Mental Disorders as arguments, scapegoats, et cetera

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, Jan 13, 2016.

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  1. Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets immeasurably angry when I see this? Because it instantly kills any respect I have for anyone when I see it.

    There are thousands of people living every single day with maladies of the mind that fuck them up. This rings to me on a very personal level, because when I was younger, I struggled extremely hard to retain some semblance of care for the world in which I lived. I didn't use it as a scapegoat, I didn't use it as an argument, I didn't use it to try and censor people I disliked. I didn't use it to try and get attention, I didn't use it to try and get special privileges (except from my therapist--because fucking duh?), and certainly didn't go about telling the world all the intricate details of the fucked up measures of my head. I built a role play around some of the shit in there, it wasn't pleasant, and that was the extent of it.

    I'm not against talking about it, but there's a time and place for it in my opinion. "Everywhere" and "as an excuse for an actual argument" are not the place nor time, each respectively. Asking someone to "debate" a disorder is batshit and morally, flatly wrong to me.

    I don't know about everyone else here, but I want your thoughts, GD. Do you find pleas for attention acceptable using mental disorders as the scapegoat? Because I don't. I really, truly don't, but I don't know if my opinion is the minority here, because it's admittedly clouded with a lot of anger. Seriously, what do y'all think?

    Oh, and please don't turn this into another derpbate thread about topics that have nothing to do with the subject matter at hand. I'll start reporting that shit and I'm sure @Grumpy would love to have another excuse to shut a thread down and add yet another reason to kill GD.
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  3. Nope. Hate it. It's a weak cop out.

    "Oh, sorry about having that massively over-reaction to something as mundane as a light-hearted joke with the punch line in parentheses so we know it's a joke.. I've got X, it's a disorder, and it's been hard on me lately even though it's never been mentioned or brought up before in any of our tons of conversations or interactions. You need to understand it to understand me.."

    Your mental disorders do not define you. They are not a badge to be pulled out at the first sign of trouble as a get out of jail free card. It just makes people uncomfortable and want to avoid contact with you out of fear of another outburst followed by a cringe worthy excuse.
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  4. Define scapegoat and pleading for attention. I've seen mental disability used in every conceivable situation and manner of argument at this point. Many which have caused me some serious anger.
  5. Any of the following, in any order.
    • A. Using a mental disorder in place of an argument. (Ex: "This offends me and I'm right because I have X disorder.")
    • B. Lying about having a mental disorder to get pity points, usually done in the Counselling section. (Ex: "I have X, Y, and Z disorders, muh life is super hard, this excuses all of my behaviour from now on.")
    • C. Expecting everyone else to conform to your needs because of your mental disorder. (Ex: "I have X disorder. Therefore, all of you are no longer allowed to do Y, and must do everything I say to avoid triggering me.")
      • Addendum: Exception granted if you're among friends and family and those who care for you. They should, to some degree, understand and adjust for you, if they seriously care. Don't ask strangers to bend to your will though, that's totalitarian as fuck and masquerading it with the smokescreen of a disorder is fucking horrible.
    • D. Claiming that the system abused you with zero evidence over a long period of time with several medically trained perpetrators. (Ex: "Several doctors raped me.")
      • Addendum: One or two cases is believable. There are shitty doctors and shitty therapists. "I was locked in an asylum and repeatedly beaten for months/years", however, is pretty unbelievable without some level of evidence. Like, maybe, a link to the shitty asylum in question.
    • E. Ever expecting anyone to conform to your "triggers." If your triggers are so severe that a single, written word, can cause you to go on a manic-depressive episode or something similar, what you need is a psychological ward. That's the definition of non-functioning. (No example should be needed.)
    I'd get into more detail, but I'm off to work now.
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  6. I think it's hard if not impossible to deny that me growing up with Autism has played a significant role in the way I am today and how I see the world, regardless of therapy since it still gave me many years to observe society as an outsider, not as something who naturally understood.

    That being said however, it does not for a single moment act as an excuse for mine or anyone else's actions.
    Things I do are my own responsibility, not anyone else's.

