LHB Blog

A girl, a blog and a cactus named Pudding

Diagnosis Ruebi

Alternative title: I am NOT Anxiety, I am NOT Depression … I AM Ruebi. How about instead of assuming that you know the inner workings of my brain with your GCSE Science, you actually ask me how I am?

A Mental Health Diagnosis doesn’t automatically erase the rest of the individual, it becomes an extension of who they are, a part of the whole. The person doesn’t stop experiencing other emotions or other issues / problems / pressures simply because of ‘the label’ they now carry … For example, just because I am sleep deprived or lurgy ridden or quiet does not mean it is “that Depression thing”, just because I am tired or tunnel visioned on a project or slightly tense does not mean I’m having “an Anxiety bitch fit”.

A Mental Health Diagnosis doesn’t eradicate who I am; I still read a lot of books, I still go to exercise classes, I still meditate, I still like going for walks in the fresh air, I still don my lucky undercrackers when the Clarets are facing their opponents (they don’t always work)*, I still watch cheesy horror movies until I piss my pants laughing (obviously not the lucky pants though as that would be blasphemy!) … And I still get ill in the various other ways that someone without a Mental Health Diagnosis does.

Recently I’ve become incredibly frustrated by people addressing me or my mood as one of the disorders I have rather than properly introducing me or establishing why my mood is that way.

Rather than introducing me as “The Depressive” how about you say “Ruebi” instead (as that is the name my mother chooses to address me as) … Rather than saying “we think she’s a bit low right now if you know what I mean” (complete with that ‘affectionate’ circling of the finger by your temple) how about you ask me and allow me to explain that I’m exhausted, I’m overworked, I’m ill (in the lurgy sense) … Rather than telling others that you “don’t know how to deal with these types of people with them sorts of illnesses”, you find a way to deal with it … With being around us … After all, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a Mental Health problem each year. It is a lot more common than you think isn’t it?

How about instead of perpetuating the stigma attached to Mental Health you take a step out of your comfort zone and entertain the notion of engaging me in conversation. You never know, you may actually learn something …

 

Waterfall

โ€œAssumptions are dangerous things to make” – Lemony Snicket … So this what it’s like behind a waterfall, in case you’re ever curious (one of my little Insta adventures).

 

Instead of seeing me as my supposed labels, try seeing me as a person.

We’re more likely to connect that way.

R x

*I should point out now that Burnley play Middlesborough tonight which means it’s squeaky bottom time for the Clarets fans out there. If you follow me on Twitter you probably know I’ll be doing a lot of fussing about this match!

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24 Comments

  1. Bravo! I can totally relate to your frustration and that is one of the main reasons I started blogging. The stigma out there related to mental illness is still strong and it’s just plain ignorance to assume basic human emotions must mean you’re having some sort of “episode”. I have faced this many times with my own mental illness and I have reached a point now where I have no problem educating people on the matter. In some cases, I have cut people loose because I don’t have time to waste my energy on such ignorance. I am glad you spoke up about this because it happens all the time. Social media has become very charitable when it comes to bringing light to a cause….yet… even in the media….mental illness is still portrayed as this scary thing hiding in the closet. Mental illness is not cut and dry. If it was, my life would be much easier I’m sure lol. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on such an important issue ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers! xo

    • Ruebi

      Exactly! It is so frustrating that because I have a mental illness all of a sudden my emotions (good or bad) are categorised according to the disorder I have by pseudo-psychologists who think they know me better than I know myself (and who also believe they know more about the disorders than trained professionals do). It’s the hypocrisy of the situation, if people didn’t know I had a mental health issue would they even question if I was depressed or anxious or just assume I was having a bad day? Would they actually listen when I said I was upset for a reason or just think it was an episode? I think we both know the answers there. I’m glad you’re speaking out about this too Cavelle! x

  2. Well said hun, people do tend to see the disorder rather than the person and I think that’s sad. Great post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ruebi

      It is incredibly sad … Judging a person for what you perceive them to be is such a foolish thing to do as ultimately you miss out on genuinely getting to know someone because of that preconception ๐Ÿ™

  3. WOOOOO HOOOOOO GO ROO! Excellent post my dear- well said, well said!!!! I am sharing all over the place poste haste! X

    • Ruebi

      Feel free to share it as much as you like m’dear! Thank you soooo much for being there for me when I needed to rant and whinge about it all xxx

  4. Hi Ruebi, it must be frustrating when you, as a person, get overlooked. Just because someone has a disorder of any sort, it shouldn’t define them as a person, after all they don’t stop being who they are.

