Anxiety · Bi Poldar Disorder · Chronic Depression · Depression · Informative · Opt Ed · UOIT Mental Health Services

Emotion or Illness?

I think the problem with today’s society is that everyone is so quick to self-diagnose. If you think back to even 5 years ago it was considered shameful or looked down upon to categorize yourself as someone with a mental illness.

Yes, it is very possible that because it is more “accepted” now people are admitting to it more.

But, at the same time I think this generation confuses emotion with actual brain malfunction.

A lot of people think that because they feel extreme sadness they must have depression, or they are quick to change their moods so they must be bipolar; in reality this is far from the case.

It is possible to feel emotion without there being something chemically wrong within your brain. Society is so desensitized that when someone feels emotion, they are brainwashed into thinking that is not okay therefore something must be wrong with them.

WAKE UP PEOPLE! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL EMOTION!

In addition to that, people use these mental illnesses as a way to categorize someone’s behavior: “wow, what is wrong with her? she’s acting so bipolar.” I don’t think people realize how hurtful it is for people that actually suffer from mental illnesses to see other people take these issues so lightly. Every day is a struggle when you have a mental illness- it is not a feeling that passes or that can be changed by conventional happiness.

This shows us that mental illness as a whole is still considered an alienation and although it is a negative situation, it doesn’t make someone less of a person. It’s interesting to me that people are so quick to call someone sexist or racist when they have a generalized stereotype.

But when people have stereotypes about mental illness it is just brushed off, like it is funny or true. Why is it that we find it so wrong to judge someone because of their skin colour or their sexuality.

But not their mental state? It works the same way, (not in all cases but in most) mental illness is biological and something you are born with.

Why is it not acceptable to say, “You’re so gay” but is acceptable to say “you’re so bipolar”?

The point of my post is not to rag on those who do the things stated above. But, it is to show you how hurtful your words really are. We may not say anything when you make these statements, but we feel them and we remember them.

Someone could be trying to open up to you. But, that will never happen if you don’t show them that you take mental illness seriously. With or without knowing it, being open minded and serious when using words related to mental illness, you could save someone’s life, Or, at the very least, make their day just a little less awful.

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12 thoughts on “Emotion or Illness?

  1. I particularly appreciate what you have to say in the first third of this post. it bothers me when people diagnose themselves with mental illness because it will only serve to cheapen the real thing. It is part of the reason that I don’t tend to tell people about my condition. Its not the sort of thing that ought be used solely to get attention and sympathy. Nobody should seek to be mentally unhealthy.

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  2. Do you believe that more people find themselves as suffering from mental health issues because it is not shameful anymore? That is an interesting way of looking at mental health and I never thought of it that way. In my country, it is still a sign of weakness. So we see the opposite, people with real issues deny having them and don’t seek help. On the other hand, I agree with your point that we all are often afraid to feel real emotions and too often view them as illness.
    Thanks, I like your other posts.

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    1. I think more people use it as a scapegoat instead of dealing with their emotions. I mean I am definitely not trying to down play anyone’s emotions/ illnesses, I just think it’s used so lightly and those of us who are suffering don’t appreciate hearing how “depressed” someone is because they failed a test or had a bad day. But thank you for your reply! Im glad you are enjoying my posts.

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      1. I agree that too many are afraid to feel real emotions. Too many feel that they are depressed cause their boyfriend dumped them or got some dislikes online or think they are suffering from anxiety cause they are nervous about the midterm. You should be nervous about it or sad when your relationship tanks. But, I hope you don’t disregard real pain that many people feel when truly depressed and or anxious beyond control. I know that YOU don’t, I read your other posts. I don’t want people to think that we experience just intense emotions which are manageable and brief and we get ok once the exam is passed or a boyfriend comes to his senses. I wish it was that easy.

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        1. I 100% agree with you. It’s a tough road and even something as simple as getting out of bed can be the hardest task. People just don’t understand what an actual episode is like but they don’t want to know either. In a way I can’t even blame them, it’s a scary place sometimes. But with positivity it will slowly get better 🙂

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          1. Well, my current episode disrupted my sleeping and makes me feel like Im living in a world where you just gaze into the sky and day dream. . it drains me completely.

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            1. I am sorry to hear that, I too have had bad episodes that effect my sleep. Although I cant say I know exactly how you feel I can empathize and I truly hope this episode passes for you. Try to get as much rest as you can, it doesnt matter what anyone thinks/says about it (lazy, etc)- you need to do what is best for your health. If you ever need someone to talk to please do not hesitate to contact me, I would never share or pass judgement.

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