Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a Brain thang...

The mind is a beautiful thing.  It's such an amazing organ, with a complexity that is still not fully understood by the top scientist.  Strange, isn't it.  What makes us run, what controls every part of your body is still yet understood.  That in itself is astonishing.  What is even more perplexing is when the mind doesn't work and perform exactly as it is intended to do.  When it undergoes some problem, illness or abnormality, odd goings on occur that can be down right scary.  Issues like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and strokes can cause the individual not to be able to control their thoughts, their body and the even their present day experiences in the world.  This is horrible.  Unthinkable really.  My biggest fear is to develop one of these conditions, because I can't imagine what life would be like suffering like that.  It wasn't until the other day, when my husband was struggling with a low period from his bipolar that I realized that conditions like bipolar, depression and other mental health conditions are no different, they are scary and the person who suffers is no different than any other "sick" person.  Not wanting it, or even asking for it, yet having to deal with it. 

For some reason, society is a big bully to those who suffer from mental illness.  Crazy, difficult, lazy, rude, odd.....these are all labels that we use when we describe people that have mental illness.  I have even heard people in the medical field describe people that have depression or bipolar in their medical chart as being "going to be a pain in their ass"  or "great, another psycho."  Now don't get me wrong, we use the word "crazy" around here to describe my husband, our house, etc, but what I am talking about is that preconceived discrimination towards someone who suffers from these conditions.  When you think about it, you don't hear of the 5K walk for the cure of depression, of the Gala for Bipolar, like you do for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and yes even Asperger's and Autism, a brain issue.  Why?  What's the dillio?  Why is there a stigma with this?  I think its because the illness is not visible in a sense and those that suffer from mental health can be a little difficult to live with.  For instance, sometimes those people with these issues are nothing short of being assholes.  They can be mean, hateful, stressful, jerks who seem like they care about nothing but themselves, or they do horrible things, or they say despicable things and in essence act crazy.  I get it, trust me.  And so, I can understand why we as a society don't want to be so kind with something like mental health.  But on the flip side, they do have a condition/syndrome/disease that is causing their brain to miss-fire.  Is that an excuse for their behavior...sort of.  If your head is not producing enough happy juice, "serotonin" then you are not going to be happy.  The end.  So, therefore, you are not going to by "happy" with others.  It would be nothing different then telling someone with the food poisoning to stop throwing up.  They can't.  They can't control it, and neither can someone with depression or any other thing.  But when you throw up, you clean it up and its over.  But when something is said or done, it's hard to undo.  And its harder to excuse someone for things done when they can function most of the time in their day to day lives or at least survive on their own.  When a person shakes uncontrollable or doesn't know their own son when they walk into the room, that is much more excusable and understandable.  It's more constant and the suffering is visible, tangible.  Depression is not like that, nor many other mental health issues.

I write this tonight because I feel bad.  I feel bad because when we are in the middle of not so nice times, I get so mad at my husband.  I hate what is happening and I want him to stop it.  I want him to be happy.  Why can't you just be happy, I think to myself so much.  And often times, I forget that sometimes, he honestly can't control it.  That I am sure that no one in their right mind would want to feel like that.  And then I feel bad that my husband for so long wanted no one to know that he has bipolar and for years before that wondered why he was the way he was.  I feel bad for those who I know need to get help but don't want that label on them as being "sad" or "depressed" or anything else.  People are going without help just to avoid what people think of them.  That's horrible.

My husband is a great man.  I tend not to write about him as much as I should because I'm a beaming mom of two-cute-as-can-be boys who wants to talk about her kids.  But I need to write more about him to help people understand that bipolar, much like autism, is just one aspect of our lives.  It's not pretty, but it's our reality.  And maybe if I share the funny things he says, or the things that happen to him during his day, it will help to take away the stigma that is attached to mental health diseases.  It will help people to not hear the terms, "depression," "bipolar," or "manic" and think....oh shit, its another wack job.  Instead to realize that these people are your co-workers, your family members or your friends.  You might know someone with these diseases right now.  Maybe instead, when they hear these diseases they will get a strange craving for a margarita......and that would be awesome!!!

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