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?  

Stigma on TV: The Carmichaels Edition

I’m getting real mad at The Carmichael Show. This is what facing mental illness stigma is like. 

Well, the episode started with the matriarch crying by herself in the kitchen, while nobody else knew. The elder son’s girlfriend, who is a therapist, caught her, and the matriarch would not let her help her. They went out to the living room, where the girlfriend told the men (and got called a snitch), who began a discussion about depression. The discussion following reeked with stigma. There was talk of weakness, of not talking about it, of saying it only happened to rich and (implied) white people, and even self-medication with weed. It literally took holding the day’s plans hostage to actually get her to go to therapy. She eventually went to therapy, but admitted she lied about everything. It took a fight out front in the living room and admitting the pressure she put herself under to get her to go to therapy again.  

Anyway, I summarized the episode because I’m still processing the information. It makes me mad because if this is what we with mental illness face going into various communities, it’s no wonder so many of them are going to jail! Now, I’m not blaming the African American community at large for the crimes of a few. That is not the problem. The problem is stigma. The problem is hate and discrimination against the “crazy” (and yes, that word was used at one point), which will get them locked up in jail or prison before they get help. The largest mental health institution in the United States is the Cook County Jail in Chicago. Perhaps if people were encouraged to seek help for their problems, maybe they would not wind up in jail! It often takes TV shows like The Carmichael Show encouraging getting help to get people to get help. Unfortunately, I feel they dropped the ball on this one. Why not fight the stigma?  

Autism Reality Show: A Reality Show No One Wants, But One We Need 

I Just read an article about a TV show concerning an autistic character. According to the review, it is simply the same “Experts because they know someone autistic” who gets a LOT of autism wrong. The show has not even come out on Netflix yet, and I’m disappointed. Maybe it could apply to one autistic character or person, but not a great majority. See, there is autism in all races, cultures, genders and sexualities.

I somehow think that the best interpretation of autism on TV is one which groups several autistic people together, of different ages, races and genders, and simply follows them around. You know, an autism reality show. No inspiration porn, no neurotypical censorship, no getting autistics wrong. Just autistic people, navigating a world that is not for them. But I think nobody will take it. Neurotypicals like to get autistic people and put them in a little box. Trouble is, if you don’t fit in this little box, you’re not autistic. Even professionals withhold help because women and people of color, and successful people too, do not fit into this little box. They withhold help in the form of refusing to diagnose autistic people with their autism. This is why we need an autism reality show in the form I described.

Besides, if you were a bird who could fly, would you rather not learn how to fly from a bird?

So There is an Outbreak of Measles in Minnesota…..

So there is an outbreak of measles in Minnesota among Somali-descended children, spreading to other vulnerable populations. I want you to understand that. What I don’t want you to do is point the finger at me about it. For the longest time, I thought that, being autistic and scary to a neurotypical population that is afraid of me, that I was the cause of unvaccinated measles outbreaks, in Minnesota and Southern California (at Disneyland, no less), especially since Jenny McCarthy literally blamed her son’s autism for all her suffering in life. But, in this case and others, I have already dismissed my existence as a cause of measles outbreaks, especially since now there are more complex, pointed reasons as to why there is an outbreak of measles they are dealing with in Minnesota. I want you to read the next sentences very carefully. That’s why I have separated them out.

*****

The causes of the outbreak of measles in Minnesota are as follows:

  1. Ableism, represented as Anti-autism
  1. Racism
  1. Xenophobia

The causes of the Disneyland outbreak in Southern California are as follows:

  1. Ableism, represented as Anti-autism

*****

These lists are not finished. First, I want to discuss the discovered causes of the measles outbreak in Minnesota. Let me start with ableism.

Thank you so very much, Jenny McCarthy. Thank you, Andrew Wakefield. Thanks a lot, Autism Speaks. While I won’t go into the extremely non-duplicated, thoroughly debunked, corrupt and hateful so-called “study” of how you think the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine causes autism. I have felt personally responsible and personally attacked because of you. You have made children sick because of my existence. You have murdered over nine thousand children as of July 2015. And the cause of all this pain and destruction? The existence of autistic people. I am autistic. Therefore, you make ME a target. Your hatred of me justifies your actions of denying children their health, their immunity, even their lives. You justify your kills because of me. I am tired of being the cause for the loss of innocent lives.

*****

Now, onto the next two causes, because they are interwoven and intersected. They are Racism and Xenophobia.

Now, when most white American people look at Somali immigrants, what do they see? They see dark skin – race being the previous mark of slavery, and they devalue the person. They see a foreigner – those “evil” people trying to come and take their lives, jobs and livelihood. They see a Muslim – and deem them dangerous, evil terrorists, not realizing that most Muslims HATE those terrorists. (Don’t get me started on some of my Muslim friends’ seething rage.) So, when these dark-skinned foreign so-called terrorists come to them with an issue – their children are getting autism – what do those white American people do? They ignore and deny help to these inferior people. So, what does the ableist, Anti-vaccine camp do? They listen, and recruit soldiers for their own terror. Herd immunity is compromised. And children in Minnesota now have measles, many of them hospitalized because their weak and developing immune systems are defenseless against the onslaught. Now do you see how danger and strife can get a foothold due to racism and xenophobia?

*****

I am not here to bring anybody down, or anybody out. I am simply facing hatred in three intersecting directions of ableism, racism and xenophobia. Now, I know I am not black and an immigrant, but I will fight the diseased rot of ableism, racism and xenophobia right alongside its victims. I do it every day – even in my mind. When children are dying, there is something wrong. One absolutely must speak up for the sake of the future. One must speak up for the sake of the suffering children.

