Revisiting Mental Illness Stigma on TV

Now, I’ve been watching the TV show OutDaughtered. For those not in the know, the father has been dealing with a form of depression. He has been getting encouragement to get professional help, and it takes a final exposure of the mother’s pain to do it. That’s all I’m going to say on this one. 

I’m not saying there is a perfect show about dealing with mental illness stigma. What I am saying is, this show kept the stigma to a minimum. It was mentioned a few times, but it was kept in a more visceral sense, and it was definitely fought with. That’s what I want when dealing with mental illness stigma – fighting it like the plague.  

It’s a funny thing, how different TV shows deal with mental conditions. I know I criticized The Carmichaels in the past about their handling of mental illness stigma, and they are about a black family. To ME, PERSONALLY, these things are completely unrelated. If OutDaughtered were about a black family, or The Carmichaels were white, I would have dealt the same reviews. I still think they ought to fight stigma as much as they can. Somehow, I still believe The Carmichaels would have revisited the issue with mental illness stigma had they not been canceled. As I have said before, I liked The Carmichaels. I just wish they would have fought the stigma of mental illness more.  

 

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Going Around in Circles: Blame Does Nothing

Last night, I touched on a subject that I think needs more explanation: the blaming of the other party and the other race for the existence of racism. I think I need to state the obvious: No side is clean. We are all to blame for going around in circles and not taking our part in fighting racism. We are literally giving blame, and therefore power, to the other side for the racism in this country. The result of that? The gaining strength of racism and hate in this nation, of course.  

Let me look at one which has dominated my feed: Republicans vs. Democrats.  

Here’s a typical “infopic” running around the Republican circles: 

DemocratRacism

And here’s a typical infopic running around the Democratic circles: 

gop-racist-bunch_n

See? Both parties are blaming the other, and NOBODY is taking responsibility. Stop picking my pictures apart for one cotton picking second and just acknowledge that blame pictures exist.

Now, let’s look at Black and White racism blame: 

dont-blame-trump-obama-stoked-racism-for-7-years-the-6028658

halfwhite

Stop picking my pictures apart for one cotton picking second and just acknowledge that blame pictures exist.

Once again, going around in circles. Giving our responsibility and power away. Is it any wonder we feel so powerless? We’re giving our power away. If it is up to THEM, what can the US do about it? Nothing. If there is an US and a THEM, truth be told, it’s always the THEM that has all the power. The US is always washing their hands of any responsibility.  

Let me make one thing clear: Hate exists in the minds of EVERYONE. EVERYONE must stand up and fight it. If we give the responsibility for eliminating racism to the “THEM,” we are denying our own responsibility in the process. Since I have to have a house fall on you, here is the falling house: 

WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR RACISM.

Musings on Prejudice

Definition of prejudice  (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  1. 1 :  injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one’s rights; especiallydetriment to one’s legal rights or claims 
  1. 2a (1) :  preconceived judgment or opinion (2) :  an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.  2b :  an instance of such judgment or opinions :  an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics 

My first experience with Prejudice was a magazine cover on a news magazine. It was a series of differently colored or shaded(?) fists surrounding planet Earth. I asked dad what prejudice was, and he told me. He also warned me about not having prejudice, since it was one of those evils in society. In my family, we believed in equality. We believed humanity was humanity. This is why, today, I am an avowed opponent of ethnic separatist groups, the Ku Klux Klan among them. I believe separating and segregating people apart causes unnecessary fear and anxiety in people. I believe everybody is in the same race – the human race. There are people walking around everywhere as a testament to it. This is why I say what I say about the events in Charlottesville and other race relations hot spots. 

I cannot sit by while people are murdering each other because of minor differences that seem so much. I cannot sit idly by while hate rules in the halls of American government. I know violence is wrong on both sides. However, when the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and other segregationist groups want to destroy the multicultural diversity that actually makes this nation great, I cannot stand idly by and sit silent. I cannot sit idly by, because I am a firm believer in equality. I was raised as a firm believer in equality.  

I may not go to the protests and marches due to various circumstances, such as disability and economic hardship, but I speak wherever I can. I speak on my social media. I sincerely disagree with Trump’s approach to race relations. Yes, there was violence on many sides. But sometimes, you have to take a side. Unfortunately, you either stand against intolerance, or you are intolerant. The ultimate paradox of tolerance, is that you have to be intolerant against intolerance. The whole world has seen the results of accepting intolerance. It caused World War II, as a matter of fact. 

Sure, you can blame the other side for race baiting and the presence of prejudice. Both Democrats and Republicans do this. But what if we stopped blaming each other, came together as one, and vowed to do something BESIDES blame? Would that not be more effective? If we forgave each other (NOT excused, by the way) for race baiting and prejudice, stopped doing it ourselves, and finally decided to work on it together, would that not be more effective a weapon against hate?  

Future Eugenics???

I saw a thing on TV that talked about people aborting those with Down Syndrome in Iceland and other places in Europe. I am scared for autistic people of the future because of this.  

I just know there is a lot of people who find autistic people “genetically defective,” “emotionally defective,” “mentally defective,” and just defective in general. I have been contacted by these people online. I just know that anyone who is “defective” would be in danger of being aborted. Why, people ridding the world of “defective” people is one of the core arguments surrounding the pro-choice debate. It frightens me. I think I might be a rare person because of this. And, what will you miss when you realize good people who contribute to society are gone?  