    However, I think two clarifications also need to be made.

    1) It's important to recognize the difference between using a disability as an excuse, and someone exploiting another's disability.
    For example, if at school one kids are picking on someone else for having a mental illness, pushing the exact button's that they know will make the kid react in a hostile manner.
    That kid whose buttons were pushed still holds responsibility over how they reacted, but people also need to be able to recognize and call-out at the others went out of their way to cause it too and aren't innocent in the matter.

    2) If I make a dark joke on something like Autism, and everyone starts to get offended I might bother mentioning that I am Autistic. But when I do so, I'm not mentioning it in a "I'm Autistic, therefore you lack the right to complain". Because that'd be stupid, and violating freedom of speech. Rather I mean it in a "You guys do realize that I'm Autistic myself, and I'm not even offended by the joke right?", where I'm not telling others not to say or feel anything but rather just using it to highlight a rather bizarre division in thresholds of offence.

    Example of Dark Joke

    Let's make a new zombie apocalypse movie.
    Only instead of zombies it's Autistic people.
    And instead of biting you they stab you with vaccines.
  7. Honestly, it depends on the circumstances. If someone is simply lamenting their life and using their disorder as an excise to get pity from everyone, than I think it's complete bullshit.

    Life isn't easy for anyone. We all deal with shit, some more than others. Your sob stories are no more important than anyone else's. I hate that people think that it matters, because it doesn't.

    Mommy didn't hug you enough? Guess what? There are mothers out there pimping out their kids for drug money.

    Daddy touches you the wrong way? You aren't the only one.

    "Oh, my life is so hard because I get treated like shit and no one cares!"

    They'd care a lot more about it of you weren't whining every time you fail and blame it on everything else.

    People fuck up because they are human and no one is perfect. You get up, dust your ass off and try again. You don't stay on the ground and wait for everyone to do that shit for you.

    If you have problems, there are doctors for that. Sitting around crying about it isn't getting you anywhere. You're not helping yourself or anyone else crying to anyone who will listen to you.
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  8. The is a bit ofdouble edged sword. I honestly believe people should consider their actions even for strangers. It cost you nothing to act decently and be Considerate of others situation. On the other hand it opens you to the kind of people who abuse it.

    Ironicly, I am being investigated for anxiety and and severe depression as we speak. So to me everything around this situation is extra interesting. People generalise and the action of a few drag the rest down.

    To get on topic though. The I HAVE THIS. is one the most frustrating things. I've had people blame bipolarity when they gotten violent. People who fake it are even worse. It is the vilest fucking thing to do.

    PS. I had no idea psychologists could be so fucking disarming. I said more to a person i just met then I have ever told my own mother. Also, all these questionaires holy shit. Its like I am enrolling into the worlds most fucked up school.
    #8 Hellis, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  9. I like middle ground answers.

    Yes. People should be kind, but that should be a general rule. Regardless of whether you have a disorder or not. If we were nicer to each other, we could avoid much of the pain we end up giving to each other on a regular basis.

    Where it concerns mental disorders, I've found the best philosophy is a modification of quid pro quo. Don't demand that people conform to you or try to censor their jokes. Instead, use the opportunity to open a dialogue, explain how your mind ticks. Use the offensive humour to normalize and open segways to conversations people would otherwise never have. If it worked for George Carlin and other comedians, surely it can work to our advantage too.

    It's certainly better than shutting down all conversation because of offensive jokes. Then instead of quid pro quo, you get defensive reactionary responses. Think about your therapist: Even if you say something really stupid, he's not judging you for that. He listens and then opens a dialogue. That's why they work so well.
  10. I mean, I know and sympathise where you come from. But when someone asks, kindly, "Do you have to joke about X so much" I think one can also consider maybe do it less, at least around that person. Full cencorship is never gonna happen anyway, and as you say it doesn't help any really. But you gotta consider middle ground. You gotta give to receive. But yeah. Open discussion and approaching people in a friendly manner should be the go to way. If you really want people to understand and consider your situation, approaching people with a smile gets you a long way there.

