Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fair Game....Rant......

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to politics. I try to, but it just irritates me and I have this no bullshit policy that I like to adhere to, which is why I do not pay attention to said politics. It's boring, confusing, and  inherently full of bullshit, much like a dairy farm. And while dairy farms may smell badly, at least you get cheese, butter, and milk from them. The cows don't lie to you while chomping on their cud and looking you in the eye and baby calves are just down right adorable...Politics....well, not so much.

That being said, I read an article talking about two men running in the same party for Texas Lieutenant Governor and I was appalled. Kind of hard to shock me when it comes to the mud slinging that elections promote but this was beyond the norm of "stirring up a shit storm" as we Texans like to say.

The current TLG David Dewhurst is being accused, or rather his people are being accused, of publicly releasing his opponent Sen. Dan Patrick's medical/court records that state thirty years ago he was so severely depressed that he had to have a stay in a psychiatric hospital in 82 and 86 and "needed sitters around the clock."

There is a backlash and of course Dewhurst's people state that they did not release this information and hide behind the fact that as court records they are already public, but let's just call a spade a spade shall we. This is sigma.....pure and simple.

You can call it mudslinging. You can call it fair game. You can put it in an oven and call it a biscuit if you so desire, but it doesn't deter from the fact that this is exactly how our country views mental illness and it's issues. With disdain, confusion, ignorance, and a heavy dose of judgement.

If Mr. Patrick had his medical records released and his records said he had diabetes instead of depression,  no one would bother writing about it or implying it is a testament to his ability to lead. No one would bat an eye that he couldn't have one of those mall chocolate chip cookies with a glass of sweet southern lemonade. But they feel perfectly fine with implying because he went through an ordeal for something mentally related and he sought help, like you are supposed to, all of a sudden he isn't a good candidate.

They are trying to infer that Mr. Patrick can't handle the stress of being in that position because thirty years ago he was having issues.....and they are getting away with it.

Now, I no longer live in Texas and I haven't for almost twelve years. I do not care who is the TLG or who wins the election. What I do care about is the blatant stigma smear that has been painted against Sen. Patrick. Not because I know him. I don't. Not because I will be affected by his policies, whatever they might be, if he wins. I will not. I care because, once mental illness is allowed to be used as a defaming character assassination in something as public as an election, it becomes a huge problem.

Mental illness is and always has been the big ugly pink elephant in the room. Many don't want to talk about it. Some want to pretend it doesn't even exist. But the fact is, it does. Mental illness is real and it has no bearing on your strength of character. It does not discriminate. It affects the poor and rich alike. It affects people of all races and backgrounds. It affects people of all religions and or lack there of. Mental illness does not discriminate who it decides to affect, but people do.

As someone who has struggled with mental illness I know exactly what is like being judged, slandered, and shamed because I have a physical illness that is inside my brain. People tend to be okay with physical illness as a whole. If you have a heart attack and go to the hospital you get visitors, friends, get well cards, and flowers. People flock to your bedside with soft spoken well wishes and support. When you end up in the mental hospital because you can't cope or have had a breakdown, it is strangely devoid of that support. No cards. No flowers. No visitors. You are seen as an embarrassment, a social pariah, a freak. You are outcast and cast aside, because you are different. It does not seem to occur to people that mental illness is a physical illness. It is just a physical illness inside your head. It is not something that you choose no more than if you chose to have a heart attack, and yet they are viewed so very very differently.

No one would be waving a flag at Sen. Patrick and be claiming that he couldn't handle the position he is vying for if he had only had a heart attack. And that is the problem.

Sen. Patrick had depression and because he got help, because he did what you are supposed to do, he is paying for it thirty years later. He is being publicly shamed because of it. He is being ostracized and judged. And no one seems to be upset over it. Well, I am upset, because what Sen. Patrick is going through has a name and we need to call it what it is. Discrimination. He is being discriminated against because he once suffered from mental illness and now it is being used to promote him as weak.

If my thirty four years of mental illness has taught me anything, it is that people that suffer from mental illness are anything but weak. The fact that he got help in a time that was even more judgmental about such things is a testament to his strength as a person. The fact that he stands there with his head held high while others judge him with their ignorance is all of the proof I need of his strong character.

I am outraged that his mental illness could be used to target him because if they are allowed to do it to him so publicly, then they are allowed to do it to the rest of us.

It is sad that in this day and age, we are still being publicly shamed and judged for mental illness. It is disgusting that we are being stigmatized on such a broad level. That we are being told that we can't and we won't because we are different. When something as simple as a google search could educate these people I can't help but outraged by such ignorance.

And since his depression seems to be such a hot topic I would like help promote the education of the ignorant by giving you a statistic.

An estimated 1 in 10 Americans report having depression....

1 in 10. And yet we act like depression is somehow unusual or rare. That it is something to look down on or misjudge. That is something that could never happen to us or someone we know. Let me ask you many people do you know? Is it more than ten people? Because if it is, it is very likely that one or more of those people are suffering from depression right now.

For all I know, Sen. Patrick could be a colossal douche. He could be lying about his taxes or his political views. I don't know the man one way or the other. I am not saying you should run out and vote for him. What I am saying is that I do know he is not weak because he at one time suffered from depression. That is an 1850 mentality and this is not 1850 now is it?

I am not angry because he is the one getting blasted for having depression. I am angry because once we start to punish and villainize people with mental illness publicly we are sending a message that people who suffer from mental illness are weak and worthless. Once we allow such things as mental illness to be used as a character assassination, we will lose more people to suicide that could have been helped but did not seek it out because they were afraid of being judged and stigmatized.

