Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've been thinking....

I have quite a few blogs that I read through Google reader. Some are other "mentals", some are more information based sites, humor sites etc etc. I love flipping open my laptop to see what awaits me in my Google reader each day, and there are a few blogs I get quite excited about when I see a new post in my tool bar. The blogs I read give me a number of different things... laughs, a feeling of "i'm not alone" and "oh, you too?", some inspire, some fill me with awe.... and recently, one in particular has been invoking a sense of "what the?"

Of course, its kind of a given in the Blogosphere that people write their own reality and sometimes that doesn't match up with ... let's say, reality reality. And people may tweak parts of their persona they are not happy with or are ashamed of. But what I really don't get are the people who out and out lie.

Especially about mental illness. Like its a badge of honor. A contest to see who can appear to be the most screwed up. Who has the absolute worst life. Newsflash. Mentalism is nothing to be ashamed of... but its certainly not a bowl of cherries, either. And why put so much effort into fabricating such an elaborate lie. Especially since, like most lies, it becomes more and more transparant as time grows on.

Certainly I tend to suspend my disbelief for the most part. Its a messed up world, and people certainly have unique histories and experiences, that I can barely fathom... but that doesn't make them any less real. This is the first time that my BS-meter has just sounded such loud alarms that I can no longer ignore the discomfort I feel reading this blog. I approach each knew post with a sense of trepidation and "what now?". I leave feeling insulted and patronised that this individual expects me to swallow the bollocks they are posting.

I guess its not restricted to the internetz. I have found myself simarly discombobulated when meeting people on the psych ward. ON THE PSYCH WARD! Why the hell would you take the charade of mental illness to the extent that you get yourself admitted, indeed actively seek admission, to a psych ward? It boggles my mind. But there have certainly been situations when I know, the other patients know, hell, the staff even knows these 'patients' are full of crap. Other patients certainly seem to be better than the staff at assessing who the 'fakers' are. But a person says the magic words "I'm suicidal" or "I hear voices", and they have to admit them. The first time at least. And for sure, often we can put on the most fabulous of fronts despite how crappy we feel. Certainly often the safety of the ward and the acceptance of the patient milleau is therapeutic and leads to positive lifts in the mood and symptoms of an individual. But don't tell me that you are barely sleeping at all because of your mania, when I walk past your room every night to hear your snores reverbrating down the corridor. When you miss every single breakfast because you are sleeping in. When you spend two hours talking perfectly normally and fluently to me, only to put on rapid speech and attempt to model disordered thoughts when a nurse sits and talks to you. You aren't that good an actress.

Why does it bother me? I mean really it doesn't affect me in the slightest. Well, it is somebody who is draining already limited resources and directing them away from people that need them, I guess. But I also guess that even if these people don't have the mental illnesses they claim to have, there is certainly something going on there to require such (and God, I hate this phrase, but I can't think of another) attention-seeking behaviour!  And, for sure, I would rather a bunch of people who don't need the help recieve it, than one person who really does need it get pigeon holed with the attention seeking label and not get the help they need. But that's part of the problem. These people with their foolishness, create such an atmosphere of skeptacism and mistrust between mentals and the MH professionals, that people in need do fall through the crack. So many of you in the blogosphere are examples of this. The cynacism and unhelpfulness of those whose jobs it is to help. But I can imagine being taken for a ride over and over again, it must eventually wear down even the most caring of professionals!

Sigh. I don't know. Really, I just need to learn to let it slide off and not bug me so much. As much as it feels incredibly insulting.. its not directed at me. And in the end, I don't have to read it, I don't have to listen. So I won't. I've deleted this particular blog and their caricaturised, overdramatic, histrionic postings from my reader. Maybe I'm wrong about them... but me not reading won't hurt them any, and it will make me feel better.

How do you guys deal with people (on the internet or real life) who set your BS alarm into overdrive with their "mentalism?" Not the people who just misuse the terms 'depression' and 'anxiety' but those who seem to actively construct lies and grossly exaggerate and fabricate?


  1. Thanks for posting this, because I have also thought this a fair bit lately. I stop reading. Simple as. I often wonder if it's my over developed suspicious nature, or they are spouting out genuine bullshit. I want to believe it's me, and that no one would be so disrespectful, but I never can decide. Either way, I don't need to read it.

    Lola x

  2. I haven't yet cone accross a blog where I think the writer is spouting off absolute rubbish. I can see why you'd feel insulted though. I absolutely cannot understand why someone would fake mental illness to get into a psych ward. Bizarre! Defintely better to just stop reading blogs like that I think!

    Take care,

  3. I think you're right to call it "attention-seeking behavior." I mean, why else would you want to construct a life of various disorders if not for the concern and attention it elicits from others?

    I think the key is just to stop listening/reading. Don't give them the attention they want and eventually I think they learn that their strategy is ineffective.

    Hope all is well,

  4. I have never come across a blog where I think the person isn't really ill. But I don't know why anyone would want to exagerate or pretend to have these illnesses. Having said that I think my blog can be pretty confusing in that I tend to write when I am in crisis and not so much when doing well and so it gives the one-sided impression that well I am very, very unstable. Whih is not the case all the time. a lot of the time sadly becuase- well I don't know. How it is. I can't say all is rosey and dong well if I'm not. Perhaps that is what has happened with the person/blogger in question.

    Anyway don't know. Not sure I've commented before but do read. So Hi. x

  5. i've come across people on forums who are very clearly lying. they trip themselves whern it comes to the details. i've also witnesed some i'm sicker than you type stuff. i am sure there must be something wrong with these people for to need the attention that badly. they do have problems. i find myself feeling the same as yourself. it angers me becasue they give us a bad name. we who are really ahving difficulties get labeled attention seekers. the stigma continues. i share you frustration.