Don’t take the easy surrender when you face “symptoms” or triggers, especially after they or “Illness” has been identified in you.
“You are not your Illness”
Knowing what your “diagnosis” is, is useful in understanding the traits in your character and mood patterns that result in difficulties. However, being diagnosed should not aid you in giving you an easier time than “normal” folks.
Many advocates thus tell you: “you are not your illness”.
Actually, it is pressing to know that:
The “illness is ALL YOU” (even though you are NOT your illness).
What I mean is that you, are a unique Human being. You are a person, a person with a personality. These characteristics, including your traits and moderation of mood, when permutated with certain circumstances, reflect traits of what doctors, psychologists and researchers have identified and studied to enshrine as “Mental Illness”. This has occurred over the history of the development of modern medical and behavioural science.
But a diagnosis is useless – and in fact, can be very harmful as it connotes an identifier or label. Diagnosis feeds disorder and dysfunction by exacerbating the initial difficulty that an individual experiences into disempowerment in the traditional medical setting and within the current medical model. The individual perceives him or herself as having a disease or even as being disabled. I am not “normal”. This cycle is enforced when he or she is not treated “normal” if this information is disclosed to others.
What then can someone do if they are identified as mentally ill?
I would want to know what the traits of my diagnosis and symptoms are supposed to be, to see if they are consistent with the patterns in my behaviour that play out from my personality repertoire in certain circumstances. I need to own the characteristic traits that are correlated to my challenges. Not accepting the identifier of illness, but being aware of the things and areas that set me off allows me to start to make active change. This empowers me to own who I am. I am self-aware. I am proactive.
Beyond that, I also want to be a contributing participant of the bigger community around me. So often, psychology, especially the therapy approaches used, bring us inward. We reflect on our lives, our past relationships, early development. (What went wrong?) It is not wrong to be kind to, respect and explore oneself – However, outside of ourselves is a community and a world of both opportunity and yet a world that is for the most part perishing, (if you hadn’t noticed). People who are diagnosed with mental illness often are shelled up within their peer groups. The fear of stigma or feelings of inadequacy cause us to shy away from society. However, this avoidance only breeds ignorance and misunderstanding.
I am not asking anyone to heal the world. However, to break the suffocating stigma around mental illness, more people have to step out into the small domains around them, and work towards becoming who they want to be. But first, one must recognise that what has been happening is in part, a part of us that is under our control. Only then can we build on our strengths and create a life with vision and purpose.
Let’s leave this wretched self-imposed cage behind, shall we?
The most interesting tweet to #GetMillennialsToVoteIn5Words …
Here’s some more ideas on the Topic of Recovery for those struggling with Mental Health issues…
First, the Barriers to Recovery:Factors are both from individual’s attitudes and behaviour (e.g. taking ownership of and Responsibility for Recovery) – and also due to many factors in the environment. These include and are not limited to: stigma, lack of information and access to services and also failure on the part of social services and medical professionals to understand or give the appropriate help to the individual.
The Stairway to Recovery:
This stairway is based on the Personal model of recovery (There are two models of Recovery – the Medical and Personal/individual). The Outcomes for the Medical model are reduced symptoms and hospitalisation as well as reduced medication. Whereas Individual Recovery Outcomes are more holistic, driven by an individual’s hope for challenging the’ assumed chronicity of illness’. To move beyond mere maintenance or “coping”, as the Medical model outcomes seem to entail, but to Empower the individual to ‘reclaim meaning and purpose in life’ (Deegan), by “contributing [and finding satisfaction] even with limitations caused by the illness.”
One has recovered when one “grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.”
Stepping up to provide Peer Support is important because of the ability of Peers to relate on a deeper level with other peers, which sometimes, other people may find difficult. It also empowers the Peer who is providing support, by allowing them to contribute and find satisfaction.
But Advocacy and Peer support can both be double edged swords. If one takes up external responsibility that is rightfully another person’s, in Peer support; or one goes public with one’s condition… Burn out, stress and pressure are inevitable.
