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  • Writer's pictureBen R

It's All in Your Head? Maybe Not So?!

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

I'm a...

I'm a who?

I'm a dual am I!

Cheesy joking aside, there are are certain mental illness diagnosis's that can alter a person's reality around them. Dual personality, formally known as multiple personality disorder, and now called dissociative identity disorder is one such mental illness condition.

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure where I'm going with this post. I'm going to try and correlate a bit, based on living with depression.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a person with a diagnosis of depression CAN experience the following symptoms:

  • a sad mood,

  • a loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy,

  • a change in appetite or weight,

  • oversleeping or difficulty sleeping,

  • physical slowing or agitation,

  • energy loss,

  • feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt,

  • difficulty concentrating, and

  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

First off, during this pandemic, I believe it's incredibly difficult to distinguish between a period of feeling "blue" and living with diagnosed depression.

When I look at the above list of nine symptoms listed, I can easily see, not only myself, but those without mental illness struggling with the first eight symptoms.

I don't feel the need to go into depth of the reasons why for my assumption. I believe at this point it is self-explanatory.

I've never really had issues with thoughts of suicide or death. Quite frankly, I could never get to that point in trying to commit the act. I have a substantial fear that I would somehow mess it up and end up being in a far more pain, both mental and physical than I already would be IF I was even at this point.

The whole point of suicide is self-serving; to end the mental pain.

Having a mental illness means I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. It's believed that risk factors for mental illness stem from genetic, environmental, and social factors.

I think it's quite clear that nobody can control their genetic make-up. Often, environmental and social elements are uncontrollable. Sometimes they can be improved as we become adults and sometimes they don't. They can also regress due to a traumatic event or with aging and the hardships that surround it.

Depending on who gives the percentage, it's stated that roughly 20-25% of the population suffers from mental illness.

Personally, I believe it's much higher, considering all of the untreated people out there.

But getting back to myself.

My depression causes me to sometimes make untrue accusations about myself; about my worth.

As much as my depression can certainly make it difficult for me to advocate, I'm beginning to think the outside world is far more "mentally ill" than myself.

When I think about how people have handled this pandemic and just other day to day issues in life, I have seen an egocentric/narcissistic personality really evolve in our society.

If mental illnesses can potentially be caused my environmental and societal factors, then maybe we really do have a major mental illness outbreak in our society.

Thanks or no thanks to constantly being plugged into social media in our society, countless stories pop up of high political figures and businesses scheming and lying to the public.

Generally, I'm a person who takes someone at their word, but lately it's become a lot more difficult to do so. It gives me unrest.

It's difficult to build ones self-confidence when you're often questioning others motives.

Throughout this pandemic, I've often felt like it's everyone for themselves. Don't get me wrong, there are many individuals and organizations doing great things out there though. I also understand most of us are working at or near capacity.

Even before this pandemic, I just have felt people have become more far more egocentric with everything.

Maybe as a society we are just really coming to accept the fact that we have to try and do everything we can to protect ourselves from the corrupt outside world.

If so, it just makes it maddening to try and advocate in a world that has its hands forced by the almighty dollar and trying to be "humanitarian-focused" as well.

Not sure where else I'm going with this post and unsure if I explained it well, so I'm going to end it with just two questions.

Is it really all in my head?

Is the world really just messed up and my thoughts/feelings are actually valid?

- Ben

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