Thin vs. Stable
We live in a society today where “thin” is beautiful and the words mental illness are filled with all sorts of stigma. There are people who are considered “thin” and also mentally stable. They’re lucky, I suppose. People don’t realize this, but 1 in 4 adults lives with a mental illness, and that is just based on the number of people who actually seek help. And another thing most people don’t realize is that most psychiatric medications (especially the newer anti-psychotics) are prone to cause weight gain.
So what is it? Thin or stable? Accepted by society by the way you look, but looked down upon when you show any signs of mental illness? Or looked down upon for the way you look, but commended for how reliable and stable you are? The pressures of society push at you from both sides and you have to decide which side will win.
It’s easy for those of us with a mental illness to say “I want to be stable” because when we’re not, living is some sort of hell. But then, we start taking our meds to become that stable person and our bodies start to change. People start to notice as we put on weight. We have to go buy new clothes because our old ones don’t fit, and our self-esteem plummets. We work out and watch what we eat, but nothing seems to work. What was that thing about wanting to be stable, you wonder?
So we start chipping away at our medication, hoping something will get us back to “looking good” until we realize that the stability we had is slipping away. So we try to catch ourselves and try to get it back, but that comes with the weight gain again.
So what would you do? Me? I’ve done both. And stability far outweighs society’s need to be “thin.” And, remember, thin doesn’t always mean healthy either.