Mental Illness Does Not Define You

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I saw a post today in a Facebook group asking if you would date someone with anxiety or depression.

It really struck a cord with me, that someone would even ask this at all, as if a person’s mental illness was what entirely defined them and no other factor about that person made any difference.

I really want people to start talking about mental illness the same way we talk about diabetes.

I’m going to put a little side note here and say I am not a doctor, I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a nurse, so all this information is simply from my own research.

Let me explain diabetes for a second. Diabetes is when the body is unable to convert glucose into energy due to lack of a hormone called insulin. A diabetic either has no insulin or does not produce a sufficient amount. 

Each type of diabetes has its own complications and there are other factors involved but for the point of this post this is what you need to know.

Diabetes is very manageable. A diabetic will inject insulin into their body, monitor their blood sugar levels and try their best to maintain healthy diet and exercise.

I personally know a number of people with diabetes. Generally when I find out someone has diabetes I don’t decide it is their most defining factor. I try to change my behaviours in order to help them manage their diabetes by doing things like making sure when we go out to eat there is something on the menu that would be suitable for them, and with some of my closer diabetic friends even offer to help with insulin injections when needed.

So to sum up, diabetes is a lack of insulin, treated by medication and managing their blood-glucose levels.

I know there are lots of different types of mental illnesses but for the point of this post I’m going to talk specifically about depression.

Depression is a chemical imbalance. It is where the brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These collectively are known as monoamines – or the mood-related chemicals. 

Again there are a number of other factors surrounding depression, but for now this is what you need to know.

There are a lot of different ways to treat depression, but the most common ones are taking antidepressants to help restore those chemical levels, and seeing either a psychologist or psychiatrist to look into the root causes of the depression and learning how to manage it.

So to sum up, depression is a lack of monoamines, treated by medication and learning to manage living with the illness.

I’m hoping at this stage the point I’m trying to bring across has become obvious. The two conditions, both nearly as common as the other, are very very similar medically.

So why is it that one of them makes us entirely change the perspective of how we view a person and the other is more likely to make us change our behaviour in order to help that person?

I want us to start talking about mental illness the same way we talk about diabetes, because just like diabetes, mental illness does not define a person.

Sources:

  1. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/
  2. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
  3. My own experiences

Nice Guys Finish Last

My most recent musing is starting to make me feel a little bit like Carrie Bradshaw. Talking to my friends about this, seeing where there is common ground and asking the ultimate question of, why are we like this?

Source: http://www.thefrisky.com

I recently matched with someone on tinder –  lets call him Dan* – who seemed like a cool enough person so we chatted for a while before eventually sharing numbers.

I need to add a disclaimer here, where even though I know “I’m really busy” is a well known excuse for rejecting someone; between uni, working casually, and interning at a radio station, I am genuinely a really busy person. 90% of the time when I say this I am being legitimate.

Source: http://www.fxnetworks.com/region-fx

Things seemed to be running smoothly with Dan so we agreed to meet up. Despite these plans and genuinely being extremely busy for a couple of weeks, I started to lose interest in Dan extremely fast. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good compliment just as much as the next person, but being constantly flattered and having unnecessary praise put onto you, especially from someone who barely knows a thing about you is a big no from me.  And so what originally was a genuine “I’m really busy” has turned into something less authentic.

Source: tenor.co

Two of my closest friends ended their most recent relationships for similar reasons. I have heard both of them say the exact phrase “he was too nice.”  The one, now ex-boyfriend, I did meet I can totally agree with my friend.  He is easily one of the nicest people I know. But in terms of relationships this can be unappealing to a fault. Of course in both of these scenarios there were other circumstances which led to the break-ups, but the one thing they both had in common was niceness.

Source: wifflegif.com

“But Liana, isn’t that exactly what you wanted from Tom* and Larry*?” my good friend Amity would ask. Well yes Amity, maybe this is true, but maybe I would have never been interested in Tom or Larry in the first place if they had been nice people?

Earlier in the year I was casually seeing Tom. He wasn’t an absolute asshole but “nice” is probably the last word I would use to describe him. Sometimes my texts got replies, other times he made it super obvious he was getting with someone else, on occasion I’d get the inappropriate question, and maybe if I was lucky we would get to hang out – on his terms of course. Reflectively the whole situation was pretty messed up, I haven’t heard from Tom in 3 months (and that’s probably for the best).

