Something that I’ve noticed lately is how much more “normalized” anxiety and depression have become online….like there’s blogs/bloggers and comics and support groups and happy viral messages about it all over the place. And I think that’s really great, but what bothers me is how it seems to leave out other mental illnesses. Especially the severe kind, like schizophrenia and schizoaffective. I feel the online mental health community is alienating those whose illnesses are most misrepresented and only feeding the stigma. Because not recognizing the stigma might as well be the same as enforcing it. And it’s just like…we’re already alienated in our local mental health communities, and now it’s online too. I just wish there was a space for us, and that we were more welcome to share specifically about our issues with the mental health system, our illness, and medication. It feels like there’s a hierarchy, with the “less scary” illnesses at the top.
Those posts that say “I’m proud of you for going to class, or talking to people, or standing up for yourself” are really nice, I just wish there was a spot for one that said something like “I’m proud of you for keeping to your routine today, and taking your medication, and for trying your best to stay in reality”. But I really think most people believe sz is a disease that only happens to homeless people or that we can’t function well enough to do anything. And while function level varies on a wide level, schizophrenia happens to every type of person.
It’s just a little frustrating to see depression and anxiety romanticized and accepted as beautifully as it is, while the rest of us get left behind. And I wish I knew why that really was.