Mental Illnesses Are Like Fingerprints

Really.   Not one single illness is the same as any other.  They can be grouped together by diagnosis (such as “Depression”), but no one reacts to the symptoms the same way.  and… this is important… non of them have the exact same medication/combo as anyone else.

I’m quite guilty of forgetting this.  I’ve had to deal with my issues since i was 15.  because of this, there are countless medications I’ve tried.  I’ve been diagnosed with so many different disorders it makes my head spin.  because of this, I started having the false delusion that I completely understand another person’s illness.  I know what meds do and don’t work.  This is a very troubled path.

For instance, I was officially diagnosed as Bipolar 1 in 2002, and in 2003 Bipolar 1 with psychotic tendencies.  Probably one of the worst things in relation to bipolar as a whole.  Then I met someone who had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.  They had a less extreme version of the disorder, and at the time I didn’t know if there was any psychosis.  But there I was… Jenn to the rescue!!!!  They talked to me about symptoms they have.  If I had anything even a little similar, I would tell my story about that one time it happened to me.

I also have a friend who is depressed.  Since I had periods of time when I was just all out depressed, I thought I could give them advice, and again chronicled one of my depressive episodes.

Worse, however, was when either of them was put on medication, I would tell them right away if it would work or not, if it had bad side effects, what meds that would probably work better for them, and what meds to actively avoid.  I would tell them stories about my experience with the drugs.  I was, on all accounts, the best person to know because of how long I’d suffered, and how many medications that I had taken over the years.

Then, about a month ago… maybe two?  i don’t know… someone was going through a serious crisis.  I spent more time texting them what I would do in the situation, and that they had to look at it from this particular angle to see what was really going on.  Every subject brought up, followed by me comparing it to my life.

One text, however, made me shut up.  And it wasn’t an accusatory text.  The text was literally telling me that they felt like a particular character did in a specific episode of a show.  I was very aware of the episode and that character.   All I said after that was:  Yes, I can see that.  Just text me if you ever want to chat.

It really did wake me the hell up.  I found myself doing it again one day, and was so glad I caught it before I hit send.  I then thought about how I would feel if someone ever treated me the way I had been treating others.

I know have my correct diagnoses.  I won’t even give suggestions to anybody that also has that disorder.  I fail sometimes still, but I try to watch out for it.  My experiences are not like one other person.

 

 

 

About I.V.

37 year old woman with Schizoaffective, Bipolar 1 type. I'm also intelligent, mostly positive, fandom junkie. Oh, and I have two cats: Zim and Gir... they're 12. So... fandom junkie? Ah, yes. Supernatural, Merlin, Buffy tvs, Angel the series, LOTR, Harry Potter, old x-files. I also like anime and and Manga. farvorite anime? Vampire Knight... and it cannot be dubbed! I also like plenty of others, I think of Elfin Leid when I say that... oh, and Blood+. Favorite Manga? Junjou Romantica, Vampire Knight, Loveless, Gravitation. I like the anime for these as well if they have it. Books: Dune, HP, LOTR, The Hunger Games, Wicked, the Southern Vampire Series, Snow Crash, American Gods, Pride and Prejudice, comics. Movies: The Boondock Saints, LOTR, HP series, Girl Interupted, SLC Punk, Walk Hard: the Dewie Cox Story, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, Foxfire, Empire Records, Star Wars (only episodes 4-6), Iron Man (both of them), Thor (1&2), The Avengers Video Games: Dragon Age 1,2 and Inquisition, Kingdoms of Amalur, Little Big Planet, Star Ocean. I also love watching other people play Mass Effect, Dead Space and all the above mentioned games Oh, and I love Sushi :)
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5 Responses to Mental Illnesses Are Like Fingerprints

  1. Elle says:

    I just received four diagnoses, that are fairly co-mingled, beyond BP2, which I have had for years, but self managed. Ish. You are part of why I went to the doc to begin with. But, I can’t seem to relate the diagnoses with who I am. I can’t connect that information to myself. And I don’t know why. I have PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, Self Disorder (whatever that is) and Panic Disorder. But I think found a good doc. So, I hope that things work out. And I’m happy they are working out for you. ‘Normal’ people don’t understand mental illness. Add to that what you described here, with each of us going through the same thing in different ways, and that chasm widens. Life truly is one long, strange, trip… Big hugs, girly!

    Like

  2. Harley Quinn says:

    Really? well, if I was part of your venture to see a doc, I am very humbled by it.

    I have no clue what Self Disorder is either. Like, I legitimately never heard of it. *looks it up* Ahh… it’s actually a symptom of Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia where you kinda “Lose Yourself” I know this, actually, but I never thought it was a disorder in itself!

    It’s very hard when you first get diagnosed with something, especially if it keeps changing or you have more than one. Like… I talk about my schizoaffective disorder bc it’s my “main” illness. I also have borderline personality disorder, but that has gotten WAY better (while the other one has gotten way worse…).

    And you’re right. “Normal” people don’t get it. I thought some did, but it turns out that they have psychological issues as well, so now I kinda understand. Others, though, don’t understand panic attacks or overwhelming anxiety. I’ve fallen off the party wagon bc of those, and the number of people that tell me to “get over it” is skyrocketing since someone has spread around some rumor that I’m completely faking my illness.

    It get’s better as far as reconciling your disorders with yourself. One of them (the Self Disorder) may actually be hindering the acceptance of the others, possibly, but I’m not a doc lol. Speaking of, I really do hope you found a good doctor. Sometimes that’s hard to find.

    You got this, girl! Soon, you’ll feel more comfortable and just be aware that you’re an awesome person! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elle says:

    💙💙💙💙

    Like

  4. A lot of times I’ll do that as a way to vent and/or bond. It’s not to suggest I know exactly what someone else is feeling, but rather to show they’re not alone. Even though no two mental heal issue is the same, they have similarities, and if I talk to someone about mine and they tell me how they dealt with a similar situation, it’s a way to share experiences and feel validated in my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Harley Quinn says:

    This is very true. I’ve actually enjoyed our talks bc you’re right… it makes you feel like you’re not alone. I was more referring to medication more so bc I inject my opinion about meds, and I need to stop doing that bc even if it’s a med that caused a reaction in me or didn’t work for me, it could work brilliantly for someone else.

    And, i want to start listening more rather than jump right into a situation I had about that. You and the people we know do benefit in the sharing of stories. It is a way to vent without being judged. If someone is in crisis, though, me telling them about my experience should probably be on the back burner so I can listen. I’ll inject some of my story into things like that, but hearing “when this happened to me…” sometimes isn’t the best route to go. I’ve had people do it to me before when I was in crisis and I remember thinking “I’m not you.” But I guess it varies person to person.

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