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BJ Tennant says
I got out of a relationship when my partner refused to get help. I have my own mental health struggles and he was beginning to draw me down with him. I tried to get him to get help, but nothing worked. I finally had to leave to protect myself.
It was an ugly break up, full of swears and suicide threats; I went and stayed with a friend while I told him to get out of the house we were renting.
I finally stopped hearing from him a couple years ago… I don’t know if he’s ok or he’s dead. I’m not sure if I care either. I just hope that I never hear from him again because I can’t deal with his bullshit anymore.
Ardent Slacker says
Been there. Saving one person is better than saving zero. You tried, it wasn’t going to work, and… ugh.
I deal with suicidal thoughts all the time. There are things that can put me in danger but… someone wanting to not be around me? Not one. Why would I want to be around someone who doesn’t want me around? That’d not only be shitty, but it would be more likely to make me want to check out than being alone. Threatening suicide to get anything… no. That’s just… that’s holding yourself hostage. Nobody likes a hostage-taker. Nobody trusts them. That’s someone who you lock up for threatening a friend’s life. Not a friend anymore.
Keep surviving. It’s the best way to not die. 😀
Yaron Kaplan says
this is interesting let’s see she deals it. thanks for posting
Esmerelda Bohème says
Very relevant as always. Thanks for making this clear.
So neurotypicals are just acting sensibly when shunning depressed people or mobbing them to force them to keep to themselves?
I’m not here to answer questions, just present them.
But … on the other hand, as depressed people we do have the responsibility to do things for our condition as to not inconvenience others to the best of our ability. It does mention in #398 that her ex did not try to make his situation better.
The catch-22 is that because they’re mentally ill, they may not at certain points have the *capacity* to either know they need help or to ask for it. That effed-up state they’re in is *reasonable* to them in some way. I mean, how much blame can you lay at their feet when they’re literally seeing the world differently than you do? This is why it was a bad idea to make it so difficult to commit someone, even temporarily. Of course, if we’re going to bring that back, we need to bring in much better therapies than “talk it out” and “here’s a pill.” I’m hearing good things about EMDR, for instance.
“to the best of our ability” I think I said.
I would not call the opposite of depression “neurotypical.” That’s a term autistic people use because autism is not a mental illness, it is just a different way of processing stimuli and interacting with other people. Depression is a functional disability and can kill you. The opposite of depressed is “mentally healthy.” Assuming you actually are, and not afflicted with some other form of mental illness.
Please define “mentally healthy” 🙂 or “normal”, for that matter. Naive Big 5 within one sigma, maybe?
Illness or not illness is a matter of classification. These days often a matter of political correctness. A bunch of guys who claim to be speaking for a group get loud and suddenly what used to be classified as mental illness is a lifestyle. And if you think I’m being facetious, please imagine a violent psychopath lobby clamouring to have hurting other people accepted as their right. (or even prescribed by their invisible friend in the sky)
Personally I liked the old DDD assessment. If it causes Danger, Distress or Dysfunction it is a problem. If not, it is nobody’s business.
People are social animals, after all. What is proper behaviour is a matter of consensus or what you can get away with. Neurotypical is a description for those whose brains function wholy within societal norms. I don’t think it has to apply to just the autism spectrum disorders.
Oh, and autism can kill you. Depending on the severity you may not be able to fend for yourself and will starve, even in a civilized society. Quality of life is most likely massively reduced, leading to a shorter life expectancy. Depression is a matter of organic changes to the brain just as the whole autism spectrum is, even leaving aside comorbidity.
I’m in a field where some degree of autism is rather common, but all of them functioning. I was never formally diagnosed but I’m pretty sure I am in no way normal/neurotypical myself. I don’t hurt people so please leave me alone, people. But I still need a paycheck so just staying in a hole is not an option.
Ardent Slacker says
You can be have depression and be an asshole. You can have it and be a good person. It’s no more a defining character trait than “has asthma” or “allergic to peanut”, no matter how disabling or life-threatening.
How you influence others is not solely due to depression. An abusive relationship can scar the fuck out of a person… and some people can develop a mental health problem in response to trauma. Some people are more susceptible than others to different things. We can’t really know if we’re a carrier of that kind of risk factor until it’s too late.
Abusing someone with a disease is shitty. I would argue that’s not normal behavior. Avoiding someone because their disease also pushes them to harm you physically or mentally is normal behavior. You don’t hang out with the plague; you quarantine infectious cases.
A really shit thing about depression, it fucks up our judgement and memory to paint the worst view. It’s very difficult to get a clear read on why people are acting a certain way, if they’re reacting strongly to something you don’t remember because at the time, you could not care about anything, so it was unimportant to you. I don’t know why you’re having problems, or if you’re remotely culpable. Try finding a group that understands and accepts mental health issues, and see if they can help get a read on it. You could simply be in the company of assholes.
There is a HUGE difference between bullying and shunning someone, and leaving a relationship with someone who was constantly dragging you down with them. Being in a toxic, co-dependent relationship like this one seems to have been based on the comics can seriously harm you.
This is really powerful, Clay.
Those last two panels… are the scariest ever.
“I never really understood… but I’m beginning to…”
Ardent Slacker says
Sometimes, a mental health problem gets triggered by trauma. It wasn’t a severe thing for you before, but then it becomes fairly impossible to manage. Mild anxiety issues + PTSD = “Oh, I guess today I will be having panic attacks because of that one reminder. Will I also get night terrors or will I exhaust myself so completely that I don’t wake up from a nightmare to remember it?”
Yes – if you follow the “medical model” concept than a person can be “borderline” or just below a threshold for the various chemicals and counter-chemicals (trying not o go technical here) (some of those chemical names are hard to type let alone read and pronounce!)
And an “incident” can create a massive influx (or reduction) of chemicals that overwhelm the mechanisms for removing them (or visa versa, reduce them beyond the capability of the creating systems) (there is a dual version of the medical model – the “too little” and the “too much”) – and we get “tipped over”.
Luckily enough, this type of depression is very treatable and can often bring the person back to that borderline position quickly – or, if they can cope, their own systems will bring them back to borderline over time.
I was more commenting on the sadness of the “beginning to understand”.
In some ways, these conditions – depressions, anxiety, etc – can be seen as an infection, a contagion, in a way. They can be “passed on” to other people.
Even a “normal” person can start to feel, “did I do enough, did I try, why wasn’t I good enough, why did she …” and turn to that dark side.
Keigh Ahr says
When your characters look into mirrors, you not only create arresting images, but show your strength as an illustrator. This one is really well done.
David Blair says
Survivor’s guilt. As Casey observed, it’s often a trigger for both depression and PTSD.