    I am sure that many people will read your post and want to give you a fat high five!

    xx

    • Ruebi

      Hi Debbie, my sentiments exactly! An individual is so much more than an illness or disorder and as such their worth should not be diminished because they have a diagnosis. That said, if someone is going to be ignorant enough to use my illnesses as a way of judging me then it’s not my worth that is diminished by it.

      xx

  5. How rude. And how uncaring. It most definitely shouldn’t define you as a person, you are still you and you have a name. Thanks for linking up to #pocolo

    • Ruebi

      I still think that the best way to deal with this is just to talk to one another about things … To just listen, discuss openly and to try to understand.

      Alternatively I’ll start wearing a name badge at all times!

  6. Hi there, I found you via the weekend blog share!! This is such a great post and a reminder that someone with a disorder is more than just the disorder!! I understand your frustrations to a point as my boyfriend has anxiety and depression, and it can be so hard when others assume that every single thing he does is due to one or the other of his problems. Most people mean well, but still….xxx

    • Ruebi

      Hi Lonestarsky, thank you for stopping by! And I agree that most people mean well, but I also think that openness about mental health needs to happen more. ..In fact, I think an openness about illnesses and disorders in general would be a good thing. There is a tendency to shy away from such conversations in case they are awkward or in case you “put your foot in it” but ultimately I think it would break down a lot of barriers. I think it would help create more understanding and banish quite a few myths in the process xx

  7. You’re right, people can be insensitive, and often see someone as an illness or disorder rather than the person inside. Well done for speaking out. Glad to find you at #AnythingGoes

    • Ruebi

      Thank you for stopping by Cal. I know that some people can feel awkward when interacting with someone who has an illness or disorder purely out of worry of putting their foot in it, but it’s an awkwardness borne out of a lack of knowledge or understanding. The way I see it, two people may be diagnosed with Anxiety but have two completely different experiences of it … In pretty much the same way two people will experience the common cold and have differing experiences of that. Each person and their experiences to or in a given situation will be unique … So the best way to understand, would be to ask them and have an open mind about it rather than resorting to labels or misconceptions. Sigh … I can dream can’t I? ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo hun. xxx

  9. Well said! Who the hell would introduce someone as “the depressive”! It’s funny but so many people seem to think someone with a mental illness is a problem, yet they never consider that actually their reaction to the person is the problem!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    • Ruebi

      So. Much. THIS!

      It’s almost as though the moment they find out you have a Mental Illness their whole view of you changes … And for the most part their view becomes a negative one. It’s a shame really as they miss out on actually knowing the person because they are so concerned about what they believe the disorders mean x

  10. Hi Ruebi, so proud that you can share these thoughts. Sharing such thoughts is all part of breaking through the stigma of mental illness and educating society. As you will know many are not strong enough to be an advocate like you have in this post.
    Link up from #anythinggoes

    • Ruebi

      Hi Fran,

      Thank you for stopping by! (Sorry it’s taken so long for me to respond – I was in the process of house buying/moving and didn’t realise it would eat as much time as it has!).

      I think that because there is such a negative portrayal of Mental Health it makes us afraid or even ashamed to speak up, as though having a disorder is a bad or dirty thing – Which in turn creates an internal turmoil for the person with the illness as the only way to get help is to speak up, but we fear what will be thought/said about us if we do.

      No one should ever feel scared or ashamed of seeking help. And no one should feel belittled or as though they are a lesser individual because they have a diagnosis.

      There is enough of a battle with a Mental Health Disorder, we shouldn’t be battling with stigma too.

      Here’s to breaking the stigma! ๐Ÿ˜€ x

  11. Reubi,
    Just Thank you for putting this out there. Illness shouldn’t define the person, it often does in the eyes of so many.

    • Ruebi

      I did say to someone the other day “you define me by my Mental Health and I’ll define you by your ignorance” after she told me that Anxiety isn’t a real illness. Sigh.

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