Mad, bad and sad.

Discussion in 'General Weight Loss Discussion' started by cateka, 13 February 2009 Social URL.

  1. cateka

    cateka Full Member

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    I've read many a thread on here and it shocks me to see how many people seem to associate their weight issues with a mental illness of some sort. I'm not just talking about compulsive overeating or binge eating - a handful of people talk about the bipolar disorder and psychosis as a factor in this 'crossroads' most of us seem to be stuck at. Its very eye-opening and in a way reassuring because if you suffer from a mental illness you feel so very alone in the world.

    I read an inspiring quote the other day:
    "Insanity is a perfectly rational response to an insane world."
    I believe it was said by Laing.

    It makes me sick... does nobody, nobody on the face of the earth realise how god damn stimatizing it is to point a finger at people with mental illnesses? Telling us we are 'mad' all the time.
    Its especially awful because in my case its always from the people who are supposed to love and care for me, my parents' favorite expression being 'looney' and my boyfriend's being 'nutter'. Those words bore themselves into me like a parasite and the memory of it never goes away.

    The social withdrawal I have suffered from being labelled 'bulimic' is crushing. I hate that expression too, I'm never "suffering from bulimia" I am always "bulimic", people say it the same manner they talk about my skin colour - why can't they understand its not a part of me, its merely a crisis I am facing. I never talk to anyone now because I have been made so ashamed of it - I'm too afraid. I have no friends and I never go out. I sit on my own at college because I'm too afraid of saying anything to anyone lest they somehow find out the horrible truth about me.

    People don't get made ashamed of things like cancer, its a heartwarming story if someone recovers from it, you tell someone and they are inspired. If you tell someone you used to suffer from a mental illness they sortof tiptoe around you afraid you'll suddenly stab them or something. Theres no heroic praise for us 'nutters', recovered or not.

    What also makes me sick is that some people are apparantly not crazy enough to get the help they need. If someone is anorexic people worry, want to help, see it as an uncontrollable force and feel so much sympathy for the sufferer. If someone suffers from compulsive overeating they are "just fat" and I recon half the time that people don't seek help with it, its because the general population makes them feel as though they don't deserve it.

    As for people suffering from unipolar depression... are we really sick at all? People describe outlooks as "optimistic" or "pessimistic". Could they perhaps be described as "denial" and "reality" instead? Things that other people see as "little things" become "big things" to us. Magnification and minimization I believe this symptom is called - we focus on the bad and ignore the good. Could it be because the world is really at wrongs and we are the only ones who notice that most of the times the bads outweigh the goods, but everyone else has been conditioned to ignore it?

    Everybody should read Brave New World by Huxley - a future where civilization stops anybody from being miserable, everyone is conditioned to adore their role, everybody engages in casual sex all the time, love, arts and passion do not exist. Nobody is even familiar with terms like 'liberty'. Everyone is stable, everyone is happy, people aren't even afraid of dying.
    Maybe this is the world we live in now - everyone walking around all aloof, not a care in the world except getting a new sofa. I believe the 'mentally ill' help to uphold this - we see all the horrible wrongs in the world and want to change them, so everything is stable and everyone else remains aloof. Only its not possible to do that; I can't stop all the wars can I? This apiphany makes us miserable, we push it deep down inside us where it turns into a psychosis or an eating disorder.

    This is how I see the world today - the "mentally ill" trying to do everyone else a favour, and everyone else spitting on us for not being idle. Typically speaking, we are crusaders for a better world, and the only reason no-one else is is that their heads are buried too deep in hypnotic forced like the media to notice there is anything wrong with the world in the first place.

    This is my outlook on life, I want to flush all my antidepressants down the bog along with this stigma and scream out my window for hours on end. But what good would that do?

    It gets you down sometimes.

    Sorry, end rant here.
     
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  3. Lind

    Lind Is feeling the love!

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    What an honest post. I will not pretend to know how you feel or what you are going through, or indeed not going through.

    But I will say that I have only been on this site a week and my perception on a lot of my own "issues" has changed a lot.

    I don't have mental illness and I can not blame my weight on an unhappy childhood. I just simply ate too m uch of the food I shouldn't have because I didn't want to stop.

    I can only say that I hopy your situation improves for you.
     
  4. dehli

    dehli Silver Member

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    Unfortunately mental illness has a huge stigma still, even though most people could be diagnosed with some form of mental illness or other if it was up to the pyschiatrists. Fat is also a huge stigma, and the media/government are stigmatising it even more lately, and that is partly why bulimia and anorexia are on the increase, in my opinion.

    It can be very depressing watching the news which is why I don't watch it any more. Nor do I read celebrity magazines, as they are just brainwashing young girls into believing they should aspire to look like the celebs/models.

