Saturday, 13 February 2010

You Don't Speak For Me

I get angry when I read remarks about manic-depression (etc) that insist that it is nothing but an illness. I would call it a description of a broad variety of people who for better or for worse, inhabit the very edges of their skin. Thin-skinned. Flayed. Excoriated.

These people often suffer horribly. We go through periods of illness, sometimes continually so. But it is not who we are that is the basis of those illnesses. Illness is the reaction of who we are to our lives in this unamenable world.

It becomes very difficult at times to act within society in a manner that is acceptable to our so-called shared norms. But to call it an illness in social terms, presupposes the need or imperative for a cure. If you can't fit in, you need to be made to fit in. That leads to a whole disgusting fascist mindset. If I break a law of the land - THEN you can make me fit in, and I won't quibble.

I have come to the conclusion that I am lucky. I have no idea if my personal intelligence and creativity comes joined at the hip with my volatile and infinitely curious, indefatigable personality, but I have a gut feeling that it does. I also have a wise monkey writing on my solar plexus that all the breakups and violence of childhood, going back through the generations is as much a cause as a putative genetic disease that predisposes people to those turmoils. Chicken or egg? Cluck cluck off.

I don't want to be 'cured', because I am who am, and I am what I am. I desperately wish I could function better (that old 90% perspiration clause), but not at the expense of the perspicacity that is me.

My life is my bloody fate, and I'm not scared of it. Don't assume in my name that I need or want to be made 'better'. I'm busy making my world around me 'better'.

Ok, rant over. Somedays I prefer the visible enemy of the psychiatric profession to the bromide-laced teacups of the mental health charities.


Edit. This is basically a plea for live and let live. If you are happier calling it a disease, or thinking of it as an illness that 'attacks from without'*, then do so if it helps you. Just don't automatically apply what helps you to me. I view my troubles as parts of me attacking other parts of me. My role is internal peacemaker, in my particular circumstances.

We are all entitled to form our own strategies for survival.

Take care all, I'm in a good mood today. Dx

* there must be a pedantic latin tag I could have used there, but I don't know it.


Mossy Mom said...

What am I going to do with my domain name when they eliminate my "disease" from the big book of diseases? LOL, biological psychiatry is such a joke. I wonder if they are going to eliminate my disease from the ICD system too? I should Google that.

I say your intelligence and sensitivity gave you your creativity.. And your condition m]ay have made you more sensitive.. Oh whoops that's speaking for you.. Never mind I'm speaking for me but it's so much easier to speak for someone else. :)

David said...

Thanks Moss. I don't mind people speaking for me when it's people like us talking together. But I don't like it when people like me talk to 'the normals' on behalf of a half-baked category that 'the normals' happen to have placed me in.

Or something. It's late. Ten past four. I should go and stare out the bedroom ceiling for a while.

I seem to be on the old and familiar one night sleep, one night silly doze.

Take care, and don't go worrying about those bloody categorical imperatives peddled by dried out last year's beanplants in their air-conditioned offices... I don't really.

Take care, Dx

Kate said...

