Home > bad attitudes, bipolar, ocd, symptoms > Mental Illness Isn’t Cute, or: Stop Calling Your Quirks OCD/Bipolar

Mental Illness Isn’t Cute, or: Stop Calling Your Quirks OCD/Bipolar

Mental Illness Isn’t Cute, or: Stop Calling Your Quirks OCD/Bipolar.

I agree with this 100%. And it is a double-edged sword: not only do people who are not depressed, or have OCD, bipolar, or ADHD call themselves those things, which cheapens things for serious sufferers; but they tell those of us who do legitimately suffer from these things they’re not so bad because “they’re normal” or “everyone has them”.

For what it’s worth, in addition to bipolar, I have OCD but I am the most disorganized person in the world. Without my meds I often have to think the correct sequence of thoughts in the correct order or I get very upset. Without my meds these thoughts are often gibberish, which is awful. On the other hand, with my meds most of this repetitious thinking goes away. Nevertheless I still have nightmares almost every night about the computer programs I write. I have to write my code the correct way (a way that is only correct in my dream) or I get to do it over and over again. Of course my dreams never let me get it right. Luckily I don’t sleep much.

I also see all numbers as sequences. For example, to me a 5 is actually a 2, a 1, and a 2. A six, luckily, is only two 3s and not three 2s. Twenty is four 5s. Furthermore, some numbers are nice numbers, and some numbers are not nice.

My mother tells me that even when I was a little boy I would have nightmares about sequences. I used to wake up screaming from nightmares about sequences of not nice numbers. I’m talking numbers that were so evil they were worse than satan. They were monstrously huge (bigger than the world) and compared to them I was a dust-mite.

  1. February 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I’m with you. I used to be one of those people who would flippantly remark that “I’m totally bipolar today..hahaha” or “yeah, when I get stressed, I clean all OCD to feel better”. Bullshit like that, that at the time, felt harmless. Maybe part of me needed to pass off my “quirks” as no-big-deal, when really they were more than quirks. Maybe I was just going for a laugh. Maybe I wanted someone to say, “oh NO, you’re FINE!”.
    Regardless, it was insensitive. To myself and others who actually live with these conditions. You make a very good point.

  2. February 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    At the risk of sounding like Tony the Tiger, this post is “Grrrrrrrrrrreat!” Except it’s not sugar coated. Which I guess is corn flakes. I get this from the few friends I have left: After they ask how I am, and I tell them I’m depressed, and struggling. They say, “I’m depressed too. Wanna go grab some dinner tonight?” (Ah. Yes. I would love to, but outside the world goes all “Mad Men” opening credits on me.) Good, God, people! Get this: Even I fought my doctors on my diagnoses for the first two years of therapy. In the beginning, I refused to be “mental.” It’s hard enough navigating the darkness without friends AND family minimizing the impact of how challenging it is to make your way back to Mental Health.

  3. February 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    It’s very ironic. At dinner tonight my dining companion said “I’m very OCD. I need to have my bathroom clean. I guess I’m schizo, too. I need to have my car dirty.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    I started to say something and then I just smiled. There was just so much “wrong” packed into so few words. I’m not really “out” as a mental health sufferer to this person and I wasn’t going to make a scene at dinner.


  4. March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Oh, do make a scene- and blog about it.
    (kidding) Well, there’s a bit of truth in there.

    I love that image of you at the table with your dining companion. Starting to respond, and being like, “What do I DO with all that?” Just smile…

    *sigh* is right.

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