“To Me, Having Schizophrenia Or Depression Is Our Souls Telling Us To Wake Up”

Posted on November 12, 2015 in Health & Life, LGBTQ, Mental Health, Society, Taboos

By Reshma Valliappan

We would have heard this ‘NO’ in context to the rape culture that has been going on ever since dinosaurs stopped existing and man and woman sprung up from some strange godly discourse of existence written in some scripture. Again, this scripture was written by a man and not by a woman. If she did, I really wonder what life on this planet would look like.

reshma valliappanThe word sex has been the biggest taboo ever since then. It has been the biggest power tool for repression, oppression and control ever since man realized he could only shoot climatic stars of ecstasy (orgasm) once (or maybe twice for certain gifted ones who have worked out) or several times (for those who know what they are doing in bed) as opposed to the woman who can own the sky of multiplicity. I say ‘man’ because I would agree to the feminist terms of womb and vagina envy that speaks of how men have a natural envy to the biological functions of the female body. However, this term has sprung up from the same psychoanalytic school where Sigmund Freud first coined the term penis envy. But there would be real dangers if we kept our focus on the psychoanalytical theories of gender roles and sexuality given these theories came from individuals born and raised in a different culture, society, religious and spiritual beliefs, language and existential roles but have been put on the same pedestal of gods by you.

Since I am writing this article, I would call everyone else fools for doing so. Why? Because since the birth and rise of psychiatry and psychology in the 1900, it took this one man called Freud followed by Jung and a whole bunch of other baboons to come up with many different intellectually stimulating words and spread it through the economics of mindless fascinations because they couldn’t understand themselves better. They needed to find the ‘mad people’ which mostly comprised of women labelled with hysteria for them to study and experiment upon while some even had sexual bondages with these women they claimed to help. Then this other fellow called Eugen Bleuler coined the disorders and broke them into different branches called schizophrenia, autism, bipolar so on and so forth. This further entered all the psychology books, education and social understanding of what mental illness is. And the whole world believed them and follows them. Coming from being a schizophrenic, I think everyone else are complete fools for doing so because they have no voice of their own. On this note, I am glad I hear voices, many of which are my own. But I have been treated for hearing them. I have been called crazy, lunatic, pagal, mad, insane, unsound and have been completely rejected by society and the same system claiming to help someone like me finding my way back into society.

What society fails to really understand is that mental health issues affect each one of us. No human being is discriminated on the experience of mental health breakdowns yet they choose to discriminate and stigmatize the likes of people like me along with spreading and believing that we can be violent or dangerous to others or ourselves. If they do their research and use their brains, they would find that many of us were ‘victims’ of violence and our spurts of aggression are merely defences for the acts committed on us which live in our minds.

Even in my entrance into cross-disability, many others with physical disabilities did not want to have anything to do with the ‘crazies’ for we might spread our madness to them or just the very thought of sitting in the same room with me would stigmatize them. The invisibility of the stigma and discrimination is equally proportionate to the invisibility of our pain and condition. And the only way we can bring this forward is by talking about it even if it hurts others in the process for being this honest about it all. The very fact is that mental health issues arise because nobody wants to talk about them. Nobody wants to address what is really happening inside of their heads. It is easier to fit in and brush it all under the carpet. And then it grows and gets bigger and out of proportion leading to breakdowns. It is easier to believe it is a chemical imbalance that needs to be treated and the pills will make it all go away. How can people be so blind to treat human experiences and call them disorders? It is disabling no doubt, but it is disabling since the larger whole does not find the need to able themselves with true empowerment of their experiences and voices.

The questions we must ask ourselves are: What really are the causes of mental health issues? Is it what you think has been written and sold? If people have enough access to reading this article, they should use their discretion to do their own research and really find out because until it happens to them or someone they love they really don’t bother waking up. To me, having schizophrenia or depression or any other so called mental illness is our souls knocking real hard on our doors and telling us to wake up to our purpose because we are nothing but a populated group of consumerist dodos; extinct of our true selves. We have developed false expectations and needs of what success means to us and in the road to gaining these illusionary needs we develop such issues.

But no one is going to believe me when I say this because I have schizophrenia. If I had ‘Dr.’ prefixed to my name, the whole world would clap for me and shove degrees up to me. Then again when doctors are funded for research on how to deal with our voices – it is called a discovery. It is called the new edge of helping schizophrenia sufferers to listen to their voices and have a relationship with them. But isn’t it for the very reason that we hear voices and listen to them and have a relationship with is why we are getting treated and stigmatized? This is the double irony of the system which society does not see.

Why do I bring up this critique and how is it relevant to the topic of sexuality? Let’s be clear of the definition and oppression of independent women. That is, any woman who voices her opinions, her needs, her wants and what she does not want is called a bitch, a slut, a selfish badly influenced person who needs to be taught a lesson and this list goes on, as there are over 300 mental health disorders listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) aka The Psychiatry Bible.

What I really want to point out are the many hats and roles placed on women. Let’s take the schizophrenic woman with alternate sexuality. Both these labels and existences are not born with her but are received when she reaches adulthood. When we remove these labels we get the young adult who is rebellious, opinionated, desiring an endless list of what pleases her, saying no to authority, disliking others or their philosophies. She is actually abled by it. So we remove this label and we get the mother, the daughter, the sister, the wife, the boss, the carer, the girlfriend all of which are about owning her. Even in the attempt of telling her to ask for her rights and educate her about patriarchy, she needs a man to tell her that. This is how strong the hold is.

How is this connected to sexuality? Easy. How many heterosexual able-bodied women can tell their husbands or boyfriends openly ‘Hey, I don’t feel like having sex with you today?’ When we find out how many can say NO – then we have to ask the next question ‘Hey, I’m feeling horny let’s make out’. When we can find out how many are allowed to ASK for what pleases them is where the labels of hypomanic or sexual addiction are placed on women. They’ve classified this as disorders that need to be treated because apparently the woman loses herself to it and stops functioning for her betterment which in turn affects her life. Fair enough a point to call it something that does not allow her to function well. But if she was given the respect and choice from the very beginning to say what pleases her, the disorder won’t have to exist to make up for what she can’t ask consciously.

Therefore, before we even get into the discourse of mental illness, psycho-social disability, sexuality, alternate sexuality, choices and rights, legal privileges and recovery, women as a whole need to begin questioning this simple NO. The day I said NO and listened to the voices in my head was the day I discovered my wants and needs. The voices that told me ‘You’re a slut’ were the voices of authority I have heard before. But since society tells me not to question authority and moral notions by them, my psychosis made up for it.

The voices that told me ‘Watch the movie and go out and have fun’ were my innermost desires becoming so strong that they have to assume the existence of controlling voices to the point of psychosis so that I do it. So that I engage in it and know what I really want and not what I should want according to society.

I hear voices and it connects me to my various selves hence others want to control me or treat me. If others only heard their own true voices, we’ll all know who is taking me out for a date tomorrow.

This article was originally published here on the Sexuality and Disability blog. 

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