Sunday, 4 March 2018
- Illness is universal but access to care is not. -
One of the biggest downsides to living in the community that I live in, is that most people don't believe in mental illness. Which kind of baffles my mind.
When someone is acting a certain way, that is not " normal " ( I really hope I am not offending anyone, this is just what people think here ), people tend to have two opinions about it. Either the person is crazy, which I fail to understand, or that they're doing it on purpose. Which I don't get either, to be honest with you.
So you can conclude that we don't know much about mental illness. That we don't talk about it. And that we don't really know how to deal with it.
And let me tell you something, if you encounter certain people here, and if you know just a little bit about mental illness and how to diagnose some of them, not to say that I am an expert or anything, not at all, you will, for sure, pick up some symptoms of OCD or clinical depression. And most people don't even know they have it.
Even for the people who realize they have a problem and decide to go to a therapist, that doesn't end up benefiting them in any way. I know someone who did, and they ended up spending a shit load of money on the sessions and even more money on a crap tone of medications. Which are mostly used to sedate the person, rather than helping them deal with whatever they are going through. I honestly look at the prescriptions that ( Moroccan ) therapists give, as medications for chronic physical pain, rather than ones that actually help balance the hormones or whatever is creating that psychological pain.
And you can honestly see it. The person kind of becomes dead inside. And on top of that, they get really physically ill for some reason.
Another thing that kind of weirdly makes me laugh, is that some people who maybe believe in mental illness will try to offer advice to whoever is ill, and they'll go like " well you should turn to prayer. " And don't get me wrong, I am a religious person but even with that, I don't think that works. In fact, I know it doesn't. It's basically like putting pressure on a cut that is heavily bleeding and that needs stitches. Putting pressure is good, but the stitches are what the person needs the most. Bad analogy for people who are not religious, but you get the gist of it.
All that to say, I believe in mental illness. And I believe that if we educate ourselves enough on the matter, we could help people who are struggling despite what they might be portraying.
For example, let's talk about depression.
Depression is one of those concepts, one of those words, that people think they are entitled to use when they are sad. But the fact of the matter is that " being sad " and " being depressed " are two different things.
And to think that people feel like it's okay to use it as they please is baffling to me. It's like the same thing as having a headache, and saying that you actually have a tumor growing inside your head. While a headache might be a symptom of a much bigger issue, such as a tumor, they're not the same thing. Get it? Being sad can be a symptom of depression but you can also be sad without being depressed.
And I think that the " normalization " of the use of the word depression is definitely a factor that installs doubt in people's mind.
So what is depression? You might ask.
Depression, and I quote ( because I am no expert, I am not depressed so I am not even gonna try to define by myself. ) is : " a common and debilitating mood disorder. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness can be intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief. "
Some common symptoms in people who suffer from depression are : sleep changes,-appetite or weight changes - reckless behavior - trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions - fatigue - feelings of guilt .. And many more.
Just remember that you can feel guilt for example, because of something that you did or whatever and not be depressed; That is normal. I am by no means telling you that is the list you should be following or that you should diagnose yourself or anybody else for that matter, unless you are a professional. So don't go around diagnosing people, even if you want to help. Maybe advise the person to go see someone but don't say oh you are depressed. It doesn't work like that.
And that goes with my next point. What to do when you might be, or you might know someone who may be depressed. You should pay attention the symptoms. If they exist and if they are consistent. As in they are present for a really long time. If there is any doubt, turn to professionals who KNOW WTF THEY ARE DOING. Not people who will sedate the shit out of you or of the person that you know. If you can't find therapists around you who can help you, you can find ones online. Just do something.
Take care of yourself. Both mentally and physically. And don't feel guilty for doing so. Don't feel bad if you need time to bounce back. I know I did for a long time, because I would compare my situation with the less fortunate people in the world, who don't even have the luxury to take time to reflect. And I would tell myself ' I should be helping them. I am not suffering as bad as they are. ' But a while ago, I came to the realization that their suffering doesn't take away from my pain as well. And in order to help them, I need to be on my A game and I can't do that if I don't take care of myself. So I did. And I do. And you should too.
I was looking for pictures of suitcases and packing online, just to make this blogpost estheticaly pleasing and I came across this pic...