read the full story
read the full story
Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic attacks. Five years ago, I was also diagnosed with PTSD. Because of this, my hair falls out excessively, I have gained weight rapidly, I lack the energy someone without depression or anxiety might have. Despite all this, I have the privilege of being a hospice nurse and help people in a very vulnerable state in their life. Including elderly, that because of a mental health diagnosis’ such as dementia and Alzheimer’s their life has been cut short.
Many people usually tell me “you don’t look like someone that has depression” or “anxiety.” This is because mental health does not handpick its victims. No scale tips over at a certain point and classifies you as “too ill”. Mental health disorders affect anyone without bias.
Recently, I found out a co-worker told others of what I had confided in her at one time. That I have anxiety, and because of this at times I struggle to be around others and make adjustments as needed to live a “normal” life. But unfortunately, her ignorance got the best of her and she called me “Crazy” behind my back. She also went as far as to tell others not to help me if I ask for assistance because according to her, I’m “crazy”. Anyone struggling with mental health knows, “CRAZY” is the worst thing someone can call you. I brought it up to my supervisors and until now I have had no apology and I’ve seen minimal action take place.
I have the right to make a complaint to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) but I chose to leave the matter alone because I realized her ignorance may be greater than my illness.
I express myself through writing and the following is a poem I wrote to remind myself, I may have a mental health disorder, but I am nobody’s fool.
Not Your Clown
I wear my lipstick color my hair, apply my makeup but you don’t care.
I made you laugh but I was wrong. You only laughed to say, “my brain is gone.”
Because I cry, you say I’m weak,
Because I’m shaky, you call me crazy.
If I’m weak, you must be helped, because a lack of knowledge is no joke.
Despite my health, I have my wealth. No thanks to you or anyone else.
If I’m “crazy”, it’s because you’re too lazy, to read a book and get more brainy.
Do everyone a favor and open your eyes. If you allow yourself, you’ll see my prize.
Educate yourself on Mental Health, because although so many of us frown, we’re no one’s clown.
– Anonymous –