I have read 68% of Out of the Blue by Jan Wong (I love that Kobo tells me this).
I’m realizing one major thing while reading and that is how much I have taken or demanded from others.
I’m not trying to make myself feel bad or anything but it’s a fact I need to acknowledge even though I hate it.
Wong talks frequently about how her experience with depression made her neglect her husband and children, how her depression made her uncaring, angry and withdrawn.
I have said often that I will do anything, even make other people feel horrible, if it means I will survive.
Many call this selfish but I really like the term that Wong is using throughout her memoir to describe the moments were she was self consumed: narcissism.
Most of the time we think of narcissism as being a positive. Stereotypical this person would be described as cocky. They think they are fantastic and that everyone should bask in their awesomeness.
But, narcissism is simply thinking that everything should be about you whether that is positively or negatively. In the case of depression or other mental health issues (BPD for example) it is a negative.
I still think this way, that everything is my fault, that I can’t do anything right, that if I could be a better person then things would be alright. This is narcissistic. It’s not all about me. It might be a negative but it’s still me putting everything on myself, even if it has nothing to do with me I find a way to make it about me.
When I was younger, one of the reasons I would engage in self harm was because my friends were upset. I would hate myself for not being able to take away their pain and make them happy. Total narcissism! I have no control over other people, I can’t solve all their problems and to put all of that on myself takes away from the fact that they need support from me.
I’m not blaming us for feeling this way but I think many of us need to reevaluate what we do.
The outsider story of our behaviour is VERY different from our own.
Thought: I mean this in mental health. We are all familiar with discrimination and oppression based on your mental health status but each illness experiences its own oppression within the mental health system. How we treat someone with depression is not how we’re treating someone with psychopathy. It feels to me that if your illness causes the typical negative traits such as anger, manipulation, low empathy etc then you’ll read medical headlines such as:
“How to Deal With a Narcissist” (
“How Psychopaths Chose Their Victims” (
“Stop Walking On Eggshells” (
I’m concluding that unless you have a mood disorder then the mental health system is going to shit on you. There is not enough understanding about other disorder in general (depression, bipolar and anxiety have been taking center stage for a long time) and it’s harmful and hurtful that when attention is paid to another disorder that it is all about the pain other put on them! Psychopathy, narcissism and borderline are legitimate DSM diagnoses are they not? If yes, they should be treated with the same empathy as the mood disorders! For narcissism, there is even a support group for individuals who have experienced abuse at the hands of partners, family or friends who have this personality disorder (
)!!! I have experienced much of the same idea with BPD. I’m not considered in pain, I’m considered a bitch.
Schizophrenia has also been pushed to fringe but I am seeing a lot of awareness around this disorder as of late that is making me hopeful.
Stop and think about what it’s like to be the people experiencing the disorders that we don’t talk about. The disorders that many outside it need to “survive”. I can’t leave my brain. I’m stuck with my rages, impulses, negative views no matter what. Stop telling people how to escape me and start supporting how I can become a better person. The people who have the “mean” disorders experience pain too.
(a longer thought lol)