    On topic. Now that I am at a computer:
    A. You cannot substitute a argument for "I have X", other then, if you have it, lend a different perspective. It can be helpfull, but it won't magically make you "win".
    B. If you are lying, flat out lying, you are a piece of subhuman scum. If you think you have something, but refuses to diagnose with a proffesional: Please go get diagnosed. It might just change your life for the better.
    C. I believe in treating people kindly. ANd I will often tone it back when I realize what I am doing is upsetting someone. Because really, It doesn't cost or hurt me any. Compassion is the worlds most precious commodity, and I swear people are growing so fucking cold and cynical it hurts to listen to people some times. That said. If I feel someone is abusing it, I will give them shit about it.
    D. Upsets me to no end. The people who I go to, terrible waiting period aside, have been stellar to me. These people are trained and incredibly considerate people. I find it really disingenuous to blame people who dedicated their entire life to understand and help others with their issues. Should we blindly trust their judgment? Perhaps not. But I have extreme respect for people working to help others.
    E. I hate the word trigger so much. One extreme side use it as a excuse to act like utter complete shitheads and make fun of people for daring to speak up. The other extreme use it as a way to manipulate the discussion in their favor and try and silence you.
  11. I just want to bring up a couple of points to consider:

    1. There is a lot of stigma about mental illness and disorders, especially the notion that people who talk about their disorders are doing it solely for attention. This causes a lot of people to be reluctant to speak about their problems unless it suddenly becomes an issue where they feel the need to speak up.

    2. The people who are accused of "doing it for attention" actually do have problems, even if they aren't the ones they claim to have. Or else they wouldn't be lying and doing all kinds of shit for attention. Needing attention that badly is a sign that something is wrong. These people are often also young and immature and don't have all of the skills for coping with those problems. They need help.

    3. Like Hellis said, it doesn't cost you anything to be considerate to people. If you tell me that you're a fae-blooded alien cat from outer space on the inside and want to be addressed as Meowvin, I will call you Meowvin because why the fuck not. Just because I think it's ridiculous doesn't mean you're not entitled to do what you want. The problem starts when Meowvin decides that spraying my couch is okay because it's natural for alien faecats to spray.

    Meowvin is also within his rights to request that I not ever touch him with water or cold iron. But if I do it by mistake and he cusses me out and never apologizes, Meowvin is being a dick.

    4. I will chime in though that I get really annoyed by the casual use of the word "trigger". If you get upset by a word or topic or whatever, that is NOT a trigger. A trigger is something that actually causes PTSD distress and flashbacks. If seeing a can of Pepsi causes you flashbacks, you are most definitely non-functioning and need to talk to your therapist immediately. o___o

    5. On the whole "several doctors raped me" thing Brovo mentioned: While there are an unfortunate number of cases where patients are actually abused sexually by medical staff, this is more often a case where someone who is abused (and mentally troubled) is trying to let people know that they've been abused but don't feel safe naming the actual abuser (usually because it's a family member). It often backfires horribly by making them completely unreliable but it's a very common pathology. Not really relevant to the main topic or any kind of argument, just a fact I thought people might find useful for their own perspective.
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  12. Wel, I cant speak about my expiriences dealing vith ppl having/using mental disorder as a excuse, since I didnt meet alot of ppl like that. Come to think of it, I didnt meet anyone like that, unless you count a guy vho had/has (we tend to see each-other on a intermitent basis at work, as wel as him being one of my "friends vith benefits") a bad case of stutter, so much so that he cant string a normal sentence together vithout looking like he wuld explode from tension in his vhole body, gasping and twisting up at evry word. I understand thats not exacly a "mental disorder" per se, but close enogh. Now, having seen vhat efect that had on him, interacting vith ppl, I culd certainly understand how extremly defensive/antagonistic, to put it mildly, he wuld get if anyone made a tasteless joke on the subject. Or if ppl complained how he uses his stutter as a "excuse" not to do something that needed him to talk to ppl a lot. Almost got him fired once, and it wuld have, if I havent stood-up in his defense and had a little... not-so-frendly... chat viht the boss, basicly a ultimatum; if you cut him loose, I'l quit (yes, you might say I developed a certain protective atitude tovard him; I dont like seeing anyone put down or bullyd, especialy over something thats beyond their control, like stutter).

