Myth: Crazy Violence

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about the myth that people with mental illness are more violent than people who don’t have a mental illness diagnosis.

The Myth: People with mental illness are violent.

Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s definition, violent crimes involve force or threat of force.

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Stigma

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about the stigma that many of face. Stigma is surrounding many chronic illnesses, but I feel that the stigma that surrounds those with mental illness is perhaps the most damaging. The first reason that I feel this way is because we inherently connect our mental state to our ego and when people judge our mental illness it is impossible to not feel it as a personal attack. These kinds of comments and actions just tend to hit us in our most sensitive areas. But there is also the very real fact that we need to have of mental health in order to be able to manage our physical health. When we have poorly regulated mental illness, we will not be able to manage our physical illnesses. This means that the stigmas that prevent people from getting good mental health care is going to effect every aspect of their wellness.

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Medical PTSD

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I am going to be talking about trauma and how that can impact those of us with chronic illnesses.

In the beginning there is trauma. Something terrible that happened. Something that marked the person deeply in a way that holds on. In many ways, that fight or flight response doesn’t turn off. It just keeps humming in the back ground; certain that something terrible could happen again at any moment. It is an experience that lingers and interferes with their everyday lives. It bites and gnaws; just not letting go.

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My Diagnosis

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and visiting with me today. I am glad that you are here.

I have decided that my next series will be about my various diagnoses. I am going to be sharing my personal experiences with these diagnoses rather then discussing what the diagnosis is in all its possibilities. I feel that it is important for those of us who are living with chronic illnesses to share their lived experiences. This has value because many of our illnesses are invisible, rare, hold stigma and are misunderstood. Talking about our lived experiences can help shed light on what it is actually like to live with chronic illness. The internet has given us a platform that we historically have never had before. By using it, we can help change the way that people with chronic illnesses and those with disabilities are being treated both medically and socially.

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Through the Media’s Eyes

I feel that the primary reason that there is a stigma against mental illness is because of the way it is portrayed in the media. People believe what they see on TV or read on the internet. Especially in regards to things that they have no experience with. I am not blaming the consumers here. I’d love it if everyone would go get themselves educated on what mental illness really is, but that isn’t going to happen and really doesn’t need to. I am, however, blaming the media, in part. I don’t feel that the media is completely responsible for shaping popular opinions. TV shows and movies are about telling a good story and that often has nothing to do with reality. It is not the media’s responsibility to make sure that people don’t believe in vampires, were wolves and unicorns. In the same way, it is not their responsibility to make sure people don’t believe that mental illness is a synonym with violence or helplessness.

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This thing, that you call me,
doesn’t change who I am,
yet it defines me,
This name, this diagnosis,
that you gave me.
The name didn’t make me this way,
yet it shapes everything around me.
The stigma for this label,
marking every social interaction
and limiting the choices I can make.

Relationship with Food

There are many things in our lives that can effect the relationship that we have with food. Our culture, our up bringing, food insecurity, trauma, media exposure and our chronic illness. We often don’t think about the ways that chronic illness effects our relationship with food. But it can have significant impact and is worth consideration. But for some reason, this isn’t something that I generally hear being talked about in either the medical community or the chronic illness community. I’m not sure why, but the mental health impact on the way that food can damage our bodies is often over looked. So, I want to take some time to talk about the way that chronic illness can impact our relationship with food.

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Self-Honesty

When you have chronic illness, it becomes important to carefully self-evaluate and self-regulate. No one else can tell you if you should be resting or if you should be moving. No one else can really know if you are offering up excuses or if you are really having a bad pain day. But the truth is that it can be hard to tell the difference for ourselves at times. Why is this so hard? The answer comes down to self-honesty. Most of us tell ourselves lies without realizing that’s what we’re doing. We buy into the stereotypes or the stigma or the story about ourselves that we grew up with. 

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