I explained that I would give some context into why someone like me would have so much anxiety, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar, anger, etc, etc, etc. I know, it sounds like I just picked every mental disorder a person could have and threw them together for this post.
The fact is that some or all of those conditions are a side effect or worsened by one or more of the others. For instance, the PTSD (PTSI) causes OCD and anger along with paranoia and anxiety in certain situations. So my social anxiety is worsened by my PTSD. My OCD wasn’t even a thing until I “developed” OCD and so the OCD causes even more anxiety about other things. The anger is part of the PTSD and the OCD also causes anger if I can’t get things JUST RIGHT. My social anxiety is mostly as a result of the PTSD but its also because of the Bipolar and OCD because I have no tolerance for other people doing dumb shit even when it’s something tiny like, walking too slowly down an aisle. Rage is part of PTSD and Bipolar Disorder so that’s another side effect of another condition that causes a condition.
You hear about people with PTSD and most of the time you think….soldier. Not everyone was shot at during the Iraq war or hit an IED in Afghanistan. Some people experience PTSD from things like sexual assault, animal attacks, car accidents, the death of a loved one, seeing someone get injured, seeing something scary, and the list goes on. Not everyone is built to be able to handle those things the same way. Some people are badasses and just don’t give a fuck what they see or hear. They move on with life and tell stories about it later and give the person hearing the story PTSD just because it’s so gross or scary. Sarcasm. The rest of us have something in our chemistry that has caused us to relive that event and its emotions, memories, physical and mental feelings, images, sounds, and even the surroundings.
For me, I can visualize every single inch of the area, the people, the images of the injured, the only exit out, the fires, the aftermath, the fear, the screaming, the panic, and so on. Its been 15 years and I still jump and scream at the sound of a loud noise. I still have an over exaggerated startle reflex. I still look for the table in the back of the restaurant. I still don’t like large crowds. I still even avoid running over trash in the road.
The symptoms don’t just go away in six months or a year. They stay with you forever, sometimes. You dream about death or that event. You lose sleep and don’t know why.
Don’t assume that soldiers are just pussies that can’t handle what they signed up for in the first place. Just because someone didn’t lose a leg or become disfigured, doesn’t mean they don’t have invisible wounds that haven’t been treated.
Take that stigma, that stereotype you have of people with different forms of anxiety and mental or emotional issues and understand that its not always many different conditions but possibly one or two conditions that cause the side effects that mimic other illnesses.
Also, if you are using the word anxiety, bipolar, depressed, OCD, or any other name for a legitimate mental/emotional condition to describe how you’re feeling in the moment, just stop.
You are not “bipolar today”. You are not OCD today. That video of the paint being smeared together doesn’t give you anxiety. You don’t have social anxiety because you’re shy. Those are words that have become so overused that the people who actually suffer from those conditions seem like they’re trying to fit into the fad of being mentally ill. Why is this a fad anyway? Why the fuck would anyone want to be bipolar?
When I see or hear someone, including my own children, use those words when I know for a fact that they are just describing a feeling for that moment in time, I correct them on the spot. Its a little insensitive and offensive to those of us who wish we could just be nervous to speak to a new person instead of sweating, heart racing, mind racing, body shaking, and the urgency to run away or actively avoid the situation. Nervous would be nice.
That is all.