    So, I think sometimes having a disorder IS a valid excuse. Especialy one like that, vhich efects literaly EVRY aspect of a person's life. Ofc, I'l grant that it probably depends on how said disorder afects the person, and how severe it is. In my friend's case, it is very severe, and it mostly defines every day of his life.
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  13. Using mental illness to justify treating another person badly so that things work in your favour is deplorable. You have a reason to be snippy, you have a reason to be moody, but you do not have the excuse to be. I can list off all the problems that I have but what's the reason for that? I won't let them define who I am, nor will I use them to win an argument, place myself above anyone or anything like that because I know that doing so reflects on what kind of person I am.
    On another front however, what Ozzie said here I adore. If someone is willing to lie about something as serious as this, they may not have that particular disorder but they do have something going on. People lie to have control over themselves or their lives when they have none. Control being trying to get more people on their side, trying to get whatever situation they are on to benefit them so they do not become overwhelmed, etc. The human psychology is a tricky complex thing. People put up defenses because they are scared. Does that mean that lying is alright? By all means no, and people make the choice to do it. But if they are so desperate enough to do it, instead of lashing out and smacking them with the right and wrong stick, why not try to help fix the problem and urge them to go to counseling (not the section)?

    People misuse the word trigger all the time. Content Warning would be a much better substitute for this. If you want to warn people about what you are typing, Content Warnings give off the proper warning without misusing the word trigger.

    That's just my two cents, won't claim to be right or wrong.
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  14. Yeah, @Ozzie Chanter you make good points. It's not my intention to say that "everyone who fakes is irredeemably evil", that category is saved for child pedophiles and people who talk in theatres. There is that other angle of " person who is in distress may lie, not understanding the ramifications of that lie, because they are seeking help." My target of unadulterated disgust is those who do it explicitly for attention, or to win arguments. There's a reason I normally keep my mouth shut about these things: It is hard to tell these two cases apart solely from internet interactions. As is, I've already gotten two PM's, one on Iwaku, and one over Skype about this thread. The former was quite polite about her inquiry. The latter was, ahhh, far less so, and for their sakes, I will leave them anonymous.

    Here, a more friendly guideline: If you simply want or need to talk about what's on your chest, that's fine. If you feel odd shit swirling in your head and need to talk, do it, you never know, it might be more than just a bad day. If you feel the need to lie to trump up your suffering because you feel nobody will care otherwise, that's a damn shame, and I would love to talk to you privately without any judgement or vitriol. As it stands I've gone out of my way to talk to people feeling alone. Still talk to someone who needs help with workout motivations.

    If, however, you're doing it solely to get attention, or be a special butterfly, I loathe you. It's people like you (talking to you, skype guy) that make it impossible for me to ever talk about this subject because hordes and hordes of deceitful children will descend upon it like locusts for attention.

    I would honestly love to talk about the subject. I would honestly love to have a little thread in the corner of general discussion or counselling (but lets be real, counselling is a cesspit, lets not do it there) dedicated solely to talking about mental health. Whether for rp character research, or curiosity, or advice about someone struggling with darker thoughts. I've been there, I made it through hell, and I would love to help people get into regular contact with a therapist, or the suicide hotline, or whoever it is they need.

    But if I were to make that thread, it would get drowned in pity calls and attention seekers.

    Talking about it is fine. It's healthy to get that off your chest. Wearing a masquerade 24/7 will murder you inside. But I've already seen a couple instances this week alone of a couple people jumping out and trying to kill arguments, or guilt trip other people, because of their mental disorders. This isn't right. This is the worst possible way to go about it because it shuts discussions down, it doesn't encourage them.
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  15. As a scapegoat? No. Definitely not.

