love to talk about this some more with you!!
  • IndiaBespokeIndiaBespoke Posts: 31
    I think that this such a great idea. There is definitely such a stigma attatched to mental illnesses as well as a "normalising" of it, in the terms of watching a sad movie and then saying "Oooooh, I'm sooooo depressed."

    I go to a very high acheiving all girls school. To put it into perspective: every student has to do at least 7 subjects. Our average on matriculation in 5.5 As (80%+) per girl. Meaning that if you get 5 As you are actually below average and are considered to have "low marks". Most schools in the surrounding areas only have a few top students who receive 5 or more As. Additionally our school is top in the state/province for our 4 main sports and have a few learners every year who go to play in the national orchestra. All of these results in a very high pressured environment.

    However it is much severly worse by the fact that you are not allowed to complain about how much you work or show how much pressure you are under. You are expected to be able to academically cope perfectly, play in at least one school sport, participate in at least one cultural activity, attend at least one service based community a week and still have time to remain social over the weekends. These are not formally written down rules, but it is somehow generally "accepted" that if it looks like you are putting in effort then there is something wrong with you.

    As a result, there are many many people suffereing from a variety of mental illnesses most commonly being depression, anxiety and eating disorders. However, once again these are not spoken about because they are perceived as a "weakness".

    I sufferred from quiet a few mental illness, and I showed my sufferring and started speaking out about them and removing the stigma and sharing my stories. The response I got were very mixed with many people telling me to "stop being dramatic", "snap out of it" and "what do you have to complain about?". But I really didn't mind because suddenly I had people that I knew, but weren't really friends with starting to come up to me. Sometimes they did it subconsciously, but mostly they did it because they wanted to talk about how they felt with the judgement and express their struggles and fears and see if anyone had similar ones. It was also really interesting to see that may of them wanted to talk about it or needed help but could not or did not know how to ask for help. This came across in many ways, but my favourite was someone walking up to me and after 2 minutes of silence just going "It's sunny today."

    I think that your blog/vlog is so necessary and I am so happy that other people out there are experiencing a similar need to end the stigma and bring mental illness into the light.
  • Thank you so much. Stay strong I get how hard it can be sometimes. @IndiaBespoke
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,373 ✭✭✭
    "First if anyone has a mental illness they are okay talking about, your story about your life and what it's like living with a mental illness would be great."

    Hi, I have multiple personality disorder. What it's like living with that? Well that's kind of a broad open ended question, I'm not even sure where to start. You could try asking me some more specific questions than what's my life like. :P

    "I would also like to know how you are treated by others who are aware of your mental illness and what you want to change about your treatment."

    Well actually others who are aware of it seem to just ignore it and pretend there's nothing wrong with me, I guess because they don't know how to deal with it. Others have intentionally triggered alters to come out even though it annoys the hell out of me. There isn't really a middle ground, they're either a little too into or ignore it completely.

    I wouldn't really change anything about my treatment. I was in therapy for a while when I was dealing with one particularly dangerous personality. The others are mostly just annoying but otherwise I don't mind them. But once I had the Simon Rider problem taken care of and he was no longer in my head I stopped going to therapy. I'd go back if I ever relapsed but it's been like ten years now and I haven't had any other threats pop up.

    "I also want to know the ideal world you could live in with your mental illness."

    Well if we lived in my ideal world I wouldn't have this problem to begin with. Technically I wouldn't even exist cause I myself am an alternate personality. The real one, he's been through so much pain in life that he couldn't live in this world. He created us to protect him from this world and to make sure no one else ends up like him.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • Thank you so much for your story. I really hope life treats you well. Thank you so much!!!!
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    Describe what it is like to be you in a sentence.
  • New here, and what a way to start. I suffer from the following, as diagnosed by several independent psychiatrists.

    The first is major depressive disorder, whom I tend to affectionately refer to as "The vulture". The best way that my major depressive disorder can be described is as a constant weight, ever present even if however small. It has a tendency to lie, I have repeated thoughts on bad days of my worthlessness and hopelessness, and a belief that things will never get better. Luckily bad days are fewer than they have ever been, and I am well medicated (Prozac for depression, prazosin for the following.)

    The second is PTSD. without going into detail, my father systematically abused my mother, brother, and myself for 16 years. This comes with panic attacks, and more disturbingly, a constant hypervigilance that makes it difficult to sleep or relax in most moments. My brain is conditioned to see everything as a potential threat. Every person, every unexpected sound, every odd shadow.

    All this being said, I'm a successful college student who works in a local ER and can't really imagine being anything but a doctor. My life is currently better than it has been in years, and I'm steadily learning to handle my disorders, and myself, better.

  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    Thank you very much for your story. I hope your life continues to improve.
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46

    so the first one is out but it is probably crap.
  • byte_handlebyte_handle Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2
    Thank you for the video. One of the things that really struck me was how you're right about being defined by your mental illness, like you don't have a personality outside of that. I'm still me. I'm just sick.

    Over the summer, I tore a muscle in my leg. I was on crutches, taking medication to help me sleep with the pain, seeing a doctor who was considering surgery, and going to physical therapy. People understood that I'm not "the bad leg guy." I'm the guy they've always known. I just had a leg injury.

    I also happen to have a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. I was able to get some comp time for my leg's physical therapy and doctor's appointments, and nobody batted an eyelash when I said I prescribed a narcotic to help me sleep through the pain at first. But the mental health thing? Very few people know that I've been in therapy for 7 years. Or that I've been medicated for more than 5.

