I have depression and anxiety problems. I’m not depressed and I’m not anxious. I am Jacqueline. And Jacqueline just so happens to struggle with depression and anxiety.
I don’t want your pity. I don’t even want your sympathy. I don’t even want you to be “sensitive to my needs”. What I want is for you to be a decent person and not be an asshole to me or others just because you’re in a pissy mood or whatever lame excuse you can come up with. I am not a fragile thing you need to tip-toe around. Don’t be afraid to criticize me. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you really think. Just don’t be an asshole.
Is that so much to ask? I am a firm believer in not just talking to people any old kind of way because you never know what their mental state is. You could make a rude comment to some guy on the street and he could turn out to be a sociopath that follows you home ties you and your whole family up, tortures your dog in front of you and then slowly, mutilates you and your loved ones until he gets bored and then just leave you all there bound and gagged and bleeding out.
Yes. I went there.
But really, this whole, “Oh be sensitive to people with mental disorders and/or disabilities because they can’t change who they are. Blah blah blah blah” bullcrap, needs to go. I mean really, people talk all kinds of crap about each other all the time until they find out the person they’re talking crap about has some sort of disability or mental disorder. Then all of a sudden, they’re so “understanding”.
And then there are the people with said disabilities and mental disorders who make it, their whole identity. And it might be for different reasons, but it’s manipulative regardless of what they tell themselves. That’s why I was disappointed in the judges’ choice in the winner of Project Runway: Threads. Not because I don’t think she has talent but because her very first look was supposed to be an introduction to her personal aesthetic as a designer. That’s why the name of it is “Show Us Your Style” not “Show Us Your Mental Disorder”.
With suicide being the number one cause of death in our country right now and most of those suicides being teens, there was no way the judges would have risked sending her into a downward spiral. Not after Simon Powell caused that one guy to blow his brains out back stage. I mean seriously. If she had showcased her actual talent and not her disability, the outcome could have been a lot different or it could have been the same. But I would have liked to see her win based solely on her talents and not the liability risk the judges were faced with.
[Oh by the way, since that encounter on twitter, she has blocked me on twitter. I don’t know why I feel the urge to laugh every time I think about it but I do find it funny and sad at the same time. But that’s a teenager for you. Always so dramatic.]
You don’t go into an interview for a job and introduce yourself like this: “Hi, I’m paranoid schizophrenic.” And you don’t put it on your resume. When you meet paraplegic people, they don’t say, “Hi, my legs don’t work.” So, why do some people feel the need to make their chemical imbalance, their identity. Or how about addicts? You don’t see them introducing themselves like, “Hi, I’m a crackhead.” Or, “Nice to meet you, I’m a raging alcoholic.” I don’t have to get into AIDS or cancer, do I? You got the point? Good, moving on.
These people think they’re drawing strength from doing this, but really it’s crippling them. I mean really, how shallow, insecure, thirsty, weak-minded and just overall pathetic do you have to be to think that the greatest thing about yourself is your disability? And for the people who give them the special treatment, they’re seeking, shame on you. Seriously, do you really want to encourage people to live with the illusion that they are no more than a disability with a face? Or do you want to encourage them to realize they are people first and foremost and people with disabilities second?
I don’t know about the rest of you that have depression and anxiety but when people treat me like I am my disease, I feel anything but understood. I feel disrespected, patronized, pitied, discriminated against, snubbed, and every other feeling that comes with people looking down on you. It just sucks. I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a human being with thoughts, feelings, dreams, and talents just like everybody else. I feel isolated too. When people walk on eggshells around me, I feel like I’m just in the way and I’m an inconvenience to them.
Does anyone notice people treating them this way? Does it make you feel the same way? Or am I completely alone in this?
Writing this post inspired me to write about a similar topic involving skin color. Look for that in the next couple days.