    The problem is sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between someone pleading for attention in a negative way and in a positive way. I've seen it from both directions, and also from a third; using your actual mental disorder as a scapegoat. My cousin has an anxiety disorder (I believe social anxiety) and so she genuinely suffers from a mental health disorder and has a reason to excuse herself from certain activities because of it. But she brings it up at random times to simply get out of things she doesn't want to do. She'll say she can't make phone calls when she has to call family to say "Merry Christmas!" but has no issue calling her friends, or her work, or any other number. She just doesn't want to talk to family. She also has a habit of bringing it up in conversation like it entitles her to something--which is also a problem. Then, she's looking for the attention.

    And when I say people can be pleading for attention in a negative or a positive way, I mean that sometimes people exaggerate or lie and talk about their nonexistent disorder just to garner attention (the negative way) and sometimes people bring it up because they're trying to get help and they don't know how. Incidentally it comes out the wrong way and they sound more like they're seeking that negative attention instead of trying to tell people the it's an actual problem.

    Of course when you say things in certain ways there's really no way sometimes to understand what's been said any other way. When whiny brats exclaim something like "I got a D on the test! God, my life sucks, I'm so depressed!" or "Ugh, pick up your things, I have some serious OCD and you're triggering me!" then it's kind of hard to debate that they're not seeking negative attention, because they are.

    A mental health disorder is not something you lie or joke about. If you don't have a mental health disorder then it is not an excuse for you to use. People that do make it harder for people with an actual disorder to get the help they need. It's like how you're required to have a hall pass and a sign in/sign out sheet in high schools to use the damn bathroom. Some kids decided to fuck around and skip or graffiti or smoke in the toilet, and ruined the free-toilet privileges. How is anyone supposed to believe a person(with a mental health disorder)'s cry of help if you've been running around crying wolf?
  16. Having a mental disorder is extremely stressful and tiring to deal with, as I know from experience but I have never and would never use to that to excuse my behavior. I mean yes, dealing with a mood disorder, at times I will warn others of mood swings (just like I would say I recent have gotten my cycle - sorry guys, TMI I know) but I will never try to induce pity from anyone. "I'm sorry for being such a shitty person today, but you can't blame me, it's so-and-so disorder. It is totally not me." - is complete and utter bullshit. While yes, a disorder is a part of you, it does not define you. When I am having a relatively bad day and find myself lashing out, my responses are more along the lines of - "Damn, being a bitch again. My bad." I acknowledge my behavior and try to fix it but never blame it on my disorder.​
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  17. This entire thread should be sent to those who use it as their "special snowflake" card on Tumblr.

    The number of users there who use their self-diagnosed mental disorders or "triggers" as an excuse is ridiculous.

    1. No, get a fucking professional to diagnose you.
    2. If these "triggers", are "triggering" you, then why the fuck are you still constantly exposing yourself to them?

    Not only do I hate it when people use their "mental disorders" to insta-win arguments, but also I hate it when they make it all look "cool and romantic". Depression ain't cool. Cutting yourself on purpose ain't beautiful. Bipolar is not romantic. Schizophrenia is fucking terrifying.

    However, at the end of the day, I might treat you slightly differently if you have and proved that you have blah blah blah, but if you straight-up lie just for attention, then piss off.

    Edit: Rephrasing shit
    #17 Yatagarasu, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  18. I do have to somewhat disagree with you there. I wouldn't generalize Tumblr in that way any more than I would say all Christians are bad and awful. Yeah, there's a lot of people on there that self diagnose, but the community has created an environment of education, too. I didn't know shit about mental health and sexuality and all that stuff nobody likes to talk about before. There are people on that website that grossly romanticize mental disorders and self harming, but there are also so many support groups and supportive folks. A lot of people post about their scars and mental health is because they can get that support for their recovery.

    Don't think of the whole negatively just because of the handful of bad.
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  19. Against better judgement, here we go.

    I am completely on board with being very unappreciative of people faking mental disorder. @Ozzie Chanter mentioned that people who need this kind of attention have problems of different kinds and there s truth to that. In fact it's a valid point. However, regardless of how everyone is, for a large chunk, a product of their environment, and any other day I'd be well willing to share my views onto why we have these kinds of things going on. Today is not that day. I don't think we should exempt people from their responsibility for their own behaviour. Just like ignorance of the law doesn't make you innocent, you're still being a dick for pretending to have a mental disorder.