    It's ok when people held the door open for me or brought files to my desk at work when I was on crutches. It was even appreciated. But here's the rub: I work for an inadequately-funded public sector job, and we all do the workload of 2-3 people. Money's already too tight as it is, so I have to work that much harder to avoid giving my boss concerns about my mental state in order to have a chance of still having a job the next fiscal year. Unlike my leg, which isn't a big deal in terms of my job (i.e., I don't need my legs to do my job), this is my brain. My job is very brain-oriented. Lots of statistics and creative problem solving. I need to focus and my boss can't afford somebody doing the job that has a problem with that, so she can't know. I'd be judged negatively even though I've been struggling for all these years.

    It isn't fair...but work quality isn't all a worker is judged on. Are you willing to take on more? Do you have the energy to schmooze with the right people? Can you focus in a meeting to offer the creative solution and make your voice heard? How late can you stay? Do you appear to be keeping up? Are you complaining too much or appear to be too tired? Frankly, I think it would be hard even without the depression. It's like asking somebody with a leg injury to run race. Sure he can crutch, but he isn't getting around as well as a person with 2 good legs. It's that much more work for something that's already difficult.

    Unlike my leg, my brain didn't get better in a couple months, and there isn't a position I can sit or lay in to make the pain stop. It's all day every day.

    So, thank you for the video. It IS harder and it's unfair...but you also can't talk about it. You are treated as just the "mentally ill person" instead of the "person who happens to have a mental illness." People don't get that mental illness IS the same thing as any other physical illness because your brain happens to be a physical part of the body. It's like watching a movie on a scratched disc: the disc and the movie aren't the same exact thing, but the movie is greatly affected by the state of the physical medium. Similarly, maybe the contents of our subjective mental lives aren't the same exact thing as the brain, but that mental life is greatly affected by the state of its physical medium.

    Everybody "gets" physical illnesses and injury because we've all gotten sick and gotten hurt. We've all felt miserable from sickness, we've all been in physical pain. Not everybody has a mental illness, so they don't get that your brain jumps to places that make life harder. Getting sad--even terribly so--isn't living with depression in the same way that hurting you legs temporarily isn't living with paralysis. I once explained it as, "you know how ideas come to you when you make a decision? You know how, if you keep thinking, more ideas come to you? You can't control which ideas come to you at any particular moment. The brain just sort of generates it. Mental illness feels like that, and all the ideas are really bad. Therapy helps you try to insert the right ideas to defuse the bad ones, and that's really, really tiring to do all day long, having not only to think and work, but also having to constantly monitor exactly what you're thinking, how it's wrong, and the best way to combat it, and then actually doing it even when you doubt you have the capability of doing so."

    But none of this is about what depression was for me, what it was like, what went through my mind. I can send that if requested...but it isn't pretty. I was pretty far down that hole.
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    (okay so this is not the point of my comment but I was having a really bad mental health day and just a crappy two days and you have made that all better just by responding and bothering to watch my video)
    I am interested in hearing your story if you don't want to tell publicly you can just message me.
    And I just want to agree with you that it is tiring to live with a mental illness and try to do high stress or very time consuming and tiring things.
    Thank you so much for sharing I wish I had more time right now but alas, homework. But feel free to share more of your story, you seem to have a lot to say and we need more of that.


  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    This made me laugh and again it was a bad day so thank you
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 629 ✭✭✭
    I must say that I liked your video. I especially liked what you said about understanding: "people don't like what they can't understand. That's why people don't like math. That's why people don't like mental illnesses. That's why people don't like the mentally ill, because they don't understand us."
    I wonder if I may steal it to quote on my facebook? (And if I may quote it, should I do it with your full name, your first name or no name at all?)
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    Yes, a thousand time yes.
    You can quote me, just credit me with my name because that would be amazing.
    And if you want just put the link.
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 629 ✭✭✭
    First name or full name? @nerdykitkat04
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    Just my first name.
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    edited January 2017
    And just because a bunch of people don't really know about me and there are other sussis maybe mention my video title if you haven't already made the post
    by nerdykitkat04
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 629 ✭✭✭

    And just because a bunch of people don't really know about me and there are other sussis maybe mention my video title if you haven't already made the post


    Will do, @nerdykitkat04 !
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • So I already had a bunch of videos made so I uploaded a second one today if you guys wan to watch it you can but I don't think it is as good as the first one.

  • http://nerdfighteria.vanillaforums.com/discussion/7130/what-should-i-make-my-next-video-about
    Here's a poll because I am a dork to see what you guys would like me to make a video about
    And it serves as a list for me to see my ideas in solid form
  • I am making a story video using the posted stories I have received. If you don't want me to share your story, PLEASE TELL ME.
  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,905 ✭✭✭

    Mental Illness is something that people need to learn about, talk about, and be open about.


    This is something which can only be spoken about from personal experience because as someone who doesn't suffer from mental illness, I can not even begin to imagine what that's like from the inside. It is literally inconceivable because I lack the ability to conceive it.

    Please craft this project and take care with it. Don't let this fade. This is a story which absolutely needs to be told.

    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • nerdykitkat04nerdykitkat04 Posts: 46
    edited February 2017
    Thank you so much for your words
    It's really encouraging and I don't plan on giving up anytime soon, and my plans for the future definitely include mental illness suff similar to this so, we will see.
    I don't even care if this gets really popular I just want this to make it to the right people at the right time.
    by nerdykitkat04
  • byte_handlebyte_handle Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2

    I am making a story video using the posted stories I have received. If you don't want me to share your story, PLEASE TELL ME.

    Please feel free to use what I messaged to you. I only ask that you don't identify me as the source. I just don't want to deal with the grief that trolls will inevitably direct my way.
  • Don't worry I don't identify anyone k use the stories of
  • I posted another one. I think from now on I am only going to post twice a week, Sundays and Thursdays.
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