    So long as you're healthy, it shouldn't matter how fat or thin you are, that's just conditioning/fashion. Try and focus on the good things in life, they say you attract what you give your attention to. I also don't believe anti depressants help many people, and drugs are never the answer in my opinion.

    Good luck x
     
  5. Grrlscout

    Grrlscout Full Member

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    I've actually found that the assumption I've bumped up against the most is the assumption of fat = depression. In other words, the assumption seems to be that someone fat is desperately unhappy or depressed... when the case might well be that they just have portion control or food choices.

    That being said, I do think that someone who's significantly overweight is using food as a coping mechanism of some sort. But depressed? Not necessarily, no more than fat means lazy.
     
  6. LightRaven

    LightRaven What doesn't kill me.....

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    Hey Cateka,

    This section really stuck out to me above everything else you mentioned. I am an idealist and believe that people should lead by example and treat others how we all should be treated. Unfortunately, no one seems to be following me.

    I have two choices.. I can accept that or I can go against it.

    I was in therapy for a few years ( I have dysthmia, and when I'm in a major depressive episode, I have borderline personality disorder).. and basically what we came about was that, in order to stop being hurt by others because they dont fit your ideals, you have to change yourself. Because you cannot change others.

    And I never liked that. I understand that it is a very valid and real thing. You cannot change others... IF they don't want to. But I don't want to be like them. So I will remain myself. And I'm the type of person who will give and give and give and never ask for anything in return. And if I get hurt in the process...so be it. Because I will lead by example.. it's what I was meant to do.

    You might want to check out the topic of Indigo children. They are people who often feel they don't belong, but very much want to change the world.. and are meant to do so.

    LR
     
  7. charliegirl

    charliegirl Silver Member

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    When I was a child my mother repeatedly told me I was "stupid"...when I used to go and stay with my nan my mum warned me not to tell her anything. This resulted in everything my nan asked me about my mum I would reply "I dont know"....my nan labelled me stupid and told my mother I "knew nothing"...they both thought this was acceptable to say to me as a young impressionable child. I lived with the stigma of these feelings of being stupid all my childhood and adult life. Both of them are dead now, my mothers only compliment to me was that I was a better knitter than she was. There was no praise or love, it took me until last year (I turned 50 in january of this year) to let it all go. I was not the stupid one they were both cruel and inconsiderate of how I might feel and I vowed not to make the same mistakes.

    I have an elderly neighbour who is 75, she is on the whole a good old stick and we get along like mother and daughter. However, if I am having an "off day" and feel like a cry she immediately states I am having a "breakdown" and need to see a doctor. This really really bugs me, both my elder sister suffer terrible depression because they bottle their feelings up, whereas I have a good cry and then get on with things. I think people are far too quick to label people and not just the ones with mental illnesses, anything that makes someone else feel uncomfortable or something they dont understand its labelled. We are not jars that people can put labels on we are lovely human beings that may have different problems to others but what is "normal" in this very confusing world....og and yesterday my elderly neighbour said how intelligent I am becuase I was able to sort out a bill for her and check it was correct.....dont let anyone put you down....xx
     
  8. Janey2004

    Janey2004 This is for ME!

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    Just sticking my ten pennith in here. I work with people suffering from mental illness and I myself have a mental illness. Been on a crusade fighting the stigma all my nursing career. And you are right Cateka.......no one would ever dream of stigmatizing cancer or other life threatening illnesses. But you see mental illness IS a life threatening illness and many hundreds of lives are lost to it every year. Thankyou for such a brave and enlightening post.
     
  9. cateka

    cateka Full Member

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    Hey, I just want to thank everybody for their inputs to this post.
    I know it was made a long time ago, but I was in a very dark cloud when I wrote it and almost completely forgot, I've only read some of
    the replies thouroughly now.
    I'm glad to see I'm not alone on this, I am still struggling very much with my disorder but to hear that so many people agree with my views on stigmas keeps my beliefs and principles strong.
    Any kind of mental illness just reaffirms the fact that there IS human compassion in the world and we CAN change it for the better :)
    Thank you all so very much.
     
  10. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    That's a lovely post Cateka, and I know I've been harsh on you in the past, but only because I saw something in you that I too struggled with many years ago.

    Keep strong hun.
     
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  11. siggy79

    siggy79 VLCD

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    I agree. But I also think that, if you look around you - everyone has some sort of coping mechanism, smoking, alcohol, drugs, exercise, food, sex - anything can turn into a habit and be used as a crutch for the stressful lives we lead. Does that mean that we should try to live without that crutch? Or perhaps replace it with a new, healthier one?
     
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