Source: http://www.theinsyder.com

Larry was much nicer but also more confusing. In person things were happy as, well Larry, and yet I still would be lucky to get replies to my texts, was talked to in quite a rude manner, and still could only hang out on his terms. Time with Larry was short lived and I know now that things ended due to him starting a serious relationship with someone else. I can only hope that Larry is treating this person better than he did me.

I think maybe we are all searching for a middle ground. Somewhere between being nice enough that I’m going to hear back from you but not so nice that your corny messages and excessive compliments make me want to puke.

Source: Hulu

Until next time, Liana out.

*yes I did change these names, could you imagine, Liana and Larry. Ha.

Self-Esteem

As I was sitting in the bathroom reapplying my fake tan, right after spending the night getting my fake nails put on, something occurred to me. Why is it that I put this sort of effort into my appearance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abrn8aVQ76Q%5B/embedyt%5D

I’ve got one word for you: self-esteem. (After having a debate as to whether that is one or two words, can confirm is one).  Other than getting that Offspring song stuck in my head, the whole concept of self-esteem really gets me thinking.

I mean in terms of why I get my nails done and put fake tan on the answers are obvious. 1. Fake nails stop you chewing your actual nails (gross but true), 2. So I can look more Italian, which is obviously any Italian-Australian’s life goal.

So really, neither of those things are really a self-esteem issue. But I do remember being 14 years old and being super judgemental of the people who did these exact same things. It brings me back to the original question, why put in all this effort? Perhaps some people do feel embarrassed by the whiteness of their skin (I mean same, but that’s a racial issue and for another day), or maybe they put layers upon layers of makeup on to cover up some nasty acne scarring?

Funnily enough back in the day when I was 14 and had the same amount of self esteem as Donald Trump has brain cells, caking on layers of makeup along with drawing on eyeliner so thick that I’d be giving Taylor Momsen a run for her money, was very much about being ashamed.

Source: imgur

Now days you still won’t see me leave the house** without a layer of foundation and winged eyeliner on at the least, but just like the fake tan and the fake nails it’s not really a self esteem issue anymore. In some ways it’s the exact opposite.

I could go on a massive rant about how messed up it is that young girls are so ashamed of the way they look at this age, and I know it’s not just me. I had a friend who covered up every mirror in her house because her self-esteem was that bad. I could go on about how it’s a collective issue of tv shows hiring 20-year-old actors to play 15-year-old characters, or magazines advertising EVERY possible beauty product under the sun (obviously including fake tan).

Source: Nickeloden

Instead I’m trying to work out what was the exact moment where I told myself that stuff didn’t matter? I know for certain that I am not entirely comfortable in my own skin, but I do know that I’m getting there. I know that instead of trying to cover up how I look with layers of makeup I use simple products to highlight one of my favourite features, that being my eyes.

Source: Amity Bailey

I guess the point I’m trying to get at is, even despite the acrylics at the ends of my hands, or the not-so-natural glow (which did I mention is completely skin cancer free), or those little black strokes which seem to be permanently on my eyelids, it’s not necessarily a self-esteem issue, it’s about showing the world your best face, literally and metaphorically.

Source: emliaclake.tumblr.com

**the small exception to this rule is either on the rare occasion I have to be somewhere before 6am or the just as rare occasion I’m doing some sort of physical exercise

 

“You should make a portfolio”

Hello there. This is my brand new blog featuring the thoughts and musings of me, Liana.

Source: Funny Junk

I previously had a blog. I quite liked running it as well, facing the challenge of trying to appeal to a certain audience, whilst putting effort into researching the types of things I wanted to write about, and collaborating that with what people want to read about.

Alongside blogging, I figured there’s nothing wrong with consolidating the previous works I’ve completed so any potential employers (I’m looking at you ABC, SBS, Channel 10, Channel 9, and Channel 7) can be like, hell, she’s actually done stuff, that’s pretty cool, we should give her a PAID job. ???

Basically, a portfolio. Something my good friend Amity and I recently were discussing. And what better way to share a portfolio than on the world wide web alongside my rantings?

Amity Conversation

Paper resumés are old school anyway. Even if I was to make like Amity and provide a portfolio of the dick pics that I’ve received over the years*** (some would be familiar of the infamous “dick with no balls”) at least I’d have somewhere to share it?

So basically welcome to my blog. Two-Point-Oh. Hope you enjoy your stay.

Liana out.

Source: Justin Garbett, Reactions Editor Animated GIF

***Yes I am very aware of the legality in regards to sharing these forms of images, so if you came here for dick pics I’m sorry to disappoint, it’s a no from me.