Societal Responses to Mental Illness Versus Physical Illness

***Disclaimer**** This post is in no way mocking ANY illness, physical or mental. It is simply a demonstration in how differently mental illness is responded to as opposed to physical illness.
Panic attacks
“Traffic makes me freak out so I avoid crowded roads.”
“Well, that’s just avoidance behavior. You’re not facing your fear.”

The physical comparison.

“I ate spicy food again and now my stomach is on fire.”
“Well, if you know it’s going to hurt you, why do it?”

Mood Swings
“I thought I could work my way through it without getting emotional but I was wrong.”
“You’re just not trying hard enough, you WANT to be in a bad mood so you have an excuse to overreact.”

The physical Comparison.
“I was up all night vomiting, but I think I’m better to do, I can do this.”
“Oh, no, no, you might still be contagious. Or you could throw up again. You should go rest some more, wait until you’re really sure you’re feeling better.”

Depression
“Life seems pointless…I have no joy left…I just want to go to sleep and never wake up.”
“That’s a cop out, you just don’t want to deal with life because it’s too hard. Suck it up.”

The physical comparison.
“My ankle is swollen up like a basketball and I can’t walk on it.”
“No wonder, it’s enormous, that must hurt. You should sit it out until the swelling goes down.”

OCD
“I have to check the lock ten times, every time. Something bad will happen if I don’t.”
“You’re just neurotic, knock it off.”

The physical comparison.
“I have a history of cancer in my family, I should get screened regularly.”
“That’s a great idea, very responsible of you.”

Panic Attack
“Can’t…breathe…Dizzy…Knees weak…Terrified…I may throw up…Need to get out of here…Before heart explodes…”
“Oh, you’re so dramatic, panic attacks don’t kill people, get over it, everyone has anxiety.”

The physical comparison.
“I have chest pain and this shooting sensation going down my arm…”
“OMG, you should get to the hospital right NOW!”

Generalized Anxiety
“I can’t focus on anything, I feel like I have little bugs crawling in my veins…No, I can’t distract myself,it’s all encompassing…”
(Derisive eye roll) “No wonder people don’t want to hang out with you, you make such a big deal out of everything.”

Physical comparison.
“I have dry socket from where they pulled my tooth and it hurts so bad, I can’t think straight, the pain even makes my feet feel like they are pounding.”
“Oh, yeah, dry socket’s the worst, that shit gets you down. You should take a pain pill and ride it out in bed.”

Borderline Personality Disorder
“I love you…I hate you…Get the fuck away from me…Wait, I’m sorry, don’t leave me…”
“You’re such a whack job.”

Physical comparison.(wonky blood sugar)
“I looove you….Wait, who are you? No, I don’t like you…I feel woozy.”
Insert acceptable diabetic treatment here. “Now, now, you’ll be okay.”

Paranoia
“I know it’s not real, but my brain’s fight or flight responses are on red alert. I can’t shake it off, I feel like I am in real danger, logical or not.”
“You’re batshit, thinking you’re important enough for anyone to be out to get, geesh. Get a grip.”

The physical comparison.
“I keep having this pain in my side, but I’m sure it’s nothing.”
“You should get that looked at, it could be something serious even if likely it’s nothing.”

Attention Deficit
“So yeah, I was reading this book and it was really good, the main character was about to go into surgery and…Oh, hey, look at that squirrel over there…You working today? Oh, I watched this show the other night and…SHINY.”
“What the hell? Can you not stay on topic? Are you stupid or on drugs?”

The physical comparison.
“Hey, wake up…You drifted off while we were talking again, is your narcolepsy getting bad again? You should see a doctor…”

Schizophrenia…
“It’s too loud…I can’t think…They’re laughing at me…They’re coming to get me, I can’t hear anything, it’s too loud in my head.”
“Rubber ramada time.”

Physical comparison.
“I’m seeing things and hearing things, the doctor says I have a brain tumor causing it.”
“OMG, you poor thing, you must suffering, what are they gonna do for you??????”

Phobias
“I absolutely cannot do crowds, it’s terrifying and I will get physically ill.”
“Well, that’s just irrational and utterly ridiculous, tough it out.”

Physical (non mental illness) comparison.
“I am scared of spiders and heights.”
“Oh, I don’t like snakes, just keep them away from me…”
“Gross, right? No way.”

Oddly enough…The ONLY fair playing field.
“I’m depressed.”
“Here, take a pill and get some exercise.”
“I don’t feel so good, Doc.”
“Here, take a pill and get some exercise.”

—————-
Dramatic? Actually, I think it’s pretty damned realistic. And society should collectively feel ashamed for it being that way.

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9 Responses to “Societal Responses to Mental Illness Versus Physical Illness”

  1. Shared on the Twitter for 100% accuracy.

  2. Spot on! I agree 200%! (yup I know I wrote 200%) this is such a great (true) comparison. *Rubber Ramada ~ Hahahahaha! I gotta remember that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. swtswtsue Says:

    Wow! How true this is, unfortunately. Such accurate descriptions. Nice job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 100% Spot on! I wish more people will be aware of how stupid their responses are at times.

  5. Reblogged this on Tessa Can Do IT! and commented:
    A very good comparison of mental and physical ailments.

  6. Reblogged this on SassaFrass, The Feisty and commented:
    This is PRECISELY what society and media has portrayed Mental Illness as. That is completely un utterly false. Our conditions are not one’s we CHOOSE to have. We did not wake up one day and CHOOSE to be overtaken by our brains. Because our conditions are not PHYSICALLY seen, they cannot be PHYSICALLY compared and rationalized to others unless you have a mental illness or chronic illness. Thank you, Morgue, for doing this. I hope this helps fight the stigma around ALL mental illness. Because I did not CHOOSE to have Bipolar 1, ADAD, Trauma Issues and Postpartum Depression. Yeah, like that’s been a bowl full of fun on purpose.

  7. Thank you thank you fucking THANK FUCKING YOU. I reblogged this, and I hope to fucking God and the powers that be will flit this all through cyber space. Because we don’t choose this shit. I choose you as a friend and a Volatile Femme *SWINGS BEDAZZLED SPORK*

  8. This is why I used to be so quiet about my mental illness. I got sick at work a lot from my anxiety, but unless it was a physical illness like the flu (though the anxiety may have caused the same symptoms), nobody cared. I got fired from work once after having to take a couple months off to treat my eating disorder. That’s why we need to fight the stereotype that mental illness is a stigma. If you want to check out my blog on mental illness (generalized anxiety disorder in particular), the address is http://www.journeytoanxietyfree.com. Thanks for making this post.

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