I read Facebook article links all the time about what a mentally ill person should not be told whether they are having a good day or a bad day, but more importantly if they are having a bad day. I read things about bipolar disorder; I've experienced people kicking me around though. My schizoaffective is under control but when the receptionist at East Valley kicks me around if I'm less than peppy, to talk to my peer counselor, its like, okay, you are kicking me while I'm down, so I call my peer counselor directly now.
But anyway, the number one thing nobody should tell any mentally ill person is 1) please kill yourself if you feel like it. This sentiment is what spawned this article to begin with. I am writing this piece because I'm frustrated at past misdeeds by people close to me with regard to bipolar disorder and its symptoms. Not that I'm writing about what they did in public, since my family takes no interest in my work, but seriously, they are pretty much toast when it comes to being a support network. I don't bother with family holidays anymore, since it is a dour, gloomy gus style occasion with Scrooge.
Not every bipolar person is cool with being told that you sound depressed today, every bipolar person is more like, wow, seriously? Taking your medication is a daily occurrence for those of us wise enough to do that. Telling them "have you taken your medication?" or "I thought you were taking your medication," is mean, and unnatural. Managing bipolar and type 1-diabetes is very difficult for me, as it is, I feel underappreciated at times by the world because it takes effort to keep all of that in check. Don't ever say "you're too smart to have schizoaffective," that's ridiculous.
Although it is a fact that psychosis, if left untreated, can make one have a lower IQ. I never had a low IQ though, ever, period. It was all not being on medication that impaired my cognitive skills, along with caffeine addiction and later alcoholism. Schizoaffective is a major medical condition that could turn into a hot mess if you skip your meds. When you say to someone "you know he's schizoaffective," it kind of denigrates a valuable person. This is why you have to mind your language around mentally ill people. This is why some of us like hiding our illness in plain sight since people like some people I used to be friends with but dumped blab people's situation around, put them down for getting hospitalized, and otherwise treat their so-called friends, badly.
Some people with schizoaffective are more affected than others. Telling one such person, who quit acting out, is destructive, and mean. Mentally ill people feel like they can't share their feelings often enough, because our society doesn't like to hear depressive, depressed, or depression out of them. To tell a mentally ill person "it doesn't take much to set you off," this means that we schizoaffectives are vulnerable to what happens to us and what other normal people do to trigger our feelings that by the way you don't want to hear about, which escalates our symptoms. Gee, hmm…wish people had thought of that one before upsetting me with demands.
Some schizoaffective folks are called lazy because we have trouble getting up in the morning or maintaining focus for anything we want to do with our lives. I have a busy career with many ideas as a writer. I've now been at it since my freshman year of high school, which makes 24 years of experience although I do not look my age. Some people who bother saying "we had such high hopes for you," are just losers. Those who think, wow, you've been diagnosed schizoaffective and now your life is over, are ultimately making somebody feel guilty for having a disability, not to mention kicking them while they are down.
Don't tell somebody schizoaffective that they are taking everything personally, since we mentally ill folks have obvious symptoms, even if you have OCD, and especially if you have OCD. Making light of someone's mental health, or self-esteem or even yelling at a schizoaffective can make them feel bad. If a schizoaffective is stigmatized for being overly enthusiastic, that also makes you a jerk. To be energetic, funny and quick witted, is an essential part of what makes me me, so don't be a dick about it. I'm also a leader, who can be quite commanding, so don't blow it by telling me paranoid things about lowering my voice, since that is your phobia, not mine, and anyway I'm not that loud most days unless ranting about certain people. It is quite possible to have a good life outside of a disability, I mean sheesh. I do have a life, I'm a happy person, so don't kick me while I'm down.