Friday, May 1, 2015

That Time People Enjoyed Getting Offended...

A couple days I ago, I brought up a topic on Facebook and shared my opinion on an issue, knowing it would be unpopular but deciding it was important to share anyways. In an effort to show how tolerant they were, several people attacked my opinion by saying I was ignorant, selfish, mean, and numerous other statements to that effect. A few people even dragged their vitriol against God into the feed for no apparent relevant reason other than to continue abusing my belief system and/or the belief system of the author of the blog I posted.

At no point did I state that anyone was a bad person, stupid, ignorant, worthless, shameful, or any other negative assessment. I said that I thought someone had a mental illness. This specific opinion, by the way, is shared by thousands of licensed psychiatrists recognized by the APA and has garnered much discussion and back-and-forth consideration over the last several decades, a fact (among many other facts) that I am aware of after spending 12 years working with well over a thousand people diagnosed with every mental illness you can think of (and several you didn't know even existed) as well as doing my own research on the subject. 

I didn't say my opinion was an established fact, but my opinion IS backed up by facts, research and other mental health professionals. MANY issues in the mental health field are contradictory and this is why so much on-going discussion and research is necessary for crucial issues in flux.

I find it very sad that several people took my statement of believing someone had a mental illness as some sort of defamation or cruel assessment of that person's value and worth as a human being. It seems more appropriate to ask why there are people who still have such a negative connotation of mental illness and complete misunderstanding of what having one entails.

It was mentioned by a few people that I can't know someone else's feelings and that they are entitled to their feelings, and that feelings are the only thing that should matter, but the truth is, mental illness is often defined by the fact that someone's feelings lie to them. Depression tells you that you are worthless and the world is better off without you. Anxiety tells you that nothing is ok and all the bad things your brain conjures up will come true. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tells you that if you do not complete certain rituals, someone you love will die or the world will end and it will be your fault. Schizophrenia tells you, clear as day, that you should probably cut and burn yourself and that men with uzis are going to get you. Most mental illnesses carry the component of the brain creating and believing false thoughts that create feelings based on inaccuracies.

You cannot reasonably say that a person whose brain is telling them these lies is the best one to make an accurate assessment of what they need and how they should proceed with treating these conditions. Their opinion MATTERS and everyone has the right to decide how much or what kind of help they want, but to claim that a sick brain in the throes of instability can make the best decision for itself is absurd.

I don't care that people disagree with my statements or opinions. I DO care that people seem to go out of their way to find offense where offense is not intended and attack me personally. 

Saying someone has a mental illness is not attacking them or condemning them. Saying someone is stupid, arrogant, mean, and all the other nonsense that was said to me was an attack. I may not always says things “RIGHT” or “PROPERLY” but I was given a brain and a personality that works the way it does for a reason, and I will not be quiet about my opinions to keep anyone feeling more comfortable in the little box of their choosing, nor does anyone have the right to expect such a thing. I share my opinions out loud or in writing for the simple fact that I know other people feel the way that I do about many things and cannot find a way to speak about them, and my ability and comfort in doing so helps them in some way. Any additional benefit of getting people to think outside their comfort zone is just a bonus. 

I do what I do, I say what I say, and I think what I think. I'm not asking for, nor do I require, an apology, a blessing, or permission from anyone. 


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