As I was recently “called out” by a multimillionaire trustfund kid with a podcast (there are a lot of these) and the physical body of a 40 year old who looks 50, I think it is proper to write an essay about my thoughts on mental health. The lisping trustfund kid brought up my psychotic break in an attempt to shame me and divert from being caught in a lie, which was funny because I have no idea why an old man with a podcast and access to billionaires (family members and friends) has any idea about me or interest in me, but it also really showed me the fundamental difference between myself – a person from a lower middle class background who has suffered greatly from schizophrenia – and him: a person who larps as some sort of moral individual “fighting for a cause” but is really just a spoiled child born into an exploitative and abusive family line of old money. Now that I have gotten the humorous aspects of this situation out of the way, I will attempt to be more serious and analyze what is really at the root of this unpleasant behavior by him.
Something which is now quite obvious to me which was more abstract prior to this experience is that I view mental health in a different manner than most people. For me, somebody struggling from a genetic predisposition (as schizophrenia is) is not a bad person for this reason. I did not choose to have schizophrenia, just like I did not choose to have a schizophrenic psychotic break which placed me first in a psych ward and then in jail. I was not aware I had schizophrenia prior to this point, so when my episode happened, I was completely oblivious as to what was going on. I was acting logically and rationally in my own head, but my own head was functioning in a dysfunctional manner. Internally, I was acting normally and everybody else was acting bizarre. Of course, now that I have left that episode and returned to sanity, I know that I was the one acting bizarrely, that my visions of an apocalypse and noticing of patterns and inability to sleep were mainly symptoms of a disordered mind misfiring to a serious degree. The point of this paragraph is to illustrate that my behavior during that time was bizarre and unsafe, but not because I was acting in a malicious manner or trying to hurt anybody, but because I was suffering from a problem in my brain which made my perception distorted and warped. As such, I do not really have any shame or regret about my actions during that time, I don’t have any guilt about the problems I caused for myself and others, because there was absolutely no malicious or evil intention on my part.
Because of my personal experience with a mental health crisis, I don’t view people doing ridiculous or mentally ill things as evil people who should be shamed or mocked. I was lucky in that I have only had one schizophrenic episode that I have since recovered from mentally (and mostly socially) from, but I know that most schizophrenics have a hellish existence of reoccurring episodes which essentially removes the possibility of proper friendships or achievement of life goals in the long term. The schizophrenic who is not as blessed as I have been will fall through the cracks and end up in a psych ward or on the streets or in jail. They will cope with their delusions with drugs that further screw up their mind, and essentially be tortured until they die. This is not really their fault and does not make them a bad person, this makes them a sympathetic person to me who I feel for and wish the best, whatever form “the best” can take in their particular context.
For me, mental maladaption is not something to be ashamed of. To be incompatible with mainstream society, to be unable to hold a normal job, to be dysfunctional because of your brain is not a mark against your character if it is not something that you can change. Luckily, through help and care by loved ones and people who are good people, I have been able to recover and live in a mostly functional manner since my schizophrenic episode, and I am grateful for that, but I do not hold any grudge or hatred or bitterness in my heart for when my brain was extremely dysfunctional. If anything, my negative mental health experiences were some of the most valuable and important experiences of my life, as they placed me in a context that was disorienting and could have been humiliating if I was more prone to feeling shame or humiliation. My experience with schizophrenia has taught me not to judge people for things outside of their control, to be more caring to those with mental traits that make life hard for them.
One such example of how schizophrenia has made me better is my understanding of transgenderism and gender dysphoria. While that particular mental arrangement is foreign to me and I cannot really “place myself in their shoes”, I can now better understand having something in the brain which makes normal life, normal social interactions, and normal everything “out of reach” in a serious and sometimes debilitating manner. Because I know that my own psychotic break was not the result of me having some ill intent or trying to get attention, I can better meet people like transgenders or those suffering from depression or bi-polar on a more human and interpersonal level. I don’t feel any shame for my schizophrenic episode, and I don’t really think transgenders should feel any shame for their mental arrangement, even though I do not think it’s a particularly healthy state of mind or path to a happy life.
One thing that must be mentioned, in the context of this funny but still unpleasant interaction with trustfund kid and podcaster Felix Biederman, is that I’m not a particularly sensitive person. As such, I don’t really mind “personal dirt” or unflattering moments in my life being brought up. I don’t take it personally, as I don’t respect or care about Felix or anybody in his circles, but it must be noted that Felix was basically sociopathic and abusive in his behavior. Once again, this is fine for me because I have dealt with actually bad situations in life (unlike him) so I don’t really find it emotionally taxing, but I do feel bad that people like him are sure to do what they did to me to other people who are more sensitive about their mental health issues. Some will say “this is the dirtbag left” as an excuse, which is fine and once again I don’t take it personally as Felix is a loser trustfund kid, but to that I would say that this is not in line with leftism, this is just a really poor attempt at bullying that has nothing to do with politics and has everything with being an emotionally stunted social moron.
To people like Felix, they don’t really have empathy, most likely because they don’t actually interact with struggling people on any real level. They have their trustfund, they have their “theory books”, they have their millionaire and billionaire capitalist friends who run the media and have banking and lawyer careers, but they don’t really know what it’s like to suffer. To them, my schizophrenic episode and the mental health problems of people are marks against us, things to be used as cruel weapons in some social disagreement. That I had all my social capital destroyed, that I was in a state of insanity and out of my mind, that I ended up in a psych ward and later jail, that I pretty much am unable to get a normal career at this point, is not something people like Felix care about, because people like Felix don’t really care about anything except making money. The real leftists I know and am friends with have been understanding with me, and related to my mental health issue because they themselves have struggled with similar issues or had friends and family with similar issues. Because these real leftists were not performative sociopath podcasters with trustfunds, they did not mock or try to shame me with moments in my life that were hard.To reiterate, I do not really feel any shame or guilt about my schizophrenic episode. The emotions surrounding that incident are more gratitude and thankfulness, because out of that experience I had friends and family looking after me and showing true empathy in a way that I had not experienced prior. Through my personal disaster, I got to see genuine humanity and grace that inspired me to do my best to get my life on track and try to inspire other people in my own way. My schizophrenic episode, my psychotic break, and the resulting discomfort from that are not things I am ashamed of or will be shamed for, because in many ways that has helped improve my character and come to terms with my own imperfection. No 40 year old trustfund kid with a coke habit, who is also friends with pedophiles and helped shield them from justice to preserve his own reputation, will succeed in shaming me for being an imperfect human who has made mistakes and struggled through extreme mental health problems. Felix, you are a failure, not only in life, but also as a person. You have your money and drugs, but you don’t have a soul. Also, I’m pretty sure you’re short. Lol. Good try shaming me, but unfortunately I’m superior to you in every respect, and I know it.