Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Say What?

HAWMC Day 23:  Say WHAT?! What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about health or your condition. Was there any context? What did you think at the time you heard it – and what do you think of it now?

Honestly, most of what people say about my condition is ridiculous. At least those who don't understand it. But I think the most ridiculous thing I routinely hear about mood cycling is when people thing we go Jeckyll and Hyde mid-sentence. When they say things like, "She was being all nice and then just flipped. It's like she's bipolar."  Yes, I'm rapid cycling. But I can at least finish a conversation before I cycle. I cycle in a matter of hours or days, not seconds.

This type of thinking perpetuate stigma. It makes people view us as volatile, unpredictable. So when the media tries to pinpoint as dangerous, people nod and say "yes, I can see that," despite statistics quite to the opposite. This perpetuates the cycle, and round and round we go. Not one person stopping to actually learn about the disorder and how it manifests itself.

What did I think about it when I heard it vs now? The same. I still think it's ridiculous to think someone could literally just cycles mid conversation, without any "warning", for lack of a better term. And I still think it's just as stigmatizing, ignorant and closed-minded to think this way. Here's a tip: if someone switches on you like this, I'm willing to be everything I own that they aren't cycling in that very moment. Perhaps they're having a bad day. Or perhaps you're just being a jerk and they've finally reached their boiling point. Because sometimes it's not us, it's you. 

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