Anxiety and fear of failure, are to be avoided when one is out in the public view – especially in a day and age where intrusion and scrutity, even from an anonomous eye is the norm. (How does one claim to be an advocate if one is severely symptomatic, or worse still, if one falls to relapse?)
In terms of Peer support, One danger of being a source of support, is what Pat Deegan described as the “frenzied saviour response/role”. This can be a role which a caregiver/family member/friend takes up.
The Frenzied saviour response “when the person is faced with another person lost in anguish and apathy.
The more listless and apathetic the person gets, the more frenetically active we become. The more they withdraw, the more we intrude. The more will-less they become, the more willful we become. The more they give up, the harder we try. The more despairing they become, the more we indulge in shallow optimism.
The more treatment plans they abort, the more plans we make for them. Needless to say we soon find ourselves burnt out and exhausted.”
Setting boundaries and being a stickler for guidelines in Peer Support must not be taken lightly:
I hope I haven’t been to repetitive, I just wanted to emphasize some more points about recovery. Good night, and Good morning. Peace out.
(Haha! I was just gonna sign off with: “Self care”… Then JBieber started singing: “you should go and love yourself…”, through to me, on my headphones… O.o hehe :D)
Here’s an awesome cover of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself:
-i havent slept
-i have been sleeping between 4-5 am the past few days while going for CNY reunion/visiting
e.g.the day before, i came back after dinner (i don’t have mental capacity to remember where now), but it was about 10 plus and started cleaning the kitchen and dining rooms. I folded at least 1000 plastic bags and catergorised them into small/medium and large and also created a proper recycling area, took the big bag A3 size bag of koped coffee/tea/ketchup/chilli/wasabi/soy sauce/unwantedinstantnoodles/creamer/sugar(all dumped-into that bag) took out one by one, checked expiry dates to chuck and labelled and categorised each item again. then i swept floor, wiped table and if u have come to my house u know how messy our tables are, i cleared them all and wiped and scrubbed off stains and then mopped floor twice but still a bit sticky so tried hand wiping and scrubbing floor but then it was 430am and my mom woke up and said “aiyo, darling, no need la, u need to sleep.”
two days before i did the same for the backyard.am i going crazy?
And yesterday night i worked out for about 45 minutes, did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine and 20 mins of youtube burn 200 kcal in 20 mins. (magical socks!) cos know will eat a lot.
then fell asleep on the couch at about 1230am and woke up at 4+5 am. fuck la.
WHAY AM I DOING THIS AGAGIN?????????????
I HAVE CROSSED OVER,
Keeping Toxic friends is like walking in the sand. You sink deeper and deeper, and bits of their lives get stuck in between your toes, in your shoes.
Just don’t go there.
Today, as I did my usual reading of the Straits Times, (Singapore’s main newspaper); This article classified under the “HOME” section caught my eye. Labeled “ScienceFaces”, it features veteran Marine Photographer, Brian Skerry.
Think of nature photography and National Geographic’s breathtaking photographs come to mind. They portray nature in its beautiful, “untouched” state. Yet in reality, we have taken much of the life out of wild life, the purity out of natural sanctuary, and the effects are becoming more and more obvious.
Take a simple example the smog in Beijing. Due to the El Nino phenomenon, wind and rain were lower than usual, and so emissions produced by coal-fired urban heating systems could not be easily dispersed, causing a devastating winter smog that set red alerts off in several cities.
The air quality levels of harmful PM2.5 particles last December in Beijing and surrounding cities in the Hebei province was above 250 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the US Embassy, (which issues independent readings). This was ten times the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum exposure of 25.
One “solution”, has been 3 storey high Anti-Smog Domes set up in some schools to filter out the harmful PM2.5 particles and keep polluted air out by maintaining a higher air pressure inside. Others are taking trips and heading south or west to “bi mai” or avoid smog. In fact, ‘bi mai’ was the top search term on travel websites during the winter smog period.