This particular mudslinging should have never happened because we as American's shouldn't be looking at his depression as a character flaw. We should be as accepting of it as we would him having a physical ailment. Important but not bombshell worthy. All mental illness should be viewed as a treatable illness because it is. It is not fodder for elections or a sign of weakness.

Once we find publicly shaming mentally ill people acceptable we open a door that can never be totally closed back again. It is not acceptable and shame on you Mr. Dewhurst for supporting such vile stigma producing mudslinging.

It reminds me of a quote that speaks to the heart of any discrimination and the horror discrimination can bring.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

----Martin Niemöller

I stand against discrimination of any kind and I stand against the remarks dealing specifically with Sen.Patrick's mental illness. It is not okay to shame him nor anyone else that struggles with mental illness simply because they do.

Neurotic Nelly


  1. Nelly, you really hit the nail with this one. Thank you so much for writing this post.

  2. It was a sick, sick low blow, but we're talking dirty politicians "conservatives" ultra-right GOPs tea party freaks. In my 40-something years, the end of stigma is a long way off, if ever, and the end of stigma within politics... Don't count on it at all. No one is going to put a "nut" in any position of authority, unless they're "sponsored" in - bought off...

    Here are some quotes and facts I found on these guys...

    Powered by The Dallas Morning news
    "Dewhurst shifts to positive, closing tv spot"
    Dewhurst quotes: "Together we’ll stop Obamacare,” "I’ve passed the most pro-life legislation and helped veterans.” (Don't even get me started on the veteran's hospital scandals and scams all over! and taking away women's constitutional rights!)

    Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has sought to raise voters’ apprehensions about Sen. Dan Patrick’s past mental health problems, on Monday sought to snare Patrick in a trap. But Patrick, who is leading the race for lieutenant governor, once again eluded Patterson’s grasp.

    Patterson, chief author of the state’s 1995 concealed handgun license law, said that when Patrick applied for a conceal-carry license, he had to disclose his two stays in Houston psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s and obtain a doctor’s seal of approval to be carrying a gun.

    Patterson called on Patrick to let the Department of Public Safety release his application for a concealed handgun license, so reporters can see if Patrick complied with the law.

    On Thursday night, Dewhurst issued a statement expressing sympathy for Patrick and his family over their ordeal during Patrick’s hospitalizations, Blakemore noted.

    The “feigned” sympathy was nauseating and so is the latest Dewhurst red flag about Patrick’s fitness for office, Blakemore said."

    In my not humble opinion at all, using the excuse for the app for the concealed handgun license was weak as shit, but these are filthy politicians, and their dogs that do their dirty work. If there's any ANY any justice in this world, Dewhurst will be tossed aside on top of the heap of far-right lunatics/tea party morons that want to subjugate women and kick out all non-white immigrants. Hopefully, women will wake up, rise up, and stand up for themselves and vote in someone whose struggle, in part, you can relate to, and who can become so much more - Wendy Davis - Gov?

    1. Frankie, I couldn't agree more. I am niether R or D but I choose the one I feel has the best ideals. I do not know how good of a politician Patrick is but what I do know is that his batte with depression is nobodies business but his own unless he wants to bring it up. They are trying to make him appear weak and incapable because he struggled with mental illness. That is why I am angry. It should have never been done period. It is totally unacceptable. Mental illness is not something to be a shamed of and not something to be shamed by. It is wrong wrong wrong! I hope the best politician wins and I understand that mudslinging gets really dirty but this is way uncalled for and insulting to everyone who has ever suffered from mental illness not just Sen.Patrick. Thank you Frankie!!! Just makes me so

  3. Nelly, I, so despise the level of politics in our country. It seems that the vast majority are contemptible and vile liars, cheats and think of nothing more than their personal gain. The assault on the poor, women, and the healthcare system in this country makes us a laughing stock to the rest of the world. The idea that our congress and potential candidates revel in the mud slinging and cannot work together is a total waste of our hard earned tax payer dollars. Disgrace!

  4. Suzannebyshore, I agree. It is really upsetting and I have huge issues with politics today. The I will scratch your back if you scratch mine mentality is so corrupt. Most of them do not do what they say they will and it leaves many minorities in need of help and with no support, such as the mental illness community, the poor, single parents, the unemployed, the disabled, and even our veterans. Politicians need to step up and actually do what they got elected for and stop putting their desires first. For the president to take a million dollar family vacation while people back home are losing their homes and starving is ridiculous. The fact that politicians in Armani suits discuss what programs to cut when they have no idea what it is like for the average person is just ridiculous. The whole thing is ridiculous period. I don't watch politics because they are not like us, fail to understand us, and will never even try.

  5. Nelly excellent!! You have addressed a topic that needs to be spoken of. I also am not into politics, but how sad that this man is being portrayed as weak because of a mental illness
    Very sad, and hope one day the shame and stigma attached to mental illness will be gone, or at lease lessened. Thank you for another great post!

    1. Thanks K Maria! I really hope stigma will end soon as well. We lose to many people everyday from mental illness and it needs to stop.

  6. You are very intelligent Nelly. The battle you fight inside, belongs to others, that today's scientists and professionals do not understand. They are not always your thoughts. Please know that. As well, try to separate yourself from them. Look for the good in life.

    1. Roger, I thank you for you support. I do find the good in life. In fact have a great life, except one of my life trials happens to be an anxiety disorder. I do not write because I am complaining. I write because we have to end the stigma that surrounds mental illness and the only way to do that is by being open and honest about how it works, how it makes us feel. ect.