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Atra

Now they kinda sorta understand how we feel?

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To all the neurotypicals who never really got what living with a mental illness is like. Having a hard time adapting to life during a pandemic?

 

😬 Are you struggling to cope with unbearable debilitating anxiety?

🤯 Do you have intrusive, persistent thoughts that scare the crap out of you?

😭 Does the present situation distress you and our future prospects depress you?

😷 Are you afraid of going outside?

:emoticon-0141-whew: Do you keep checking and rechecking yourself for possible contamination?

🧟‍♂️ Are you frightened of people, feeling unsafe near them?

:sadwalk: Having a hard time focusing on work?

👀 Are you feeling isolated and disconnected from others?

😰 Unable to enjoy the activities you used to?

:shocked: Problems sleeping?

🥺 Wishing this would all just go away?

 

(Or, I dunno. Have you considered that maybe this is all in your head because tbh I don't see anything wrong with you. You're probably just making this up to get attention). 🙄

Welcome to our world.

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I understand. 

Yes, we've been dealing with this crap for a long time and no, we haven't had a whole lot of understanding from the NT's (neurotypicals). 

But I think this just goes to show that they aren't really neurotypical at all. We're all exactly the same in the face of overwhelming stress. They just haven't been overwhelmed. Till now. 

I think of my experiences as training. I can help these people. So can you, my friend. You know it. We're actually ahead of the game now. Yeah, have a little gloat amongst friends, why not, we earned it, didn't we? 

Maybe there was a reason we went through all of this before now? 

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Hi @Atra,

Really good satire😁 Close to the bone, but it helps to laugh about our affliction s, right?

Think of your favourite comedian who you'd like to deliver it in standup? Mine would be Alexi Sayle a Scouse comedian in the UK, yours?

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If you look at the whole picture not just mental health symptoms but the fact that people are realizing we have no rights.  There are "adults" making all of the decisions for us.  The world is run by psychopaths that always think they know what's best.  How things are now is how it's been for over 20 years for me since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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Hi Atra,

I know it seems like many people dont have or struggle with mental illness but the numbers are far higher. A lot of people especially men tend to hide mental illness because it is seem as taboo.

Even the strongest, sturdiest best among people are still mortal too. Humans are a fragile machine and we all live on borrowed time. People who suppress any moments of struggle of doubt are also suppressing what makes them human. If we wanted to pretend we are fine all the time without using our frontal lobes then we would be pretty simple.. sometimes I actually believe depression is a sign of intelligence. It is difficult to manage but I believe people that are intelligent enough to feel depressed can work towards feeling better as well.

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Perfection!  

Yes, I understand the satire.  But from the perspective of someone who has struggled with depression,  what satire?  Just pull yourself together and quit being such a drama queen.   🤣

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On the news today,  there's a charity in the UK that has seen a 3 fold increase in anxiety related calls.  There advice was : dont watch the news too much,  find something that interests you, and exercise.  Hmm ,  think I've been overthinking this 😜

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I see you're all on to me 😉. I'm admittedly reveling in a bit of schadenfreude, we can indulge in a self-satisfied smirk we deserve it. Maybe there's an interesting subtext to it - I'd like to hear your feedback whether you think the following is a load of crap or not.

As people living mental illnesses, I feel we've arrived at a unique time when we can both give and maybe receive compassion and empathy like never before. Lots of people in our lives find themselves suffering from many of the symptoms I listed above who have never had to struggle with them before. If we will listen to their fears and nod and say "me too", could that lead to conversations that in turn strengthen our relationships? I dunno, is that imaginable?

If you can bear with me a little bit longer. Could we be regarded as mentors, if we are the closest source of good information on ways to manage/cope with corona-related mental health crises? Your brow crinkles with doubt, no I'm not being ridiculous. Today at work I listened to a person who lives with OCD tell me they sing the chorus to a song while washing their hands, to know how long they've been at it. They've been doing this ritual for over 10 years. Now, they're teaching this suddenly useful skill to their entire family - because they all need to learn it. 

People in my life who've never known insomnia are gapsing with worry after three sleepless nights - and I'm a freakin' human library of techniques and tips on how to get to sleep. 

I'd like to know, do you believe the coping skills, techniques, distractions that you use everyday could help people live under the conditions of this pandemic? Or, do you feel inclined to let them fend for themselves?