 

April Post 10: Meet the Angry Autistic Woman 

Looking over my behavior when I am alone, it disturbs me. I swear, I give obscene gestures to random people that are not there, and I am a constant simmering volcano of emotion. I don’t know where all this anger comes from. My mother does not know about this  I don’t like being an angry woman. I don’t like wanting to explode at people all the time. I don’t like having to relive every single day simmering at the edges, and literally stuffing down my emotions with anything I can find in order, like ice cream, to protect everyone else from my feelings.

But, when I look over all the injustice that I received as an autistic person, I get why I am so angry. The rage I feel inside when I see anything that reminds me of my childhood is unbearable at best. Tonight, I saw an episode of “The Goldbergs” which revolved around theater. I never really fit in anywhere in high school, not even theater. I even tried to spell it “theatre” in order to fit in. Then, as I learned later, I was made fun of behind my back for talking to myself. There is a post about that called “Facebook and the Mellaril Nightmare” if you want to read about it. Truth is, the only time I ever really felt accepted in school was on Grad Night. I guess everybody was trying to make a good last impression. Truth be told, I was finally relaxed and relieved that it was all ending.

I spent years trying to find love and acceptance, because I was always unacceptable. I was unacceptable in class, unacceptable with friends, unacceptable in theater (pretentious snobs!), unacceptable in church, even unacceptable in ASAN (for being too politically conservative). Honestly, I am currently an angry, bitter, lonely recluse, and that’s what everybody wants me to be. They only want me to go away. Is it any wonder I am an Angry Autistic Woman?

April Post 8: Meet Julia 

This is a reaction post: I must admit I haven’t seen Sesame Street in a long time.  

10:32 – Julia is not taking greeting very well. She seems to be rubbing Big Bird a little wrong.

10:33 – They’re explaining Julia’s autism to Big Bird in very simple terms.

“Play, play, play!” Is her first real line. She’s very sweet.

10:35 – Uh-oh – sirens. She’s holding her ears. A little insight: it’s apparent to Julia that sirens are much louder to her. It’s common for an autistic person to experience things more or less.

10:38 – Big Bird is getting that people are different from each other. Elmo seems to get Julia a little more, as does Abby.

10:40 – They’re singing about differences, and friendship.

10:42 – They’ve changed things a bit. Now they introduce the Letter of the Day with a song. Cool. By the way, its “F” for Friendship.

10:43 – Boy, this is FAST. We’re now in a segment about friendship. I’ve forgotten how quickly the child’s brain processes information – at least with Sesame Street.

10:45 – “Hey, come play with me” is a great song.

10:46 – Now were learning how to take turns with the Two Headed Monster.

10:47 – How Many Cookies Today? 2!

10:48 – Now Elmo and Abby are learning to count to 2.

10:49 – A song about 2!

10:50 – Whew! I have to go FAST.

10:51 – Now we’ve got Smarty the Smartphone. And we’re talking about friends. (I’m sensing a theme here.)  Now they’re playing Tic Tac Toe.

10:54 – A man and dog teaching how to play with a friend.

10:55 – Elmo is doing the Happy Dance Dance. 🙂

10:56 – Big Bird and Julia are now good friends. Goodbye NOW?! (That’s OK. It only lasts for a half hour.)

10:58 – Roll Credits – with a song!

I’m happy Julia has made the jump to TV Sesame Street. If Julia or some type of autistic child had been around Sesame Street as a kid, maybe I would have been more accepted instead of teased for being a crybaby. (To be honest, I’m getting jealous of autistic kids today. They’re having opportunities for love and acceptance I never did.)  

I guess you have to start the acceptance and friendship with different people REALLY young. Hopefully, they’ll get the message one day.

I haven’t got the skills to detect if Julia is stereotypical or just right at the moment; I’ll make a more informed decision soon.

Expectation vs. Reality: Valentine’s Day 2017 –

Via Daily Prompt: Expectation

Let’s get one thing straight: Often, reality does not meet expectation, let alone surpass it. I was expecting to be attached to somebody romantically this Valentine’s Day, but I’m not, for example. To me, though, expectation is no big deal. I can deal with a single Valentine’s Day. I have been for years. There is a no-worry plan to deal with Valentine’s Day, or as some singles like to call it, Singles Awareness Day.

1) Drop expectations – What do you have to worry about if you don’t have anyone to expect anything from? You’re totally free from it. I mean, sure, your friends or family may have something to celebrate or expect, but you, don’t worry about it. There is nothing to tether you to expectation.

2) Surround yourself with things and people you love – I’ve done it already this morning: I’ve got my new Doctor Strange Funko mug. I’ve already got my chocolate, my coffee, my favorite pajamas, and my later plans to go out to lunch with my mother, whom I love dearly. Love is the theme of the day; surround yourself with people and things for it.

3) Don’t get bitter – Why get bitter? Maybe you don’t have what they call a “soul mate.” Besides, the “soulmate” theory came from a belief that the human soul was divided into two genders, male and female. I’m not going to get into it, but I believe 1+1=2. You are a whole, complete person by yourself. Besides, would you really want to be in a relationship where the person abuses you because you don’t want to be alone? You know there’s various caveats to that, and that’s one of them. Besides, just because your life hasn’t worked out right doesn’t mean others haven’t either.

4) Celebrate others’ relationships – There are plenty of people to whom Valentine’s Day has a more special significance. For example, my own parents were married on Valentine’s Day. Find someone who has this kind of significance – like a birthday, perhaps? People were born today, too. But I digress. Sometimes you have to absorb another’s positive energy, sometimes you don’t. Don’t worry about it.

I hope I may have been helpful with some suggestions in dealing with this day, if you are having trouble.

ADDENDUM (8:15 p.m.):

My experiment actually worked. We went out to a pretty good place to eat, and I realized this: I could eat onion. (Onion curls, but I digress.) I survived this day just fine.