Why self diagnosing mental disorders isn’t okay.

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I read an article recently that stated that self diagnosed mental disorders where okay because after all not everyone could afford to go to the doctors and sometimes the doctors got it wrong. I agree that both those problems are real and should be addressed, but, um, why does that make self diagnosing okay? You can know something is wrong without labeling it and you can get more than one doctors opinion. Mental health is not something that should be taken lightly and self diagnosing is dangerous.

For starters our mind is and always has been sensitive to ideas. The power of suggestion goes a long way. Ask anyone who has gone on WebMD to see why they have a sore throat. It can cause us to start imagining symptoms that we don’t have. It can make things worse than they already are. Continue reading

I’m Not Offended by my Bipolar Jokes. You Shouldn’t be Either.

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A post about real personal things calls for an unstaged picture. The “real” Anna.

My favorite one liner is “You know North Carolina, the weather is more bipolar than I am.”

I think it’s funny, it makes fun of both myself and my favorite place on earth. I said it while walking across campus last year with a friend and I had some random guy stop me. He told me I shouldn’t say that because it’s insensitive and offensive. I calmly explained to him that I was bipolar and I didn’t really think it was insensitive or offensive at all.

Have you ever had someone lecture you on why you should be personally offended by your own joke? It was really strange and it has happened to me more than once while at Guilford college. The strange part was that the people who were offended by me tossing the word around were never bipolar, nor were the people they were close too. They had just learned it was offensive and were trying to protect whoever it might offend.

The only problem was that I wasn’t offended. I thought it was funny and I’m going to explain why I think it’s okay to use the word bipolar when not talking about the disorder. Continue reading

Book Review: Furiously Happy

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In LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

-Goodreads

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Let’s Talk: Mental Health

All In - ADS

I’ve found myself in a bit of a panicked rut lately. I mean panic attacks and record breaking down swings in my mood. You know what I’m talking about, we all have those weeks, and sadly, sometimes they last much longer than that. We feel powerless, but if I’m being honest, I don’t believe it when people say that the only cure is medication and a good nights sleep.

So let’s talk about it- it’s not depression, but you’re afraid if it keeps going downhill it might become just that. That’s scary guys, I’m not going to dismiss it. Instead I’m just going to talk about the choice you have to make.

When it comes to your mental health are you all in?

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You don’t know what my bipolar acts like.

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My blood is sixty-percent coke zero, the other forty being medications and life questions. I talk too fast and people often have to tell me to slow down. “I can’t understand you.” I repeat myself wondering if what I’m saying is possible to understand. I’ve gotten so I repeat myself out of habit, just generally believing that no one could get it on the first pass. I stutter over words. My minds already four ahead of me. My mouth never can keep up. My thoughts are to deep and fast to cover slowly. There are too many of them. “Everyone’s like that.” Someone tried to assure me- but that’s not what the doctors say. Manic. Always manic. Unless depressive. They couldn’t hit the middle. I got to pick. Manic. Always manic.

“You don’t act bipolar, though.” You don’t know what my bipolar acts like. Fingers flying on a keyboard, writing long winded sentences while singing music at the same time. They don’t mix. Why would they? I forget a word. Everything halts. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I can’t summon it so I rewrite the sentence to go around it. The singing starts again.

I can feel my soul when I close my eyes. Coming in like radio waves, a little fuzzy, too many stations at once. “I need you to focus.” I’m told. I haven’t been on the same topic as you for a good two minutes. I was working on a solution to the problem you told me two weeks ago. I think I’ve got one.

Bipolar on the News

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I never rant on social media, I find it unproductive, unrewarding, and annoying. But today the news has been talking about the most recent mass shooting. The channel mentioned his bipolar disorder about eight times in the single coverage.
Every time I hear the words bipolar on the news it’s being used as the excuse for a criminal killing people. Well, I’m sick of hearing that, I’m sick of it being an excuse for any kind of action. Bipolar people might not have complete control of their emotions, but they damn well have control of their actions. I don’t care how severe it is, they still have the conscious knowledge of what they are doing. They’re the ones choosing not to treated. They’re the ones choosing to be criminals.
Bipolar disorder isn’t a scary thing, it isn’t something that should be feared. The news is turning it into that.
But even more than that, it’s not an excuse.
And I’d know, I was diagnosed at the age of six.