So I’ve been gone FOREVER. And I’ve missed it.  I’ve been looking for a new job—working crazy hours with my old one…and trying to sleep in the process.  But, my last day at my job is FRIDAY! And then I’ll have a short break before starting the new one.  So I’m hoping I’m back! 

Here’s my first blog back!

Have you seen the “Monuments” PSA videos by NAMI?  Here’s a link to them.  You might want to take the 45 seconds to watch them before you continue reading, as this blog focuses on my thoughts on them.

So when I heard that NAMI had new PSA videos out I was excited—anything to reduce the stereotype right? Well at the end I sat there and said “hmm…not sure how I feel about those”.  So I watched them again….and spent some time thinking about it. And I’ve decided—I’m pretty sure I hate them. 

Here’s why…

1. The depiction of mental illness is unrealistic: While I do not doubt these famous people struggled with mental illness, I don’t think it is fair to assume everyone with mental illness can achieve these “great” things. I know I cannot.  My brain needs lots of rest—and I doubt sleep was high on Churchill’s to-do list. My brain also over reacts to stress so I would not do well making decisions for the entire nation. I need time to go to yoga—meditate—and sometimes sit in the corner and suck my thumb. A huge part of my journey (that I have not yet achieved) is learning to accept my limitations, and not judge myself for them. So I don’t need PSA videos telling me that I can do “great” things. Also, I don’t want other people to say “well if they could do those things, I don’t understand why Tabitha can’t just stop crying today”.

2. They use the phrase “they won”:  What does the even mean?  What does it mean to “win” against mental illness. You don’t end up in the hospital? You don’t kill yourself? You stop spending time in your closet? You get off of your medication?  I don’t think there is a clear definition of “winning”. It’s different for everyone. Also, if you can “win” that means you can also “lose”.  And I think that’s bull s***. (excuse my French).  I wake up every day and have the same sick brain I had the day before. And I choose to live with it as best as I can.  Some days I live better than others, but on my bad days it doesn’t mean I lose. It just means my illness was particularly strong that day. 

Growing up my parents always told me I didn’t have a right to complain about something unless I had a better idea. So what would I like to see in PSAs? For me, maybe just normal people doing normal things. Or I always like the ones that show things/science talking about how the illness is real. Or maybe stats on the rate of mental illness—really showing that we are not alone.

What about you all?  Do you have any PSAs you really like?  Feel free to disagree with me on the NAMI ones—I’d like to hear other opinions—because clearly someone thought they were a good idea!!!

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