This has taken too long to type up. I will add more when I can.
- If we seem okay lately (and even say so), that does not mean that we are necessarily doing or feeling well.Many of us have unconsciously developed tremendous skills at hiding our pain, probably due to feelings of guilt, a need to be perceived as ‘normal,’ and a fear of how others might exasperate our problems in their well-intentioned efforts to help.
- Just because our behaviors or words are strange or unpredictable for you does not mean that they do not make sense, if you had the time to learn the full and complicated story, and it certainly does not mean that we are necessarily violent or malicious.We understand that you might lack the time, interest, or emotional capacity to hear and understand our story; however, we respectfully request that you acknowledge this by refraining from making assumptions about us or stigmatizing us. Also, if some advice pops into your head, don’t bother—we have already heard it many times.
- Just because we have mid-brain damage does not mean that we are ethically or intellectually handicapped.The same way you raise your voice with people who are seeing-impaired, as if they were also hearing-impaired, so you also assume that your bipolar acquaintance with unusual interests and behaviors must necessarily not understand the ethics of their situation, or you talk down to them as if they are less intelligent than you are.
- Just because we are strange to you does not mean that we are difficult to talk to.On the contrary, as our friends and acquaintances distance themselves from us, isolation exacerbates our depression and paranoia. If there’s something you’re wondering about, just ask us, instead of asking others about us. We will feel respected, and will give you a respectful reply.
- Just because we sometimes throw our medications in the garbage does not mean that we are irresponsible.Our medications have hideous side-effects, some of them psychotropic baseball bats that dull us and damage our brain and other organs, while others are highly addictive.
Furthermore, our condition is not consistent—our psychotropic needs change from day-to-day—and our doctors do not have time to monitor us that closely.
- Just because two-thirds of us abuse alcohol does not mean that we are irresponsible.It means that we are so desperately ill that we are knowingly reaching for poison, because nothing else will provide relief.