I believe that I look at people equally. I try very hard in my work to not define people with a particular diagnosis as having a group trait that is not there based on solid research or my own observation of a large number of people with that disease. For example, patients with MS tend to have certain personality characteristics and can be hard to deal with. I've noted this in personal dealings with MS (it runs it my family, plus my SIL has it) as well as clinically. The patient who tried my patience more than any other the thousands I have seen had MS along with other issues, and I had to constantly monitor myself because I did not want to be affected by that part of him.
Politically, I've been all over the map. I grew up assuming I'd be a democrat because EVERYONE is where I grew up. In college I became much more solidly Republican. I'm not necessarily proud I voted for George Bush, but at least I voted, and I worked hard to do it since I spent 3 hours in line and I live in a state that was fairly important that time. This time around I'm less certain. I voted Democrat in the primary because the Republican was sealed and I had strong feelings about which Democrat I preferred. My political feelings are also affected by how a given candidate is going to affect my personal life with healthcare revisions. And of course, mental law is of great interest, and sometimes the Democratic way seems more in line with what I want professionally and as a patient.
But political correctness stumps me. I've written before (can't link it b/c I'm on someone else's laptop and don't want to open my page; that's also why it's mistyped in places-the computer is sending the cursor to the middle of the 2nd line over and over for some reason. I do not want to be called a consumer. I am generally irritated by being called a client. This is a healthcare issue and when we are treated for health issues we are patients. Dr. Mind is treating me as much as Dr. Brain is, after all and he is a doctor as well, albeit not the physical kind. I call my patients patients. If I am not treating them I call them "resident", but if they are on my caseload they are patients because I'm a healthcare professional and I'm trained to treat patients. I don't know why I am so bothered by client, but somehow it makes me remember my realtor. I was hiring him to do work for me. Someone who is treating me is working WITH me.
I call myself bipolar. I use it ale l sorts of politically incorrect ways to describe myself and I don't feel bad about it. It's my way of recognizing how pervasively bipolar has infiltrated my life. I don't want others to think of me that way first, but I am aware many do. I do get frustrated because it's impossible to explain to people how very ill I have been and could be again when I seem so well, but there are worse problems to have. Mainly I just want people to understand that what I deal with is way, way worse than "yeah, I wonder if I'm like that", or "my friends' brother's sister's daughters 1st cousin" has that but needs to take meds. I talk about med allergies, but never about being seriously sick enough to require so very mucch medication.
Today I got a dose of reality and a reminder how much we will separate things from ourselves. I saw a news article referencing "mentally disabled" adults. I thought it would be about mental retardation. It absolutely never occurred to me thata it would be about bipolar and schizophrenic adults (ie severely mentally ill adults).
So now we're making it evenif more confusing, is my thinking. First it was shameful or worse to be mentally ill. Then somehow we started try to pretty it up (ie why are we called bipolar when everyone in the real world only knows manic-depressive?). Then it was a big thing to announce mental illness. That extended to finding more pretty words to make the whole thing remote from the real world. And now it seems we're mushing mental retardation and mentally ill together into this "mentally disabled" thing.
Does mental illness cause mental disability? Sure. I have plenty and I hate every second. But the two are not the same.
The only thing I'm sure of is that this policital correctness stuff now has me so confused that I'll well, I'll forget my sentence and fall half asleep. But really, it's time someone figured out where one begins, another ends, and preferably someone takes into account that psychiatric care is MEDICAL. I just found out that my new insurance, which I was so excited about last week because I had covereage for 20 counseling sessions will count my 12 visits with my psychiatrist. Which means I will have little counseling coverage after all. I'm also concerned that I'll have to pay huge amounts for most psychiatrist visits because the visits will get used on counseling, which is much cheaper.
I'll probably have little contact the next few days. Back soon.
Spell a grand slam in this game where word skill meets World Series. Get in the game.