cathugger: An orange-and-white cat facing to the left. The front of this face is fading into shadows. (Default)
[personal profile] cathugger
I’ve been finding so many contradicting opinions on here--both of which make sense--that have my emotions exhaustedly running in circles. I’m usually scared to be in the middle of those contradictions, too, because a lot of people advertise the idea that you’re a Bad Person if you don’t believe ____ 100.5% of the time. Since my brain automatically tries to categorize things as good or bad, it acts like it gets new proof every time someone else enforces that idea.

And I know there are reasons people do this. My head is too jumbled for me to actually give an opinion on that right now... or ever. All I can say is that, from experience, once my brain labels me as hopelessly bad, I give up on improving. If being “good enough” is on the opposite side of where you are, it takes a lot of willpower to get there.

Going to add a cut before getting more specific about one thing that’s been confusing me. To anyone who reads this, please know that I am not settled in my opinion, and that you can correct me on anything.

This specific thing is related to mental illness and its effects on other people. On one side, I’m hearing things like (not in this exact wording), “mental illness doesn’t cause people to hurt others,” “mentally ill people are the ones who are abused--not the abusers,” “mental illness doesn’t cause violence,” etc. And I get that people are trying to stop others from instantly blaming mental illness without proof or a positive outcome. That makes a lot of sense. It just seems to me like people can take it too far sometimes.

I saw a thread on Twitter (might link to it if I can find it later) about this earlier, and it made me realize something. As someone who’s had serious violent thoughts/plans at times when I wasn’t me (whatever that means) that emerge from symptoms of mental illness (as far as I know), I realized that, by spreading those generalizations about mentally ill people, people without violent urges were separating themselves from people with violent urges. And even though someone definitely doesn’t have to be mentally ill to be violent, they’re leaving out that violence can be a part of how some people experience mental illness. (Unless I’m wrong there. But I’ve heard of a few similar experiences from others, so I’m not the only one questioning this.)

Then there’s things like manipulation, gaslighting, threats, hate, etc. that (as far as I know and have experienced) can get worse along with symptoms of mental illness. For example, if I’m having an episode where there’s a really thin like between which truth would mean life and which truth would mean death, I might unknowingly manipulate because the outcome is that important. I can’t assume that others are going through this, but I’ve seen people act really similarly when they use behaviors listed above.

There’s debate on whether or not it’s abuse when the behavior comes from mental illness. I don’t think I should have a say in that... not that I know 100% what to think about it. Either way, it can hurt others, and there’s not much they can do about that. I see posts about people leaving when mentally ill people start showing symptoms. The thing is, if they think they should leave because of how they’re being affected and can’t change how they’re being affected, I don’t see the point in them staying. Putting mental health issues aside, some people just can’t handle other people at that point in their lives. And I think boundaries are really important if you can form them. If people know what they can and cannot handle, it can make the relationship less rocky and unpredictable, though they can be hard to come up with, especially if you don’t know where to put them or if you even deserve to place them in the first place.

And, honestly, feeling like I constantly have to be there and be ready to help when people I know experience mental health issues hasn’t been good for anyone. I didn’t set boundaries because I thought, since others were experiencing the symptoms, they were being impacted more, and that meant that I had to be there for them to be an ok friend. But I could only do so much before I was making it worse for both of us. Me setting boundaries (and possible leaving the relationships, depending on the situation) could’ve been better for everyone.

There’s so much more to it than that. I think that, like most things, it’s situational. I know this is all jumbled together, and my mind is too... all over the place to reread it and fix mistakes. Also, I might think something else later and am not 100% set in any views. Just trying to organize my thoughts.
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