I talk a lot about my mental health on social media. Many people tell me to stop. They also tell think that my publicity about it is an invitation to comment on my medical choices. I accept that this is to be expected if I am to publicly speak out about it, but I do so exactly so I can draw out the obscene arguments proposed by individuals. Here are my skeptic thoughts on some of the most common public control mechanisms of Mental Health Treatments:
“Don’t take drugs for your mental health.”
I posted on Instagram my recent issue dealing with suicide. I had let a commenter know that I accepted medication to calm down hallucination symptoms, and she responded quickly by saying I should not do anything to “alter my brain”.
This is ridiculous. Especially considering that she herself probably consumes substances that alter her brain. Is food not a substance that alters one’s dopamine levels? Is tylenol also not a substance to alter one’s brain? Being a skeptic has helped me remain strong against people’s criticisms, especially when they are just plain ridiculous.
Had I been an anorexic person or something or NOT a skeptic, I would have given into her suggestion possibly. She is a well known somewhat famous actress who seems very fun on the outside. She is beautiful, she is skinny, she is a model and a successful public person. If I had those disorders I probably would be compromising my medical treatment just to impress her, because that goes far in this society where medication is heavily discriminated against on the basis of unethical treatment. Unethical against what? What is your justification? Why should I not be altering my brain? My brain alters my behavior, so what do you want? For me to alter my brain so that I exhibit functioning behavior, or not alter my brain to exhibit behavior that would otherwise kill me?
“I think you need to make better decisions for yourself.”
This is an underlying premise, actually, of most people’s scattered criticisms on my public discussion. I usually get a hodgepodge of these criticisms, like “I don’t think you should be doing that.” “I don’t think you should be posting online.” “I think you should keep it hidden from society.” “I think you need to check yourself in.” “I think you should be seeing a better doctor.” “I think you should take better care of how much you take your meds.” “I think you should be taking your meds.” “I think you should consult a professional.” “I think you aren’t making good decisions with the public.” “I think you aren’t doing what’s best for yourself or your family by talking about suicide.”
I would just like to give a big Laugh Out Loud to these. This is utterly hilarious. Notice how all of these criticisms begin with “I think” and not “Have you…” or “I am curious about ____. Do you do ____?” and the fact that often I hardly ever mention my doctors or medical care so the criticisms give are unmerited at best. This indicates the level of controlling behavior and attitude towards the public discussion of anything real related to mental health. By making statements instead of asking questions on my healthcare, people reveal themselves to me by how inept they are at dealing with their own issues or being a supportive friend by showing how they handle their mental issues to anyone who discusses it.
I do not go into specifics about my medical treatment on social media unless it is an activist statement to decrease stigma or to give information. I personally think it is nobody’s business to hear what medication I am on. It is laughable that no one investigates fully the extent of my actions and responsibility for my treatment plan that I have been doing for ten years (yes I said ten years) before coming to these statement conclusions. Because that’s what they are. Conclusions. But if I decide to speak on that later, I will do so under the implication that it is meant to help my cause and goals at hand.
My comments online are meant to probe discussion and awareness. I get that it’s kind of bold and random, because nobody really has as much of a confidence or acceptance about these issues like me, I’ve been told. It’s shocking. But that’s what I do on purpose. I shock. Otherwise, I personally think anti-stigma campaigns are incredibly counterproductive to their goals and help nothing if the only tactic is to politely ask people to “Reduce stigma.”
The challenges of mental disorders are so severe. It is an insult to severely mentally ill people to neglect to talk about how incredibly awful it is at the discrimination and amount of suffering one has when dealing with suicide, the stigma of suicide, etc. I mean, this is honestly why people do not share their issues until they actually kill themselves then before you know it a person is dead I think. I would say that I don’t mean to be harsh, but I do mean to be harsh, actually. Because death is a harsh reality. And it won’t go away until you face it for real. Sorry, but I’m a cold hard truther. Specifically a Negative Utilitarianist truther, if you know what I mean.
If somebody wants to discuss with me the issues of my activism strategies (or the items shared on my PERSONAL pages), then they can either a) inquire about my goals of doing what I do or b) unfollow me.
In any of these cases, how many would be telling a cancer patient to not take medication, and what kind of doctor do you see? Why are you talking publicly about your issue? Why are you doing this, that? No. There are huge campaigns, in fact, devoted to letting people talk about their physical problems openly. On TV. Namely the breast cancer campaigns… to GET MONEY. Where is my fucking money for my mental disorders? Because as last time I looked, the mental health facilities get like, close to NO dollars to advance the facilities, research, and promotion for science-based treatment. And I have no shame in standing up for my rights and to refuse discrimination as a mentally ill person.