1.  a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding.

Why do you think there are so many misconceptions when it comes to mental illness?

Do you think it’s because of the average person speaking from their experience? Or do you think it’s because of the people behind the websites that supply you with false information? Because how can people who don’t know anything about mental illness create practical thinking and understanding if the resources that are available to them are invalid?

Where is this coming from Shelby?

Some of you may or may not know that I have been writing for another website that is supposed to supply information and support on mental health. I have been writing for them for about six months and it seems that everything I write gets changed or watered down. Now, for those of you who have read my site from the beginning, you know that this problem is exactly why I started My Side of Crazy in the first place.

My problem with the mental health information that is going out to the public is that most of it is either falsified, watered down, or completely changed to fit whatever the website is trying to push. This is extremely disappointing for someone like me who is trying very hard to bring light to the truth behind mental illness and other health issues.

Why do so many people self-diagnose or get wrongly diagnosed?

The unfortunate answer to this question is that most people who apparently “specialize” in mental health or went to school for it, don’t actually know what the fuck they’re talking about (referring to talking about these so called “experts” online). I can’t get over how many times I have had to have a conversation with someone who thinks they’re depressed or bipolar because the definitions they see online “describe” their life. We have websites turning every story into a depression story. Then we have doctors who have never actually studied someone with mental illness. You can learn the symptoms, but at the end of the day, those symptoms are vague as hell. Depression and bipolar are very different diagnosis, yet when you google which is which, the symptoms seem to be pretty damn similar.

If you want help, you need to be COMPLETELY honest with your doctor

How are you going to get the right diagnosis if you’re only telling your doctor or psychiatrist part of the story? And YES, if you truly think you have a problem you need to actually see a doctor, not just Wikipedia. I know a plethora of people who have gotten diagnosed with depression and then gone completely off their rocker because they shouldn’t be on antidepressants, they should be on a mood stabilizer.

The problem is that there’s an excess of information on depression and not much on anything else. So when someone is feeling sad, they are automatically thinking that’s the only thing that’s wrong with them. Which leaves them thinking they don’t need to mention any other things that could lead to different diagnosis–such as manic symptoms.

The Difference Between Being Depressed and Having Depression

Yes, I know, we’ve discussed this before, but ironically, the website I was writing for doesn’t fully get it…and they’re supposed to be a trusted place for mental illness info…so let’s talk about some stuff again. Yesterday, I chose to write my recent post for them on “The Depression Side of Chronic Pain”.  They decided to change it to, “Chronic Pain and Depression: Fibromyalgia is Depressing”. Confused? ME TOO! 

After I read the new title I was already pissed off. I was not at all talking about depression. I was talking about how living in a body with chronic pain can make you question your sanity and your happiness. I meant no correlation to actual depression because then people with those issues would read the article and begin to self-diagnose, thinking that they must have depression too. Then when I began to read the article I wrote based on my struggle with physical health issues, they had turned it around to focus on depression instead. I was FURIOUS that this website that is supposed to be supplying real facts would choose to mislead the audience when I had intended the opposite. You see the fact of the matter is that you are allowed to feel sad. You are allowed to feel depressed. 

Feeling down in the dumps some days isn’t always a bad thing–they make you appreciate the good ones.

In order for these misconceptions to subside, we need people with mental illness to come forward and tell their stories. But not on these websites that just focus on the black and white. We need to talk about the true shit. Not just the “I’m sad”. There is so much more to learn and I can’t even tell you fully because I’m on medication now and my thinking isn’t as scattered. The truth is that no one will understand until they’ve seen it with their own eyes. Witness someone with borderline in an “episode” and I’m sure it’s nothing like what you pictured off the symptoms you read online…

…or how about everyone goes off their medication and we turn the world into a true frenzy…*jokes* (I’m just kidding mom, chill.)

One Reply to “Misconceptions”

  1. Very well written, Shel!

    BTW, if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend a Netflix sitcom called ‘Lady Dynamite.’ Comedian Maria Bamford (from Duluth!) stars and is her creation. She’s suffered from mental illness since HS (bipolar 2) and prominently features her experiences in her stand-up and her new show – she even educates the viewer so well that most people likely don’t even realize it, because it’s done so well within her humor and storytelling. I love her SO much!

    Love to you too, doll!

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