This week some comments from random people made me realize how different some illnesses are “rated”. That’s because we learn that somebody who is ill has to be pitied because he or she is oh so poor – a victim.
The list is topped by physical illnesses that weren’t caused by the person in question like when an accident happens out of recklessness. If you are ill in a common way like having a cold, the flu or cancer, everything’s okay for the people around you. After all, you can be pitied and they can ask you with this very special tone “So…how are you? Do you need anything?”…
In the middle there are mental disorders where you can still be seen as a victim – like depression or panic attacks. It is “just” mental so people might tell you to “try a little harder and think positively”, but all in all a person who doesn’t have the strength to do anything or lies on the ground and shakes with fear can be pitied really well. And that’s what we want. Ill people have to be victims, right?
And then there are the evil illnesses: Addicitions for instance. Your own fault, after all you could just stop. Like when you are cutting (not^^). Or if you are aggressive because of a disorder. These things are not perceived as serious illnesses which can cause as much suffering as the “good” ones I mentioned above. If Somebody actively does something like cutting or consuming drugs the person is guilty. Oh right, I forgot – not only do we need a victim, we also need someone who’s guilty. And as only people who can be seen as victims are ill, all the others are guilty. It’s their own fault. My goodness, how that annoys me!
I guess that some of you know what I mean (tell me, am I the only one who made that experience?) and those who think that people with disorders just have to try harder will probably never understand what I want to say. In any case I wish you a wonderful sunday and hope that blogs like mine can do a little bit to alter this perception of illnesses.