Another pet peeve of mine is people calling the actions of a mentally ill person "selfish." Do I do selfish things? Sure do! I'm human, we all do. I also pout, sulk, and tap my foot at my fiance when I'm determined to get my way. Few people can hold a candle to my whining. Really, it's oscar-worthy when I want new shoes. I can also con my way out of putting away laundry like none-other.
Do I seek attention? Another" yep." I'm not even going to lie. I dress my children like princesses to show how I am THE BEST MOM EVER, I am vocal in discussion groups in school, I love throwing in my two cents at work, and I am a total comedian. I'm also loud as hell, though not entirely intentional...I'm Puerto Rican and Italian, I come by it honestly.
Things I DON'T do for attention:
*eat pills/suicide attempts
*have intense anxiety about "nothing"
If I were epileptic, would I have seizures for attention? Of course not, and it would be stupid to even suggest it. However, bipolar disorder seems to be viewed as a cunning career move or something that I decided to do because I was bored one day, so every action raises an eyebrow.
Although I will agree that cutting is usually a lame way for bored teenagers to get attention, as is evident by the pathetic and highly visible barely-scratched they decorate themselves with before adorning their tank top (you're doing it wrong), in my case it's a symptom of psychosis/intense freaking out. I'll give you an example: I was in high school when I started getting really symptomatic, but before I went all out looneytunes. I would get into these intense ranges that typically resulted in property damage and an hour of screaming nonsense until I eventually worse myself out and passed out. Because I would be beaten by my parents for destroying things, I moved on to hacking at myself. In one fit of range I went into my bathroom, removed a razor blade from my secret hiding spot, and because hacking and stabbing at my thigh. Blood went everywhere. Ya know what? Seeing the blood snapped me out of it. I cleaned myself up, and moved on with my day. This was my "dirty secret" for a few years. It was never a ploy for attention as I kept my cuts/scars very well hidden, and in my mental state hurting myself was much better than throwing furniture or punching someone (I get physically ill at the thought of inflicting injury on another person or animal, or damaging something that isn't my own. Starving myself has become another for of self-injury that I've moved onto, because ironically it is more "socially acceptable". Hair-pulling is also self-injurious, but I tend to do it during extreme panic - I don't want attention, I actually don't realize I'm doing it.
I've seen great anger directed at the mentally ill for refusing treatment, and I have experienced this myself. I am currently going round-and-round with my fiance about getting into talk therapy for my anxiety. The problem? Talking about what I'm nervous about actually makes me a million times more afraid. Why would I pay money to be terrorized? My anxiety also makes it hard for me to leave the house, so I end up freaking out and cancelling appointments or not going. It's not that I don't WANT treatment, but why would I continue in a treatment I've done on and off for years with horrid results? In my previous post I've mentioned going off my meds, which is another topic that people feel they have the right to comment about - when YOU pass out all over the floor and cannot remember your name, then I'll listen to how wonderful my treatments are going.
Suicide is a major one for me, as I have had very evil comments directed at me for being a suicidal parent. I've grown tired of the chorus of "Won't somebody thing of the children!!?!?" - when really, I wasn't thinking of *anything* other than 500 ways to die. To avoid rehashing the entire sad tale of Sandi and to keep my blog present, I'll just rehash my most recent suicide attempt for you to draw your own conclusions. A few months after my total hysterectomy, my fiance and I were horsing around, enjoying a child-free weekend. Unfortunately we are both clumsy ass mofos, and I ended up being dropped on my head. This resulted in a broken neck that was diagnoses as a sprained arm...yeah. After weeks of extreme pain, I ended up in the hospital with a blue arm. My medication regiment was totally shot to hell, and to be honest MY ARM WAS BLUE, so I really wasn't on top of correcting it as I had more pressing issues. A few days before my release I started getting frantic, upset, and I was on the verge of a mental health crisis. Knowing this, I begged to see someone in psych. The "medical professionals" were helpful enough to dope me full of xanax on top of my dilaudid so I simply became a zombie. I stayed drooling on myself for a few days, then they released me. My first night home I went absolutely berserk, attacked my fiance while screaming about zombies, and ate a bottle of pills. To make a long story short, I was convinced I had been sold to the government to be raped and then fed to zombies....and I was kinda...pissed off about it.
Does this sound "selfish", or does this sound TOTALLY BATSHIT INSANE? People get sick and die all the time, yet when I almost die from a bipolar episode, it's because I don't love my children enough.
Also, did you notice that I asked for treatment and got...nothing? This is extremely common in mental health. Everyone waits until a problem explodes. The mental health system is a complete joke.