Don’t Tell

Today I discovered that my google calendar syncs up with my iPhone. It had the capability the whole time. I just had the feature turned off. Boy, was I happy to discover that. I have been using the work calendar and I would prefer not too.

As I was moving over my appointments, I thought about adding National Invisible Chronic Illness Week (September 10-16, 2012). I can remember the first time finding the site. It was my first year suffering with asthma and it was nice knowing that people out there cared about me and others. The site had a template to blog with so I took the time and posted it on this blog. It was nice to put some my thoughts into words.

Well, this has also brought up thoughts about my borderline personality disorder and aspergers. Believe it or not, I am not to mention a word of my mental disorders to any one. This is supported by my wife, family, close friends, and bosses. Even BPD websites suggest that I keep my suffering tight lipped. Sadly, I didn’t believe there was such a stigma but finding it the hard way, sadly, there is.

Honestly at first and still today, I wonder what the big deal is. I am sick. This seems no different than fighting asthma. I have triggers and complications with both. I take a lot of meds to keep my brain and lungs as healthy as possible. Not only that, I have to change and adjust all the time with both illnesses to avoid triggers. Heck, both require hospitalization if they get out of had.

Yet, there is something different when dealing with mental health issues.

I have to admit, I was really scared of being diagnosed with a mental disorder. Heck, I will admit that I had a inkling things were not right about me for decades. Denial is a strange thing. I had really no clue I was that sick until I started on meds and therapy. I can see a lot of thing now, maybe a little to much.

Honestly, having BPD has nothing to do with being crazy. I saw a lot of ill people in the hospital and I would call none of them crazy. As a person suffering from BPD. I am an intelligent amazing person. I have met quite a few BPD suffers and they were all very bright people too. Our main problem is, we can’t control our emotions very well. Sometimes getting out of hand and we loose control. Most, if not every time, we want to hurt ourselves, not others.

Anyway, I am going to be ignorant here and ask, what is the stigma? I just don’t get it.

Since my blog is anonymous by design, I guess I am not really telling anyone I know that I have a mental disorder. I guess I following the rules, not disclosing what I have.

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One response to “Don’t Tell

  1. I really like this post, James. A lot of people in my life – both family and friends – struggle with mental disorders. I hate the stigma that surrounds it. It seems to be that if you have something physically wrong with you, it’s not your fault and that you’re still you. People tend to think that if you have a mental disorder – I don’t know if they think it’s the person’s fault or not – but they might be intimidated and not want to trust or be friends with the person. It’s really not fair and it’s a double standard. A certain family member of mine is struggling with some serious mental issues that are quite apparent to everyone, except him pretty much, as he refuses to get out of denial and to seek treatment. His refusal to acknowledge the problem is ruining his relationship with other members of the family. Nothing can be done until he steps up to the plate and seeks help. So you’re already a million steps ahead in terms of that. I’ve explained to him numerous times that just like his lungs are messed up (Asthma runs in my family big time. It ends up being a topic of conversation a lot.) he has a chemical imbalance in his brain that – just like asthma – can be treated. And by taking what he thinks are “happy pills”, he’s not messing himself up, but rather putting his brain chemistry back into balance and allowing him to look at the world normally. And of course he gets mad at me for “thinking he’s crazy”. Yarg. I hate the stigma. If it wasn’t for the stigma, so many people would step up to the plate, admit they have a problem and get it treated. And in this, you’re already lightyears ahead of so many people. I’m proud of you.

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