Yet, these really, are no solutions at all, as they fail to address the root cause of the problem, which is pollution, (caused by human industrialization and consumption: “Eating the Earth” and all its resources with abandon). These so-called solutions that the Chinese are taking are tantamount to taking medication merely to treat symptoms or to avoid facing the gravity of one’s illness, while hoping one does not die from the long lasting effects of the chronic disease.
I never have been an Environmentalist. Growing up it seemed too “hippie” or “Yuppie” to be Green / Yoga / “New Age One with the Earth-ies”. But I worry for my actual children, my literal grandchildren. I am not saying “Oh, our grandchildren will bear the conseque…”. Seriously. If this is today. What will tomorrow be?
It is seriously, FUCKING SCARY.
I was just thinking, the other day, that..Honestly, I don’t think we should drive anymore. I mean, at least in Singapore. The MRT is proliferating across the island, so much so that each train station is already, really walking distance to the next, and to anywhere you want to go. Why do you want to pay for parking (especially in town) and ERP and petrol? And if you are the only person in your car, isn’t that quite a waste?
I don’t know, my dad has the opposite thinking. He told me, “I worked my ass off my whole life, I deserve a little comfort now that I’m 65. What other little enjoyments in life do I have but my car?”
When I went to New Zealand, after my O Levels, (that’s like almost, like, half my life ago, now..) I was amazed how my uncle and his wife recycled everything, even their food waste to make compost. and that was half my life ago. What about Singaporeans now. There is so much wastage in the name of consumerism. Plastic bags, Paper bags, Mass-Producing so many useless things and wasting so much resources to Convince people to buy them, only for consumers to use them/or not(!) for a few months and then get bored/unfashionable and be discarded.
How do we break this cycle? How do we get off this slippery slope we have created? Man seems to destroy everything that is put into his hands. Was this God’s intention? Doesn’t He know everything? Did he not know we would destroy not only the earth but ourselves?
I honestly can’t think of any viable solution, World Leaders have tried in so many Summits to come to find solutions.. But I was just reminded of these verses, which I leave you with:
And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Although the Marijuana Suppositories are currently only available in two states in America, If Bernie Sanders becomes president, and removes the federal prohibition on marijuana it could become more widely available, although it isn’t tested medically…and has an ‘alarmingly high level of THC‘ or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.
… just a curious random newsflash. 😀
enjoy this cute remix of “Because I got High”
A beautiful morning it was. I was headed out early to buy breakfast/lunch for my parents and myself. Managed to catch the sunlight while crossing Under the Adam Flyover to Adam Road Hawker Centre, while this young family was probably heading to school and work..
I was waiting for the famous nasi lemak stall to open since I was early.. I was there at 7:30am? 7:40? So I was just watching the scene there. Even at the Hawker Centre they had made an effort to decorate for Chinese new year.. I was taking a picture of the Ong Lai or pineapples and the Shiny stuff hanging around when my screen caught this uncle clearing up.
Singapore is prided to be a clean city.. But after the Trash souvenirs left at 2015’s Laneway Festival, which even PM Lee felt ‘incensed’ about, comparing that to Myannmar soccer fans picking up litter after a game at the National Stadium… Singapore, he said, needed to move from being a “cleaned city”, to a “clean city”.
Who do u expect to pick up after you? This man? At food courts, Hawker Centres or is Ronald McDonald gonna clear your tray? Why have Singaporeans come to expect that our dirty dishes will be taken away for us and worse still…those tables with used cutlery, which we want to sit at, we not only don’t clear – but simply transfer to an adjacent table, so that we can have a clean table in front of us!
Do we really need an ineffective government campaign to pursue a sense of responsibility? Is it not as logical as wiping one’s own ar$e after a poop? Sorry for the rant… It started out a beautiful day….but some one forgot to clear their tray!