    I also have insurmountable respect for people who do not let mental disorders define them. Or difficult obstacles in general. I've met a great number of people struggling day to day life with courage, strength and willpower that is plain humbling. Even if their lives are slowly falling apart due to their problems overtaking them. At the same time, you don't blame the guy in the wheelchair for not joining your triathlon. It's healthy to out frustrations from time to time and if you have a mental disorder this can very well be cause of your frustration. While I respect people who do not let their conditions own them, I don't think it's reasonable to have that expectation of everyone. Especially as there's many things that are just out of one's control and can't be dealt with conveniently.

    idk, I could deeper go into this with yet another wall of text, but this crummy post will have to do. You know most of my thoughts and feelings on the matter already. It's just.I'm angry, Brovo. I'm angry and I'm tired of this noise.
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  20. I agree with many of the points Ozzie Chanter, Hellis and LogicfromLogic made, especially on attention seeking, so I won't touch too much on those.

    I talk about my struggles with mental illness a lot online, because I rarely get to talk about it in real life. I find it cathartic. I never, ever want or intend to use it to shut down conversations; I only ever want to use it to spark them, or to offer another perspective. Mental health has such a stigma attached to it and I want to encourage open discussion about it, because it's nothing to be ashamed of. It can really help with recovery.

    However, there is a vocal group - mostly young teenagers, I think - who believe that their mental illnesses define them, and that they wouldn't be anything without it. I can understand how that line of thinking can come to fruition; when I was younger, I couldn't even fathom recovery, because depression was all I had ever known. I was scared to recover. Depression was almost a comfort. Even now, I struggle with the thought that I'm not sure what's 'me' and what's my mental illness. I think that's a common side effect of mental illness on many people.

    The problem comes when you find yourself in an environment where recovery is discouraged because your illness is you, and the people trying to encourage recovery are just being ableist and don't understand you. This was one of the major things I discovered on tumblr that made me unfollow a bunch of people and stick to following blogs of cartoon lesbians and cats. I was appalled to see all these young people being told that they should be absolved of any responsibility for their actions because they're ill. I was seeing 'neurotypical' people being scolded because they weren't bending over backwards to accommodate folks with mental illnesses that might make them extremely unpleasant to be around if they can't control their symptoms or look to recovery. I see this a lot with BPD (borderline personality disorder) and holy shit, is it ever unhealthy. "Don't blame me for being manipulative, I'm ill!" "You're a bad friend/partner if you leave someone who's treating you worse than garbage because they're ill!"

    Like, I cannot imagine being enclosed in this anti-recovery circle jerk. It's so unhealthy and so dreadful. I'm so thankful this kind of thing was not prevalent when I was younger because I know I would have gotten sucked into it.

    I also thought I might bring up the topic of triggers, because I know last night I made a post that used the word. I completely agree that it's overused and often incorrectly used, and is definitely used to shut down conversations and arguments. I just wanted to clarify that when I used that word, I wasn't referring just to the word 'rape' or a mild rape joke. I find them distasteful and they make me uncomfortable, but they're definitely not enough to trigger a flashback.

    That being said, triggers are definitely a thing and sometimes it makes me sad to see them mocked so thoroughly on the internets. Those who use the term incorrectly and to shut down arguments are certainly worthy of scorn, but I have to say I'm especially frustrated with those who use the word that way because it's made it all the more difficult for people who do have genuine triggers to be taken seriously.

    Anyway, you're generally responsible for your own triggers. I've always viewed trigger warnings as something like, 'hey, this thing contains this content; if you're in a good place, continue reading, but if you're not wanting to see this stuff right now, maybe stay out.' It's a courtesy but not something you should expect or demand of anyone. If you're feeling like you can't handle anything that day, do your best to stay away from anything that might contain that trigger. For some, that means staying off the internet completely for awhile. Alas, but we're all responsible for our own well being in the end.
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