While I may think of this as empowering I'm actually not wildly optimistic about mental illness stigma vanishing overnight. The cruel and dismissive persons I know aren't going to suddenly hold me in high regard for my knowledge of 20 years fighting depression and anxiety. I'll protect myself by not allowing them the chance to disappoint me yet again. Plus I still need a lot of care, so I'll put the oxygen mask on my face first before trying to help others.

And, I'll put up some boundaries for my own wellbeing:

Oh what you're going through sounds awful, maybe you should talk to someone about it? I have the number of a counselor. 

No, you cannot have some of my medication. I get that you're suffering and I know you're able to seek help on your own. 

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What I find amazing is that we're all the same, yet at the same time very different.. 

We have the same symptoms, yet very different ideas about what they are, different ways of expressing them and different ways of dealing with them. I suppose herein lies the quandary. How to help these people with wildly differing ideas and judgements about mental illness. 

Certain folks will be better suited to helping certain other folks and so on. I have a very spiritual bent obvs and would most likely be better suited to helping those with a similar world view. However most people aren't spiritually minded and I know that I have to tailor my help with each person I meet. I tune in to each person and decide what angle to approach with. 

I have the feeling that the Atra is thinking on a grand scale here which, while very noble, may be a little overwhelming? Can you scale it down a bit to the here and now, the every day level? Rome might take a while to get built, even though the foundations are being laid? 

I am certain that you are helpful to every person you come across and I believe that is enough. The goodness radiates out and touches the entire world eventually. But you are only one person, you can't do everything. Let us help you 😂😂😂

I agree, maintain your boundaries. We have to look after ourselves aswell as others and I would be tentative with expecting instantaneous change in people's world view. Change is happening. People will change as a result of this. They will wake up, smell the coffee and begin to be kinder human beings but its gonna happen gradually, not all at once. 

😎 Stay cool Atra honey. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Atra said:

in a bit of schadenfreude

had to look that one up 😜 ,  yes your post sent my head spinning @Atra,  watch out...,  deep breaths.  No seriously,  I can see things that return my faith in humanity in this time of adversity.  In the UK 0.5 million people have voluntered to be nhs responders to deliver shopping or medicine,  ferry people back from hospital or just chatting on the phone to self isolators or vunerable people.  Also I read on the news today that the government have called to house all homless people.  

Now of course this may be reactionary and not a permanant shift in policy or maybe this is the start of a more caring society?  Hell,  lets just cut to the chase,  why not give everybody a liveable wage whatever their ability to earn it?  I would agree it's going to evolve more gradually once we all get through this. 

7 hours ago, Atra said:

coping skills, techniques, distractions

I would say these are very useful to pass on but I would reckon you have greater qualities to pass on: empathy,  compassion, listening skills and probably most valuable emotional intelligence. Also,   helping others can elevate your spirit and a great thing to do for yourself.

Ah yes,  forgot to mention 'resiliance'.  You'll need bags of that,  think I'll go for the deliver shopping and medicine option!

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Everything in this vast universe has a balance.

Life tries to find a way to become in a stable state, like in a weight scale and it gets into stable state eventually.

Unfortunately we, humans, don't possess eyesight to look beyond our limited views.

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I like your initial post. It delivers a bit if sarcasm and reality check. I laughed quite a bit.

My theory is that this whole pandemic is really a plot done by the introverts against all the extroverts. They know the extroverts are all going to lose it during this isolation period so they can take over the world... We'll see how it plays out...

In all seriousness though. I've already talked to a few people who are close to me. They are struggling with being locked up in hte house. I've given them a handful of ideas to help get through it. I stay in contact with them more than I ever have. Help a few people here and there without getting too involved and they won't know you're one of the crazies trying to help them through this. Maybe they'll get it, maybe they won't. Small steps.

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Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts, insights and feelings - I read them all, I value your perspectives and I appreciate you taking the time.

I'm surprised quite a few liked the original post cause after re-reading, it sounds somewhat like juvenile taunting. Uh huh, I'm overthinking it now. 🙄

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I see what you're saying. But I would not want anyone to even remotely experience the hell of a depressive episode. This virus has really put me in a black hole, its hard to move. I don't know how to hold up not being able to be in contact with people, which was my greatest tool in coping.

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