oh, how ~hilarious~

… because apparently my illness is just totes fodder for jokes.

[trigger warning for: general assholeishness, mocking mental illnesses, references to self harm and suicide]

As seen on Facebook:

Christmas songs for the mentally ill……..

1. Schizophrenia — Do I Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder – We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia – I Think I’ll Be Home For Christmas

4. Narcissistic – Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic – Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and…..

‎6. Paranoid – Santa Claus is Coming To Town To Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder – Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder – You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, and I Don’t Know Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder – Silent Night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy – can I have a chocolate, why is New Zealand so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…..

oh yes, because not only are the holidays time for family, joy, and peace, they’re a time for mocking the lives and situations using horribly outdated and vile stereotypes. LOVELY.

So, going down the list:

1: Schizophrenia isn’t what people usually think it is. A Beautiful Mind is probably what first springs to mind, and it’s a very interesting example… and yet it’s not the greatest poster child. Often, those around a person with schizophrenia don’t realize they have it, because of the huge stigma attached to the disease. It’s also not always about OMG I SEE FAKE PEOPLE.

2: MPD isn’t about disorientation, and it’s not actually called Multiple Personality Disorder any more either. It’s called Dissociative Identity Disorder, and it’s not exactly what I’d call “a joke.” It’s something that is really hard on people with it, people who know friends/family/wev with DID, and so forth and so on. It’s harder on the Person With DID because a number of people don’t even think it exists, much less something to be taken seriously… as evidenced by this “joke.”

3: Also fake. With dementia, it’d be more like “Christmas? What’s Christmas?” — or at least in typical media presentation of dementia. The thing about memory disorders, they’re different for everybody. “YMMV” [your mileage may vary] is a great saying for a lot of things [not just kink!] and this is a good example. Just because, say, my Grandpa couldn’t remember my name doesn’t mean your Grandma won’t remember your name. If she gets dementia, she could just not remember her name. We don’t know enough about Alzheimer’s or Dementia to be able to apply anything across the population, not yet, and it’s really disgusting for me, as a person with a memory disorder, to see them mischaracterized like this.

4: This one, okay… I will admit, while not funny [because people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder hurt me very badly], it’s the most accurate of the bunch. It really is, and because I’m so close to the issue I’m not able to talk about this one further.

5: Just because I’m manic doesn’t mean I’m going to clean everything. When I was first looking into Bipolar Disorder as an explanation for my issues, my older brother told me that unless I had cleaned the fridge three times that night and my floor was spotless, I couldn’t have it. This is categorically untrue: I most definitely have Bipolar, for a time I was extremely rapid-cycling, and my room is a constant mess. My manic energy gets poured into blogging, internet stuff, and crafts. There’s a reason my jewelry production spikes around certain points of the year… and it’s not because I’m bored.

6: Yeah, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t have a clue what OMG HORRIBLE thing “paranoid” is supposed to be referring to, but I can say that “just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I don’t have a good reason.” I’m paranoid about my immediate family finding me — and that’s reasonable. I’m paranoid about driving beside big rigs — and that’s justified. I’m paranoid about my “health care,” such as it is, being cut out from under me — and that’s sadly necessary. Paranoia doesn’t always mean “fucking crazy.” Sometimes we’re right to be paranoid.

7: yeah. WHAT? This makes no fucking sense. One, BPD isn’t always about “omg gonna hurt myself nao it’s all blood and fire and deaaaaaath!” — I think they’re confusing BPD with the supposed emo/goth culture. Two, BPD is ridiculously overdiagnosed and disproportionately in women. It’s one of those “them hysterical wimmin!” things — once you’re diagnosed with BPD, you’re screwed. Everything you do is analyzed as being rooted in your inability to control your emotions, the fact that you’re not doing your DBT [Dialectic Behavior Theory*] well enough, that you’re just “out of sorts” and that if you just LEARNED TO BEHAVE, GOD, everything would be peachy. Obviously there are a lot of problems with that, but the main one is that BPD is a diagnosis often given when doctors can’t be assed to care and help you through a dark period in your life. It’s All Your Fault, and nothing you say can change that opinion of you.

8: Oh, yes, so because I have depression everything sucks? Nope, sorry, strike eight for you. Depression is not the same as a personality disorder. Depression is a mood disorder, stemming from serotonin and/or norepinephrine imbalances. Major depression is nothing to sniff at, either. Imagine, if you will, living in a world where despite your best efforts, you couldn’t see a point to anything. You did your favorite activities [sex, acting, gaming, eating, cooking, taking long walks on the beach, whatever, and in spite of all this you can’t feel happiness. The finest cuisine tastes like ash, alcohol becomes a way to numb your body and mind, sex is pointless, and there’s no happiness to be found in anything at all. That is major depression. Some of us with MDD [Major Depressive Disorder] live like this our whole lives. Others, like me, are fortunate enough to have found some sort of medication/lifestyle/therapy/wev cocktail that allows us to live a semi-normal life.

But MDD makes its own normal. Your normal may be full of sunshine and rainbows, but my normal is nothing like that. My normal is a world where any fleeting joy is to be caught, captured, and savored, because I may not see anything of the like again for a long, long time. I don’t appreciate that my pain, my suffering, the thing that I fight against most in my life — my own brain — is being used as “just a joke.”

9: Oh, right. Because every person with ADD is unable to concentrate on anything for any amount of time. Hi, my boyfriend would like a word with you. My unmedicated, steadily employed boyfriend. Hell, I may even have a form of adult-onset ADD [no idea yet], and I can totally concentrate on things. Granted, sometimes I have issues focusing on lecture first thing in the morning, BUT WHO DOESN’T? It sure seems like any time we find a name for any sort of condition the first thing that happens is that it becomes a joke. It gets tiring, really. Fibro? Oh, you’re just faking the pain and it’s just so you can get drugs. Migraines? Same. PCOS? just have a baby, duh. Depression? JUST SMILE!

Whatever. It’s just so very, very old.

10: Oh, yes. Because the rituals that compel a person, usually against their will, to have to turn off the oven exactly seven times before it’s Really Off, to have to lock the door nine times before it will keep out the Bad Guys, to have to wash up eleven times before the germs are really gone, to have to walk the route to work in exactly twelve minutes and three seconds, that these rituals are totally fun and optional. HINT: THEY’RE NOT. The friends that I have with OCD are pretty damn distressed when they have to “fulfill” the ritual, when they have to do things over and over and over and OVER again to make sure they don’t have a panic attack in public, when they have to deal with compulsive thoughts all day every day.

OCD: just a joke, totally.

The point is, all of these things listed are incredibly life-altering things to have. Sometimes a person has them from childhood, sometimes they come on later [as is usually the case with things like dementia], and neither one is appropriate joke fodder. I am really, really tired of seeing, all over the place, that my day-to-day struggles, the diseases and conditions that sometimes make my life a living hell, are all just a joke. It’s rude, it’s disheartening, and it’s ableist.


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