If I break a leg and people see it in a plaster cast they can qualify easily what has happened and a have a good idea of what they could reasonably expected me to do. They would also recognise I had recovered when I have my plaster cast removed.
My PTSD – my appearance has not changed. I physically look the same and on the whole I now behave the same; I might have coping strategies in place to deal with certain situations that I want to avoid but people who know me judge me based upon their hang-ups in their minds not the facts before them or an understanding of what I am thinking.
Broken bones can be fixed, mental health issues, for many onlookers, can’t be fixed – ever or at least until they forget. From my perspective, i.e. not an expert witness or mental health practitioner, I feel many things just rebalance themselves. I have stronger feelings about allsorts of things now, but balance is there.
I feel I am lucky and now appreciate there are many thousands of people who bear witness to being stigmatized because of a label that has been used to group similar attributes, in this case mental health conditions, so easy reference can be made to them: they can be counted, sorted, rearranged as statistics to either prove or disprove a theory, or be tested upon with treatments: and perhaps worse of all ignored by politicians as they consider them as a minority group who cannot organise themselves and as such will not have an impact on their political ambitions.
This is not a scientific based theory and I don’t know whether any research could actually prove, or disprove this come to that matter, but I suspect there are far far greater differences in people and people’s attitudes about life and politics in general than separate people with mental health issues from those who think they are normal – it’s that word again ‘normal’. So why the hang-ups?
Please let me know what you think normal is?