Rumblings for thought…

imageWith the caveat that WisomWithin appreciates and respects everyone’s political views, rights AND responsibilities, this post is not about liberal or conservative, or anything in between.

But, here I am to say, that there it was recently. Someone spoke it aloud in public. You may very likely have heard rumblings; the assertion that the new president is mentally ill. The most vocal was Dan Rather, I’ll come back to that.

As someone who, by sheer nature of my work, ethically obligates to share my own journey of wellness and recovery in living with mental health diagnoses, I can certainly empathize with, and understand,  the … disquiet … such suggestion might raise in … well … anyone.

I am not a doctor. I walk my walk, and talk with folks who are living with mental health conditions, those who think they may have such a condition, and anyone who cares about these fine folks. And pretty much, everybody knows somebody, so I talk with everybody.

Ok, that said, and back to anyone proposing that someone else is mentally ill.

Lets just consider the idea for a moment, that this person, specifically, is not a president. Let’s say, this is a fellow human, who may or may not be living with a mental health condition. Our our goal here is simply to provide information to help folks living with such possibilities.

What are the signs or symptoms, or the behaviors involved? What behavior has been visible?

  • Insecurity possibly? As an analogy, I short-version this individual to the man hiding behind the curtain in the Wizard if Oz, projecting the huge head on the screen, bellowing insistence that the audience believe everything he says, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Even when the curtain reveals him.
  • Obsessive tendencies? Outwardly, significant focus on … size … of … things (trying  to keep a sense of humor where possible here). Seriously though, his intense focus on his numbers, his rationalizations for his numbers, his readiness to investigate his rationalizations for numbers… and so on.
  • Obvious compulsions? How do I say this? Tweeting. To the point of international diplomacy (or lack thereof) in the Twitterverse. Name the social media venue of individual addictive behavior.
  • Self-obsessed? “My crowd, my businesses, my TV show, my way…”. Everything about him is better than anything, ever. Needing to be the center of focus at all times. Needing to have the last word.
  • Lying, a LOT? Truly, to the point of believing everything he says and getting angry and spiteful with anyone who calls him on it?
  • Lack of empathy or conscience? No obvious remorse for anything he says or does that might be horribly painful or insulting or judgmental or publicly vilifying about, to … well … any one person … or any entire group of people?

I don’t know this human personally. I have, however, lived with humans exactly like him. They were diagnosed with severe mental health conditions. I have loved them and advocated for them and fought for them for many years. The nature of such illness is treatable, but, only when the person recognizes and takes responsibility for their condition.

My own diagnoses were nothing like what’s described. Nonetheless, I live with major depression, PTSD and anxiety disorder. What is the same, however, is the necessity to recognize and take responsibility for my condition. Every day.

I will leave you with this thought for the moment:

The intense nature of my job at the time of my diagnoses, and the combined severity of my symptoms, required that my doctor take me out of work immediately. I was not fit to serve in the office I’d been hired to.

It was devastating, and frightening and humiliating and awful and absolutely necessary. For my own recovery, and for everyone I worked with and worked for.





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