Let me put the above in a more practical light: The Renaissance artist Michelangelo has been often described with autistic traits. Do we tear down the Sistine Chapel because of this? That is what you’re potentially doing. You’re potentially tearing down the Sistine Chapels’ ceilings of the future. Why not let people with defects live with you? That is more compassionate, and less eugenic.  

Back to eugenics: eugenics is known as a pseudoscience created and supplied by the Nazis to prove that Germans, or Aryans, as they call themselves, are a master race. Eugenics was one of the arguments which eventually led to the Holocaust, the murder of millions of Jews and various other races and their helpers. I know that escalated quickly, but it only took from 1933 to 1941-eight years-to escalate from election to systematic genocide. I’m not stupid.  

Forgive me. I am afraid. I am afraid of being systematically erased from society. Considering the recent events taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia, is that so far-fetched?

Charlottesville, Virginia: August 12, 2017

CONTENT WARNING: Swearing  

It has been a rough day. It has also taken me a LONG time to process it all. And I hate what I see.

I am literally considering banging my head into the wall thanks to the people of the Alt-Right, the Nazis and the White Supremacists of to relieve myself and release all this tension. I’m on the verge of crying. I don’t know if my mother sees this.

White Supremacists rallying around a statue. Nazis saluting. Counter Protesters. A car running into counter protesters, killing a woman. What, was she collateral damage?

Why do people think they are better than each other? In the worldview I have adopted, all are equal. No one person is more or less valuable than the next.

8:55 p.m. 

I have hit my head in my hands three times to release my rage. I am shaking. I am on the verge of tears. I want to scream, but I can’t.

Nobody is better than anybody else.

People are the best and the worst rolled into one.

I want to mow down everyone’s ego. I want to shake my fellow white man and say “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” I want to take my brain out of my head and stomp on it. I want to stomp on my heart. I want to stop feeling. I want to be rational. But no one else is.

People are dying to be equal.

The King-of-the-Mountain routine is destroying America.

 

An Ode to My Fellow Middle Children

Let me bring up the three girls of The Brady Bunch. If they were real, I wonder, which one of them would have been the most likely first female President? No, not Marcia. Statistics actually point to Jan. Jan Brady would have been the most likely first female President. I’m not kidding. Statistics prove that, now that elder sisters are counted equally among siblings these days, 52% of US Presidents are middle children.  

I’m writing from experience. The thing is, I am a middle child. Maybe that’s the reason why I am the one with the blog. Yes, I had to deal with a big sibling and two younger ones. So did the other middle child in my family unit.  

Let me tell you a basic story that explains the predicament of middle children: My family moved into a four-bedroom house when I was in my teens. My oldest sibling had a bedroom, my youngest sibling had a bedroom, and us two middles were forced to share ours until my eldest moved out. I think maybe our other middle had it worse at times, because there were times I dominated the decorating of our bedroom. Here’s the thing: the two of us became so much more than the vacillating and struggling Jan Brady or bad luck magnet Edith Crawley. Truth is, middle children may get the ceiling and floor stolen from them in childhood. The funny thing is, they get it back through blood, sweat and tears. Also, there is hard negotiation and perceived rebellion involved. But how does that affect us in adulthood? Turns out, once we are out from under the shadows of our siblings, we do pretty well. I mean, look back up and see how many of us are US Presidents!

Now, let’s take a look at famous middle children. Here is a partial list: 

Abraham Lincoln 

Kim Kardashian 

Bill Gates 

Britney Spears 

Peyton Manning 

Jennifer Lopez 

Chris Hemsworth (HELLO! He portrays Thor!) 

Pippa Middleton (Best Dressed at Kate’s Wedding, I think) 

Donald Trump (No matter what you think of him, he is one of us.)  

Warren Buffett 

Judd Apatow 

David Letterman 

Anne Hathaway 

Julia Roberts (I’ve just turned on “Pretty Woman.”) 

Katy Perry 

Nelson Mandela 

Martin Luther King Jr. 

So, all of us middles out there, we’re in very good company. And we are valuable people, as the list is very long.  

And one final word about success and who is successful: Define success first, and then see who is most successful.  

Too Concerned with Mental Health at Times? 

When I heard an actress, who had recently given birth, was getting health with her postpartum depression, I felt that concern time was over because I somehow knew she was in good hands. I often wonder if that concern was prematurely ended. I mean, since she was in good hands, she was getting good help, right?  

I was wondering: when should you be concerned with a person’s mental health, and when should you be NOT concerned? Also, could you be too concerned? Could that concern actually be thinly-veiled fear? 

When you’re dealing with your own mental health, I think concern should be best had by the person themselves. Mental health persons, when dealing with it, can be their own best advocates. Besides, they know what is best for them a majority of the time, especially in dealing with the tedious trial-and-error method of mental health medication. I am a fan of telling the doctor everything that is going on with your body, mind and mood. I know it’s long and drawn out. I myself had to tell my own prescriber that I was not feeling and functioning when they switched my prescription on me once. I am even glad there is somebody who looks out for me and my mental state as well. Unfortunately, few of those with mental illness have that person who really looks out for them. I know I am blessed in that aspect.  

About excess concern: that is usually a veiled fear of mental illness itself, and the various aspects of the behavior. I must speak again and again of the stigma, fear and hate that surrounds us who have mental illness, and our families. Pushing it under the rug will do nobody any favor. As a matter of fact, stigma gives mental illness a cover of darkness, and darkness is the perfect environment for the illness to spread and fester like bacteria, claiming lives and families as it grown. It is only in exposure to the light of day that we can fight it. 

So, what is the limit of concern? Where do we stop being scared for the person and begin to help the person in their fight for their health?