Talking to online idiots about mental illness

Have you ever seen someone (this happens a lot to me on facebook. Particularly regarding depression) and the person who is making the post obviously has no freaking idea what they are talking about?

My Mom is my facebook friend and she doesn’t think that I should tell anyone about my mental illness. I have no problems with it. I am very highly functioning and if they are going to discriminate they are obviously morons. I don’t bring it up with my teachers or at work (except once when I was telling my political science teacher why I couldn’t continue that major. I was crying my eyes out and I wanted him to know that it wasn’t anything he had said or done I was crying that hard.)

But someone says something like “and you are fighting your depression like you fight the current in a river and you are screaming for someone to help you and no one does. You are clinging to every branch or rock you can trying to fight it.” or some bull like that. I realize that everyone’s experience is different but when I asked the girl if that was her own words she got all defensive and crud.

Acceptance, awareness, ect is all very important, but unless you have experienced it you shouldn’t talk about it. (Not talking about people like @kidsister who have stood by someone who was going through it and have been there for someone).

That’s what I have found about my depression. You just feel helpless. I was in a face to face mental illness support group one too and absolutely no one talked about “fighting the current” or any of that crud. Most of what came up was how hopeless everyone felt. Like there was nothing they could do. No answers. No way out. A lot of them weren’t helped very much by the meds and we have very horrible doctors where I live (I’m in a rural community).

I just wanted to tell her off. I think she probably meant well, but that one was very dangerous. It promoted the idea that we are all capable of fighting like that. I have been suicidally depressed for over ten years straight as a child. I’m not saying that some people can’t fight suicidal depression that long (in a I’m going to distract myself, and use other methods taught in therapy) when you have never had any therapeutic help. But I am not one of them.

This other girl came out with this stupid “we are over medicating our children. We should just talk to them.” I said something to the effect of there are lots of children who need their meds. She got all witchy. It was a picture with that quote. She didn’t say anything about herself. I just broke down and insinuated that I should have been medicated as a kid and what was the appropriate thing for her (she said that she had been medicated when someone should have just listened to her) isn’t right for everyone. I got a ‘whatever’ in return and she deleted the topic. Which is a good thing because I really said too much.

I know I don’t suffer nearly as much as pretty much everyone here, but I have definitely had enough in my past. I applaud putting up posts against discrimination but when you just make up what mental illness feels like and what it can do to you, you are just part of the problem. I have had only two mild episodes of paranoia but I have had several breaks with reality. But I don’t talk about hearing angry, mean, nasty voices every day that never stop. I don’t know about that suffering. I can tell people about some of the things I have heard on here (not mentioning anyone of course, just general I know some people who have this and for lots of them no meds or any other treatment will make them stop.)

I view it kinda like those people who put up anti vaccination posts. There have been outbreaks of whooping cough and other terrible preventable diseases. I don’t know much about whooping cough but I do know a little about polio (another thing that they vaccinate against).

My Aunt had it and whenever she walks and she is near a counter or table she gently grabs hold of it. She walks awkwardly even though when she is standing still she looks fine. One scientist lied and said that the vaccines could cause autism and they lie has just been perpetuated.

Now even children who have been vaccinated (it doesn’t work for everyone. Some kids can still get it even though they have been vaccinated which is why it is so important for everyone to be vaccinated so that they don’t come in contact with these things.) and some children can’t be vaccinated because they have an autoimmune disease.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a harmless lie.

1 Like

Mental illness is still a taboo of course, it makes people uncomfortable to hear about/talk about and as with most things taboo the average person has many misconceptions about it.

Of course when someone flips out and kills people THEN it’s talked about, by the media anyway, which only adds to people’s fear, discomfort and misconceptions.

I think it’s definitely something which needs to be talked about but it’s also something I fear talking about with those who have no experience with it. The last time the subject of mental illness was brought up among myself and company the conversation, I noted, turned to school shootings in 1.5 minutes.

I have mental illness awareness sites on facebook that i’ve liked and shared. My mother in law has seen some of the post and has gotten mad that i’ve shared a few of their posts about understanding mental illnesses and helping others and not just telling them, “get over it” or something like that. It makes her very uncomfortable to talk about it.

I forgot to thank you for the bipolar site you directed me to. It’s has given me some knowledge of what my slightly older brother is dealing with. He’s still coming to terms with all this. It’s a huge change for him. From the outside looking in, I’m getting the vibe that he might still sort of be in shock from everything that has turned upside down in his life.

I’m sorry your meeting people on-line who are not very well informed. I’m not afraid to talk about M.I. but I try for sites that try to promote correct information and challenge stigma. I have not had good luck in any form on Facebook, but that is just me. As a result, I now avoid Facebook completely.

My oldest brother is very open about his SZ, and I would never not encourage him to be as open as he wants. But I would hate to be presumptuous and mention something he might be sensitive about. I am more reserved about this discussion then my brother is. I am so proud of my brother and how hard he works and how far he’s come. I’m very grateful everyday he has a good day. But again, it’s not my story to tell.

I do talk about the experiences I’ve had being on the outside looking in, but I learned long ago, as someone who is on the outside, I will never say, “I know what your going through” Because I don’t.

Thank you for letting me post

*Face Book has its good and bad points. Very Funny that you posted on this subject because tonight, I wanted to post something on MI issues-but I stopped. Because of the news lately, I am feeling a strong push to start doing just that. I am ashamed to say I was afraid to----I work with a lot of uninformed people. A few know that my son has a thought disorder. I had a coworker make a comment to me one time about my son. She is VERY lucky that she kept her job! Sorry for would be great to have a FB page for anyone that has a mental illness and their families. What a great way to bring it out to the publics attention–maybe even some politicians who are making cuts in social services…Here`s a big jellybean hug -o- **to you onceapoet


There are a lot of FB pages and groups. I am in a group for parents of kids with SZ that is very supportive and I follow a page of a woman with a son with sz that blogs and posts a lot of info. Yes there are a lot that are not that good, those ones I leave :wink:

1 Like

@bridgecomet, I think you did the right thing. Employers can do lots of things in hiring and firing that aren’t fair. Unless you have documentation that they were unfair you can’t do much about it. And if you do sue, most people wouldn’t want to hire you because they would be afraid that you would sue them too. They can always find some other reason to fire you (no one is perfect) so that when you complain they can say they wanted someone with an engineering background or was an English major. Or they might make you so uncomfortable you will quit on your own. Word could very easily spread (especially if you are working in a specialized job or in a small town) and your potential boss not understanding MI might cause you to not get hired.

@kidsister, you are very welcome! I always get really happy when I say or show someone to a site that will help them.

1 Like

I just recently posted on Facebook about my illness. My brother in law said it was my ‘coming out’ post. I just spoke about my experience since onset in my early adult life. I found posting that message to be very cathartic. So many times I had added old friends to my list and sent a private message saying hey how’s it going? This was fine but when they replied and asked what I was doing for a job I just never answered.

The act of setting the record straight and informing all my friends was great. I got so many nice messages and support. Really felt a bit like coming out of the closet (incidentally i still need to do that but I don’t think Facebook is the place for that).


The only time I really feel the need to talk about it on facebook is when someone posts something that is completely wrong (especially when it has the potential for creating misconceptions). Like the post that one girl did about depression. I think that it just adds to the myth that just anyone can stop you from going down stream as long as they care. In other words that meds are useless and therapists are pointless. It also reinforces people’s frustration when they encounter someone who has just had so much of it that they have just given up. I don’t feel the need to necessarily go out and say “I am sza.” I feel the need to correct people who believe a lie.

1 Like