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To be fed up with people saying...

(6 Posts)
PageStillNotFound404 Tue 15-Mar-16 21:37:37

"...are they bipolar?" or "perhaps they have MH issues?" as a potential explanation for odd or unusual behaviour?

I will declare my self-interest. My DH has severe non-psychotic bipolar disorder. He doesn't behave weirdly or inappropriately, he doesn't make people uncomfortable with his behaviour or draw attention to himself. Mostly, he struggles to get out of bed and go about a normal day so isn't crossing anyone's path other than mine and his medical/CMHT team's, has regular suicidal ideation (which you wouldn't know about unless you were as close to him as I am), suffers from night terrors (ditto) and keeps himself to himself.

It feels as though increasingly, if someone posts about or mentions someone's - friend or stranger - odd or bizarre behaviour, some well-meaning but way-off-the-mark soul will pipe up with a variation of the questions above. It frustrates me, it makes my DH's life harder if, on learning of his diagnosis, people assume he is going to behave strangely or inappropriately, and it makes me want to shout "you can be weird without being mentally ill, you know!"

TeaBelle Tue 15-Mar-16 21:39:24

Yes this bothers me too. Along with the casual way that 'ocd' is thrown around.

jlivingstone Wed 16-Mar-16 02:34:10

I'm bi-polar. Rapid (very) cycling and mixed features. Not as as bad as many people have and it's just part of who I am. I get on with it (without medication) and only my DP and Dr know. Others may have guessed but it doesn't bother me what people say. Why would it?

If we're talking about malappropriated or over-used terms then I do get annoyed. As far as ADD, ADHD go, 'the spectrum' is just that, a spectrum and there are very very few people who don't have some form of 'symptom', however mildly they exhibit it. The same goes for depression, mania etc. Anxiety (a forum favourite apparently) seems to be almost compulsory at the moment. Over use of the terms doesn't dilute them or detract from their meaning when used by people who read something on the internet once. Probably not a popular view (especially from someone who works in education), but the need to label being a little shy as anxious, not very smart as global delay, short attention span as ADD and the like does no one any good. Provisions can be made (in education) without giving an aspect of your personality a name. In the rest of life, it's not about making provisions or being able to use the phrase "I can't because of my...". It's about putting on your big-boy pants and managing. This includes using/getting help from others of course.

I honestly believe that the over-use of these terms is a sad indication of society where people are happy with almost any situation, as long as they can blame it on someone or something.

Why would I care what someone says, either about me or about bi-polarness? It makes zero difference to me if someone thinks a weirdo has mental problems. Self-diagnosis and over-diagnosis might be mildly annoying but nothing else.

echt Wed 16-Mar-16 04:39:55

It's true that this question is routinely asked on MN.

Just as routine is when a poster remarks on the unusual/odd behaviour of someone. It doesn't take long for someone to ask if they have considered that the person in question might have MH/SN issues.

notonyurjellybellynelly Wed 16-Mar-16 05:17:27

Yes this bothers me too. Along with the casual way that 'ocd' is thrown around

Spot on!

ChalkHearts Wed 16-Mar-16 05:31:34

OP Absolutely!

And also agree I hate the way labels are used in schools. Labels are used, by parents and teachers and sometimes pupils, as excuses for why something can't be done.

Labels should be used as tools for research so that the person or parent or teacher can work out how to do what they find difficult.

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