My Life as the Village Idiot

Yesterday, one of my friends who was treated as a child and teenager for bipolar disorder said that he was misdiagnosed because he had low serotonin levels. I told him that low serotonin levels were part of having a mood disorder. He said it wasn’t because depression isn’t a mood disorder, and that he’d done a lot of research on the subject. I countered saying that depression was one of many mood disorders. He told me that depression couldn’t be a mood disorder because it consisted of one mood, so it was just a state of mind. I told him to take it up with the APA. Meanwhile, his aunt told me that I was strange, and posted the following on his wall, separately:

T*** u are a very smart guy. Just dont listen to people who have no idea what they are talking about. 4 sure not that janey„„Who ever she is. She sounds like she has enough problems of her own. Well anyway im glad u found out what was wrong and ur happy. See u when u get home……..Love you

I was unaware that being realistic meant that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I was unaware that using terminology from the psychiatric bible (DSM) meant that I was somehow unaware of reality. I was kind of sure that knowing what was wrong was part of the whole learning to deal with it, instead of denying that there actually is a problem.

I wasn’t telling the kid that he was somehow doomed to an eternity of solace. I wasn’t trying to make him feel bad. I was just trying to get him to be aware of what is actually going on in that head of his. His aunt seems to just want to coddle him. When did coddling ever help someone who has mental health issues?

I’ve never even talked to the aunt, and somehow she has determined that I have enough problems of my own. Yes, I have problems. Yes, I have quite a few. Does that mean that I should be discounted for some odd reason? Does that mean that there is something wrong with my ability to read legitimate information about psychiatric conditions?

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.