Just Joking?

Lately, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of jokes about mental illness. I used to think they were funny, but then my family was touched by mental illness and my perspective changed drastically. Mental illness is a serious MEDICAL CONDITION. People generally don’t joke about cancer or AIDS.  Why joke about mental illness?

Depression is more than just “feeling a little blue.” It’s a long-term, debilitating sadness, but it’s more than sadness…it’s hopelessness and wondering why you’re even trying…it’s feeling like life is pointless, like YOU are pointless. Food has no taste, activities are just reminders of how inept you feel, LIFE has no flavor. It’s a miserable existence that can be treated, but never cured.

Anxiety is more that just being a “worrier.” It’s middle-of-the-night panic that wakes you in a cold sweat. It’s “I can’t stop crying and I’m freaking out and I don’t really know why.” It’s trips to the ER because you’re freaking out about nothing in particular (or something in particular; you just never know). It’s never knowing when a panic attack will sneak up on you and kick your @$$ to the curb. It can be treated, but not cured.

For those who think that OCD means someone is just an ultra-perfectionist, it’s much, much more. It’s more than just wanting things to be tidy (not everyone with OCD is extra-tidy, BTW). It involves Obsessions and Compulsions (that means you HAVE to do certain things or you believe something bad will happen). It can be treated, but not cured.

Once again, I have to say that mental illness isn’t quirky or fun. It’s miserable.

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