I find it hard to believe that I write this for fear of backlash. I worry that since I admit this, I may suffer backlash from my employer, friends, and/or professional colleagues. (I guess this is a way I can test my blog popularity- optimistically thinking of-course)
I found a blog entitled “One Mans War.” http://onemanswarblog.com/ Actually it was shared with me by a friend. In the blog, the author writes about his “war” with depression and bi-polar disorder. I found myself relating to his content because a few years ago- 2010 to be exact- I was diagnosed “GAD,” or General Anxiety Disorder.
General Anxiety Disorder. Personally, I think GAD is a made up acronym allowing a doctor to justify $150 patient visits and an excuse someone has to act irrational. But- anxiety sucks. Anxiety makes your mind race and makes you think about things that you don’t control that could impact your well-being. I’ve suffered these feelings, and sometimes I would experience feelings of highs & lows, causing me to wonder if I was bi-polar. Ask my wife. She’ll tell you about all the low points. But then, I ask, who hasn’t suffered some form of low point? What about a high-point? Who hasnt recognized excitement and let-downs(highs/lows). Isn’t excitement & let-downs a part of life? If everyone has suffered excitement and let-downs, does that mean everyone is a bit bipolar?
Honestly, I’ve always wondered the cause of bipolar disorder, but never researched. Obviously causes of mental health disorders have something to do with brain function, ie, lack of serotonin, dopa-mine etc. What causes the brain to function or malfunction in a way that gives us an excuse to say we suffer from a disorder? Could it be diet? Lack of exercise? The ugly mid-west grayness? The ugliness of Cleveland sports not knowing how to win? Or… could it be a made-up excuse for people to wallow in their disappointments? Instead of taking it on the chin, getting his ass back up again, and shrugging it off, a person can label himself as “bipolar” and say “poor-me.” (Doesn’t have to be bipolar- take your pick- depression, anxiety, stress, etc etc)
Personally, I think my disorder and most other disorders are all BS- aka bullshit. An excuse to cope with a real problem. It’s too easy to make excuses these days. Whatever happened to your fathers mentality of “grit and bare it?” Or his fathers mentality- “you make the best of the situation you’re given.” These days we love to point the finger and say “its not me…it’s not my fault.” Well guess what? It really is your fault. You choose to behave in this manner. You choose to mope around and think about your short-comings. You choose to be in the high-pressure job that causes you anxiety. Et…cet…era…..et….cet….era..
But- check this out. I’m reading Malcolm Gladwells’ new book called David & Goliath. http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_the_unheard_story_of_david_and_goliath.html There is a chapter in the book that talks about people with dyslexia who have turned their challenge(dyslexia) into an advantage. (Example, Gary Cohen from Cleveland Ohio- dyslexic, took 6 hours to read 22 pages- now a VP at Goldman Sachs in commodity trading) I reference Gladwells book, because I believe people with a disorder such as Anxiety can turn their weakness into an advantage. Speaking personally, I am much more analytical than what I used to be- allowing me to be a better decision maker, which helps in both my personal and professional life.
I close by saying enjoy who God has made you and embrace who you are. Relish your shortcomings.
For the person that is uptight about his “disorder.” Please don’t take this post the wrong-way. Please understand my comments are ways to poke fun at myself and situations. I’m not a doctor and don’t claim to be. ……And please don’t sue me for personal damages. (I’m only half-kidding- people actually do sue over anything these days)