bearthinking

About recovering from depression and suicide.

Angry Questions, Who’s Insane?

By the standards of our culture, our society, I am mentally ill. Oddly enough, I am comfortable with that. The basis of my illness, depression, was not a matter of choice but genetics. Unfortunately, ignorance on my part allowed it to develop and influence me for far too long. I am getting treatment, both for the chemical imbalance and for the behavioural issues.

But I question society’s capability and competence. Our species is locked into modes of behaviour that would put an individual into an asylum for a long, long time. On the one hand we piously quote books and people who decry murder, theft, envy, and the like; on the other we murder, thieve, are envious, and the like. More often than not, the exact same individuals and groups of individuals are doing both.

From Wikipedia:
“Schizophrenia (pronounced /ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a severe mental illness characterized by a disintegration of the process of thinking, of contact with reality, and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction.” “Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are symptoms of paranoia, and social isolation commonly occurs.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

“Paranoid personality disorder … Those with the condition are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases. They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their incapacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_personality_disorder

“Borderline personality disorder (BPD) … typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; black and white thinking, or splitting; chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual’s sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder

I’ve been following the news for years as my depression allows. I am constantly struck at the sheer depth and breadth of schizophrenic, paranoid personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder traits exhibited by people and groups touted as ‘normal’. Actions and statements that would get me institutionalized (and have) are bandied about media pundits, religious leaders, and politicians as a matter of course. Worse, they are accepted, even by their opponents, as being reasonable, mentally fit people. And yet, I am judged mentally ill when I behave in the same manner.

I guess the difference is that, while I do in a fashion flaunt my mental ‘illness’, I haven’t yet made the news, or gotten at least dozens of followers who swear by my every word (although there are those who swear at my every word), or been voted into public office. Or maybe the difference is that I have sought help in managing my mental ‘illness’. Would I be a success if I ignored my treatment, eschewed therapy, and started figuratively yelling at the top of my lungs as well?

Why am I judged sick when the Texas GOP is publicly spewing ignorance, hate, and fear? When Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders, among others, advocate murder for those who do not accept their religion? When a country that is vociferous internationally about civil rights abuses in other countries uses torture and racial profiling on its own citizens and on non-combatants? When my own country, which prides itself on being ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’, has allowed itself to be chained by fear?

Is it any wonder it is so hard to not be depressive? I did not choose this world to live in. I have tried 8 times to leave it. I’m stuck here. And I am pissed off that those who would condemn me conduct themselves so basely.

Can we cure our species? Can we stop the madness? Should we?

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July 1, 2010 - Posted by | depression, suicide | , , ,

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