“But you seem fine” A brief rant about perceptions of mental health issues


I’m going to take a moment and rant. I just got back from my physical with my new primary care physician. She was going over my medical history and she mentioned my being bipolar. She asked if it was under control and I said that it was as under control as it could be, considering that I’ve taken every medication under the sun. I said something about being on Social Security Disability and she said… wait for it…“You seem fine. I wanted to punch her in the face. This is not the first time that someone has said something idiotic about my mental health. What do they expect!? Am I supposed to be walking around in a straightjacket with drool running down my chin!? She’s a doctor for god sake! She should know better than most. And she’s young so it’s not like she’s old-school medicine and shouldn’t get it. Oh wait! I see, the government, with its huge deficit loves handing out disability money to people who are “fine”! Oh, I see. I forgot that I live in a parallel dimension where the government gives out free rainbows and s#%&s money! I am so mad right now! I don’t know if society expects people who have mental health issues to get freakin’ tattoos put on our heads or what. What the hell!? Every time that happens I get angry and insulted and I want to yell, but…wait…that would seem crazy. Huh, maybe I should yell…

Rant over. Thanks for stopping by.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, bipolar disorder, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, depression, DID, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Mania, Mental Health, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatric medication, Psychiatry, PTSD, Rape, Sexual Abuse, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “But you seem fine” A brief rant about perceptions of mental health issues

  1. Pandora says:

    GRRRRR! I hate it when anyone says this, but especially health professionals. Mental health problems are on a continuum, they are variable and, crucially, there’s a lot of ‘acting’. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge issue there!

    The last time I had something like this happen to me (I was dismissed as a time-wasting patient who didn’t have serious mental health issues), I complained to the doctor’s boss 😉 (See here). Ha. He had to apologise 🙂

    I’m sorry you were subjected to such ignorance and don’t blame you for ranting. People with mental distress should not constantly have to justify themselves to these half-wits 😦

  2. catherine says:

    wow. what a stupid thing to say. how do you feel about keeping her as your doctor? can you switch to someone who has a clue? i’m on disability, too. it’s only my family that says insulting things like that!

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey catherine,
      I feel ok keeping her as my doctor because she has nothing to do with my psychiatric care, thank goodness. She’s just my medical doctor and has no influence on anything to do with my mental health. My psychiatrist prescribes all of my psych meds so there’s no difficulty.

      You’re right, it was an incredibly stupid thing to say, she should’ve known better. And like Pan said, there is a lot of acting involved in having a mental illness because you have to put on a show for everyone else.

  3. castorgirl says:

    Well it appears as if you didn’t get the memo either… geez the bureaucracy around here is really failing us! Anyway, here’s the catch up – as soon as you’re dx’d with a mental illness you are to go straight to the nearest hospital and hand over your sense of humour, dignity, honesty (we all know those nutters are liars too), intelligence, and ability to walk in a straight line. You’re then to go to a designated tattooist or neon sign maker (depending on your preference), and get a tattoo/sign with your new status as a person with mental health issues. The tattoo is to go on your forehead, and the neon sign to be worn above your head at all times.

    I’ve always wanted to say back to people like this some smart remark about them appearing quite normal or fine too… shame about the prejudice. But that really isn’t me, even if I had the confidence to do it. Hopefully she’ll learn not to be so insensitive, thing is, she probably considered it a compliment, or verbalised a thought without engaging her filter. There are some very intelligent, stupid people out there.

    Don’t let the stupidity of others get to you.

    Take care,
    CG – proud bearer of two nutter tattoos 🙂
    Well ok, ones a fairy and ones a butterfly, but they were for surviving stuff to do with my mental health.

    • tai0316 says:

      You’re right CG, darn it I did not get the memo. Is there a department that handles sending out those memos? MAybe I should send a complaint. 🙂
      I love that you mentioned the handing over of our sense of humor. That’s a big one for me because I use it ALL the time to hide what’s going on with me. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t allowed to have a sense of humor because it would make me seem too “normal”. Ha!

      You had a good thought though about her motives. I bet that she did think it was a compliment and simply didn’t realize how it sounded or what it implied. Good thought.

      Good for you on your nutter tattoos, you earned them! 🙂

  4. sanativescribe says:

    Treating people who have mental health issues still has a long way to go. It would be nice to see more places with a comprehensive care centers, a safe comfortable place with primaries and physchiatrists and therapists. A treatment plan for the whole person, dealing with the emotional and physical pain that accompanies those coping with problems they never asked for, never invited.
    We spend years trying to validate our pain, validate our exsistance. Carless comments can really put a dent in the defenses. Good for you for keeping your head up! Some people are so ignorant! Hard to believe someone selling healing and compassion could be so insensitive!

    • tai0316 says:

      Hi sanativescribe,
      It’s true. While we have come quite a ways even in the last decade or so at least in some ways ( like more recognition of PTSD), there’s still so much ignorance and confusion in general about mental health issues. I try to make a small difference in my own life with the people I’m closer to. I don’t advertise that I’m bipolar but I also don’t hide it and I hope that people who have gotten to know me before finding out get kind of an eye-opener you know? When people I know find out, some of them have wanted to ask questions about bipolar disorder and I use the opportunity to clear up misinformation.
      Thanks for coming by 🙂

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