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Posted Jan 14 2013 12:00am
I am against using my diagnosis as an excuse for my behavior, and it annoys me whenever a peer does. I do not do that because I value taking responsibility for a my actions, diligence, and being non-judgmental (which I try to uphold, however, I sometimes fail), having this mental illness has humbled me into trying to balance my perception of other people and life situations. However, I do understand that having symptoms can impair rationality, and that is something different than what I am discussing.

With that said, I was irked by my parter's lack of understanding and insensibility to my mental health. I told him I may be experiencing mania to describe why I've been on the computer too much, which has become an issue for us recently. He asked me what "mania" was and I defined it as an obssession- which may not have been the best description. His response bothered me, he said something to the effect: 'stop trying to find a diagnosis for everything you do!' I paused and thought carefully before I spoke, and in my mind thought: you just don't get it, I am not making these emotions, and mental health concerns, up!

I had a flashback of last year's struggle with depression, and again, he was not willing to hear me out. Futhermore, when I went into a respite center he was upset that he was not the first person to know why I was going there- mmm, I wonder why?!

I don't mean to imply that he isn't supportive, because he is and has been very supportive to me, in his own way, in diverse situations.

Because mental health is my passion and purpose I engage in anti-stigma presentations frequently, and I do not bring my business home. Every once in a while he asks questions about schizophrenia and mental illness and I am glad he shows interest, and I answer his questions. Also, I share projects or presentations with my him, but I intentionally do not force mental health related stuff on him because I understand that it is my interest, and not his.

However, experiences like this remind me that I need to educate him better on my mental health concerns so that he can understand my world... He has never seen me with a range of symptoms to the extent that I cannot function- and I don't want him to- ever.

I try not to go into detail about my family life, but I needed to vent and to share my frustraton to acknowledge these sorts of experiences that I have and maybe some of my peers may also have within their personal relationships too.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind , NAMI , Choices in Recovery , or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada),
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