When support scenes stigmatize.
As someone with a parent whose bipolar manifests in the Kanye register on a good day, this all tracks with my observations!
Feel like there’s real potential for a good stand-up bit about impostor syndrome in unglamorous jobs, like the people hired by Rent the Runway to smell the returned items and determine whether they were properly dry cleaned. “It’s too much pressure! Everyone else on the crotch sniffing team has advanced degrees. How are they trusting ME with this responsibility?”
Reminds me of debates about “elite capture” in social justice movements— the tendency of the most respectable, the best educated, the most privileged members of X marginalized group to become the most public & lauded spokespeople— thus kicking off a cycle of jealousy, resentment, critique, cancellation by more “median” members— and at no point during which much real change ever happens
“Sophia has objections to this statement, I should note!” would be a good thing for them to put on my tombstone
I have Schizophrenia and PTSD and can relate to this newsletter. When my delusions and voices were at their worst, I was horrible to be around. There was nothing sympathetic, nice or charming about me breaking things and demanding that a famous magician gets arrested for reading my thoughts.
When I have flashbacks and am in the corner crying, reliving a scenario that happened 20 years ago, it's unnerving and frightening to others.
Thankfully I've recovered better than I ever thought possible thanks to medication. The medication makes me fat, gives me high cholesterol, slows my thinking down and makes me frequently tired. But it's absolutely worth it.
I think we talked about my family connection to these issues - it’s real! but aside from that I have a theory that society elevates those they see themselves (or would wish to see themselves) in and makes celebrities out of them. Society elevates them and lives vicariously through them; but develops a co-dependent relationship (maybe wrong word) where their admiration, vicarious living can easily turn into jealousy or resentment; so sometimes it’s actually best not to be in the camp society chooses to elevate. Like J said, society doesn’t really know shit.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I'm racing my way through "Lit," Mary Karr's memoir of addiction. I just came across a section title that reminded me of this post:
"Being Who You Are Is Not a Disorder"
I’m having a really hard time believing you were ugly in high school lol
This effect you’re describing, a kind of regression to the aesthetic mean, seems to happen on tikgram, but an individual artist would have the opportunity to profile more interesting humans, right?
There might be exceptions. Check out, for example, the top posts of the Crippling Alcoholism subreddit. No memes, no glorifying, just people sharing their shitty experiences with those who might be able to relate.
I tried to do a "contra" Kanye in a way that wasn't minimizing. Curious to hear your take: https://open.substack.com/pub/thefrontierpsychiatrists/p/a-psychiatrist-explains-whats-really?utm_source=direct&r=1ct8f&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
Really, really loved reading this! A group presents well when its archetypical cases are, well, typical.
But I’m also reminded that the definitions of disorders seem to widen because people want to classify themselves as having it, even if it’s a “less extreme” form - anxiety being a great example. Forgive the analogy, but it’s like there’s a marketplace of disorders: a disorder needs to be marketable, in part because there are people who want to buy into it.
Yep!! I agree. I have thought those same things about Kanye for years and I thought he was bipolar long before he came out publicly about it. I have the bipolar type one and it can be fucking gross and watering it down to make money from it in the media as a palatable thing to morbidly fascinate others and make them ask themselves if maybe they’ve got bipolar because they get a little hyper sometimes and a little sad… Fuck that also if I have to hear everyone is a little bipolar one more time.... idk. Thank you for this. I have so many more comments, but my daughter just woke up. Looking forward to reading more from you!
Come on. I'm the one. I don't know about you guys. But I stand behind my delusions, 100 percent. Everything else is Miss Manners, motivational speakers on youtube, and a psychochemical penthouse loft. Can't we just level up?
I love what you’re doing with writing and that you’re taking on the topic, and I agree that bipolars do unforgivable things. I try to mind my business and don’t expect to have a community but I still have something to offer humanity.
I’m not bipolar but much of what you say is in fact, imho, generalisable and rings true (particularly the references to de stigmatisation). Thanks for making me think about this and smile occasionally. The reference to Conquest is apposite imho.