Mental Illness

Recently, a couple of musicians killed themselves. They were artists that reached millions of people, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell. Arguably, both were loved and respected among their peers, families, and fans. It’s hard to understand suicide unless you truly understand and accept mental illness in its many forms.

Early in life, I understood that people kill themselves. From age ten to twenty friends, family members, and classmates committed suicide. I saw another round of increased suicides from age thirty to now where I am almost 40. Multiple friends and acquaintances chose to end it all. Celebrities are choosing to end it all.

People say it’s a tragedy. They were selfish. They didn’t think of how much people love them, but what the public doesn’t get, what we all regularly fail to get is that they are mentally ill.

The mentally ill mind fucks with itself. It literally, not figuratively, fucks with itself. The brain can make us remember things in the wrong way. It fills in what it forgets and that’s just normal brain function. What happens when the brain tells a person, the self that everyone hates them? What about when the brain convinces a person until they believe it in their souls that they don’t belong here?

What about when a person sees, hears, and touches things that the rest of us do not see, hear, or touch? What happens when they fight that thing and it ends up killing them?

Mental illness is something we’ve joked about, brushed off, accused people of faking for attention, and outright hid for fear of losing a much-needed job.

It’s a killer. It tricks the minds until the sufferer ends it, because it sucks to be trapped in a mind that constantly fucks with itself. It sucks to feel like no one understands that feeling, but I suspect far too many of us DO understand and we have felt that way and we have remained largely silent.

Some time ago, I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder. There are different types, the most well-known type being DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder or formerly Multiple Personality Disorder. Mine simply has caused memory loss. Whole periods of my life are gone. There were times I suffered temporary bouts of amnesia like symptoms. I did not know who I was, my history, what I was currently doing at the time, and I didn’t recognize anything around me. There was one time I was driving and I couldn’t recognize anything on the street I was on though it was where my mother lived. I didn’t know in that moment where I was, where I was going, and I didn’t know anything about me. It came back and when I described it to my family at the time, the response wasn’t what I needed.

It was scarier than about anything I’ve faced. Not knowing anything about me. These temporary lapses in memory always went away fast and I can say it hasn’t happened in years, but it was a problem for a time. I did seek help and had therapy for a couple of years. The issue seems to be gone. I have feared it could happen again. I run down conversations in my mind and situations so I don’t forget, so I don’t put myself in situations that will trigger that or cause too much pain. DD comes from prolonged periods of trauma and anxiety. That is what the psychiatrist told me that provided my diagnosis.

I have told very few people about it, because as feared it was used against me in personal relationships and at work. But it is a problem with, which I’ve struggled. It has caused holes in my memory. I admit it now, because there is some kind of horrible taboo for people to reach out and tell people what is going on with them. There seems to be a driving force to keep secret the shit that fucks with many individuals the most – their own minds.

So I am reaching out to say what has cause me problems in the past and I hope that anyone else who has an issue will come forward and share with someone that can help, who can support them, and love and accept them as they are. The world needs a more compassionate response. Here is mine. You really are not alone. There are many of us out there, though the mind fuck may change from sufferer to sufferer. You are still important and still loved and still intelligent. You still matter. You still belong here. The brain can lie, remember it, the brain can lie.

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