Well put.
I meet people on a weekly basis who have the same diagnosis as me and yet, for the most part, we have nothing in common - no shared symptomology, no identical rash - nothing bar a label. Which makes me suspicious of the whole diagnostic business. Fair enough -infectious diseases such as TB or syphyllis are easily identifiable as distinct illnesses and they effect all sufferers in a simular, if not identical way. But so called 'mental illnesses'would seem to be so inextricable or overlapping with temperament or 'personhood' that most attempts to confine or 'cure' them can't be free, to some extent, of social/political motive or meaning.
Sometimes, the diagnosis itself is politically motivated. I interview quite a few clients (mostly men) who, in my cynnical opinion, have been palmed-off by the criminal justice system onto the psychiatric one. A 45 year old bloke gets a diagnosis of 'bipolar' after beating on his wife.Never had an 'episode' before yet diagnosed in 5 minutes and injected with anti-psychotics. Makes one wonder if the difference between a petty criminal/thug and one who is 'mentally-ill', is little more than a case of which secure institution has a free bed that night. Not that i'm suggesting all mentals are crooks. That woud be silly.
I happen to work for a mental-health charity (well sort of) and I too get irritated when we all sit around in meetings drinking our bromide-laced tea while some soft-minded do-gooder prattles on about how people with manic-depression can't be expected to manage money, that they will all rack up debts through their irrepressible spending urges and how therefore we must be extra persistent in badgering the authorities, financiers, utilities etc. to waive their arrears and write off their debts. As someone who is extra-careful with money and thinks 5 times before purchasing anything, I take offence at that. The words 'feckless' and 'irresponsible' and 'bastard' popped out my mouth this week at work and everone turned around and gasped as if I'd just announced my intention to peel and eat a baby.
I'm not going to tiptoe over other people's eggshells when I've stomped all over my own. So there!
I think I might be straying from the point, if at all I've made one.

Glad to hear you're in a good mood.

P.S. I like your cock!

la said...

Haha, I like your cock too =D

Wondering if you read the angry rant I didn't read last week (or the other day or whenever it was.)

You know what? This isn't maths. There is no absolute. You can both be right, equally valid, even when you oppose each other. Funny old universe what?

David said...

Thanks both. I like the picture of the cock, but am not a great fan of the artist himself - that sanctimonious incestuous dog-experimenter and Arts and Crafts bore, Eric Gill.

Kate, thanks - I agree that too many people internalise the tick-list of 'sympomatic' behaviours, and apply them carte-blanche "you must be like... etc".

La, absolutely, I agree! - Not sure which rant you refer to? Was it one you wrote? There was a post of yours that hit the spot.

Take care, Dx

David said...

Sorry, explanation is probably in order. Above is a generalised rant at i) mental illness and the imperative to be cured by fitting into society's normative values, ii) the old argument that because some people with MD find creativity hard, then the correllation is harmful*, and most of all iii) that a psychopathic git like Alistair Campbell is trying to be a voice for the likes of me. GRRRR! If he really is depressed at hearing the cry of the blood spilt partly at his hands on the wind as he lies in his bed at night, then he should do the decent thing, and admit it. And why is it that it is always dyed-in-the-wool Establishment figures that are always being pushed up our noses? Toadies and lickspittles!!! DOUBLE GRRRR!

(ok, hope that clears things up)

* the correllation shouldn't be perceived as upsetting. It's just bad luck. I can't write for shite, take photographs, or do anything really when I'm manic. I do better when I'm beginning to get bored with being a sodden turd in a bed of fly-carcass sheets and so look to see if writing implements are to hand.

But there's the rub. It's not the diligent application that is where the mania helps - it's with the startling new ideas that sometimes emerge out of the shite. Now... if I could only remember some of them...

Night all.

Mo said...

Why did you have to ruin this by mentioning Alistair Fuckin' Campbell! I accidently witnessed a clip of his slimy performance before I could grab the remote and change the channel.... and just when I thought I had become completely indifferent to politics in this country.

Anyway, nice to catch up with you David
Best Wishes

Pandora said...

Well put, as ever. I hate the idea that we need to be 'cured' too; I want to effectively manage certain symptoms of course, but even if I believed in total 'cures' I wouldn't want them. If society does not find my 'madness' tolerable, that's its bloody problem.

Love the new logo, by the way!

David said...

Lovely to hear from you Mo, best wishes back. (not going to comment on A Campb, no, no, I'm not, the cunt, no oops)...

Ms Insomniac - thank you - but seriously, that logo is severely suspect. It's one of Eric Gill's woodcuts. I still think it is quite fine though, and it suits my surname.

Take care one and all, and now I must try to look well rested for the gp in the morning (driving licence renewal appointment). "So how much do you drink, Mr A-----" "Less than you, Dr X------." (It's the only question they care about.)

Night Dx