I was just talking to Jexx about something I had been thinking about.
When I think about people's reactions to someone having AD/HD, it's really "no big deal." Meaning, it's common, out there, dealt with, etc. Pretty much the same as depression. Folks find out you have it, they commiserate, hope you get better and/or get it treated properly. As if there wasn't a chance for it to NOT be treated well.
Folks find out you have bipolar disorder, the dreaded manic depression (or even worse, any of the schizophrenic disorders), and there's that HUSH that falls in between you, in the gaps of your conversation. Then it's all hushed tones, and I'm sorrys, and things like that. Sometimes, you become a pariah. Other times, it just isn't mentioned again, ignored like the large pink elephant in the middle of your living room.
I just think of bipolar as a similar thing, a brain chemistry thing that needs to be controlled in some way, a medical issue. Like depression or ad/hd or diabetes. Sure, they all have different ramifications (I am not a complete ignoramus! Really! *grin*), but I don't see any sort of stigma in my relationships with a person who has that sort of challenge.
Other people, obviously, feel differently. But they shouldn't. Because I am right. Most of the time. Just ask Ralphie
Posts: 1545 | Registered: May 2002
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See, I'm the opposite, if someone tells me they're depressed, I get all worried. But my friend just told me he was bipolar and I was just sort of like, "That's nice, glad you're getting treated, so, what's up?" I didn't really realize it was a big deal, I guess.
Posts: 4655 | Registered: Jan 2002
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Mac, you are right. I don't think that it is necessarily confined to mental disorders either. Anytime you drop a bomb on someone, often that is the effect.
When my friend, Chuck, was diagnosed with HIV years ago, he chose to tell us it was cancer. At the time AIDS had a huge stigma attached to it. Not enough was known about it.
I remember, at the time, wondering whether or not to even be around him when it was finally disclosed that he did not have cancer. That was a "hush" that I never disclosed to him. Be assured, I decided to make the best of the time we had left together, however.
Some things are better left unsaid, at least until such time as they are worked out in the listner's head.
In my experience, that "hush" only comes when people make a big deal out of having any disorder. If you tell someone "I'm bipolar" in the same tones that you tell them "I have cancer," they're going to fall silent.
If you break the news -- if you feel like doing so at all -- by laughing casually about it, like "I would probably find this funnier if I weren't clinically manic-depressive," they'll take the hint and not be too concerned on your behalf.
The way you carry and present yourself is reflected in the reactions of your peers.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999
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