Do Not Use Mental Illness As A Character Assasination

//Do Not Use Mental Illness As A Character Assasination

Do Not Use Mental Illness As A Character Assasination

I have experienced stigma so hard lately. I have a severe anxiety disorder that causes me distress if I feel threatened in any way. Unfortunately, many people have little experience with anxious individuals and so I am continually misunderstood. I sent too many emails, or I call you after I get your voicemail just to make sure you aren’t dead. You know, anxiety is weird like that. Still, if you took the time to understand what anxiety is like and what it does to people, you might be surprised at what you learn. What you interpret as impatience is actually fear. What you perceive as annoying is a symptom of my illness. So please don’t tell me that I am disrespectful when I have a medical condition that I am trying to manage. It’s not about you, it’s about me right now. I’m doing the best that I can to deal with my problems so please kindly sit down and let me be myself. If you don’t like my behavior then tell me it upsets you or makes you nervous or whatever. Tell me what I can do to help you but don’t stand/sit there and tell me that I am not an adequate human being because I don’t conform to your ideal version of a person.

I will not change to please you or transform myself into a neurotypical person because it’s more convenient for you. Maybe you need to understand me instead of attacking who I am. It’s not my responsibility to curb my impulses and you don’t have control over me. It’s sad that our society isn’t understanding of people who have disabilities. I have made an attempt to meet you halfway and understand you but you cannot give me the same level of respect and you shame me for behavior that I have a limited ability to control. I have a therapist and a psychiatrist and I utilize those people to work on my behaviors. You have no right to tell me who I am and what I should do. Focus on yourself and what you’re doing.

I feel depressed sometimes because people don’t take a moment to respect my boundaries or take a moment to find out who I am. They think I’m crazy or irrational when all I care about is helping people. They believe I am egotistical when I am kind and understanding. I don’t need your approval, I need you to have some empathy rather than judging me. I don’t want your pity, I want your respect. And respect is a two-way street. Do not tell me who I am and I won’t tell you who you are. Is that a reasonable request. It’s easier for you to paint me as “crazy” so you don’t have to look in the mirror at your own flaws. I am aware of my imperfections and you do not care about being truthful, which is a shame…for you.

Let’s try to be understanding of one another and change the way we treat one another. 

By | 2017-12-09T18:33:26+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Do Not Use Mental Illness As A Character Assasination

About the Author:

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.