This I Believe Script (Checkpoint 3)

This isn’t particularly easy for me to talk about. It’s funny how easy it is to hide something that makes up such a big piece of your day, your night, your life. I suffer from a handful of mental disorders, a handful too many. I’ve had them before I even know I had them. And so, without doubt, I have never met anyone as loyal as Fear. Fear never leaves my side; he feeds my disorders, strengthens them, trains them to fight me everyday. What makes it so easy—to hide my disorders—is that society has grown to lack empathy, to lack care, to lack humanity. It’s not their fault. You won’t understand, you can’t, not unless if you also suffer. Therefore, everyday, I am glad and grateful for those who do not understand.

But, people think they do, and that’s where the problem begins. There has been a sort of revolution in society. Before, those with mental disorders were completely shunned. No one believed in a mental disorder. Society would attribute symptoms to negative characteristics. Those suffering were told to stop being “sad” and deemed “weird”, that their destruction is a creation of their own.

Mental disorders are treason. It is a person’s mind battling a person’s quality of life, but mental disorders are not consciously made. No one wants a mental disorder, or so you would think.

Today, mental disorders are addressed. There is no longer a dispute over whether mental disorders exist or not. However, just because more people know of mental illness now does not mean they are educated on the topic. Disorders like Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive disorder are being used as adjectives. People often use phrases like “I have anxiety” and “I’m so depressed” in common conversation without realizing how destructive it is to the mental health community. What misusers don’t realize is that “I have anxiety” is a shortened version of “I have an anxiety disorder” which is not to be taken lightly in any capacity.

And then, they are those who misdiagnose themselves with mental disorders and actually identify with these hurtful phrases. Society feeds generations this idea that they must always be happy, and when they are not happy, something is wrong. When taught to believe this, people tend to see feelings like nervousness, sadness, worry, and inconsistency as indicators of disorders.

Mental disorders are irregular. A client who is diagnosed with a mental disorder has cognitions and emotions that are so disruptive, they cannot function properly.

Just because you feel unhappy does not mean you are suffering from a mental disorder. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, there are some things that are supposed to make you anxious (ex: a midterm, a driving test, going to school for the first time, etc.). There are some things that are supposed to make you sad (a breakup, moving, a divorce, a death, etc.). There are experiences that will confuse your emotions. There will be times when you don’t understand your own behavior. There will be times when you feel the symptoms of a disorder, but this does not mean you have a mental disorder. That is what society needs to be reminded of constantly. Life waivers.

Humans have a natural tendency to want to fit in. Most find company comforting. If we take an evolutionary approach, animals who stayed in groups were much more likely to survive than when alone. However, because of this penchant, people have grown this fear of being alone and find themselves conforming in order to fit groups. I believe that because negative feelings can be so frightening, people naturally want to know that their feelings are not individualistic, and so, when discovering a community in which negative feelings are always relevant (the community of those with mental disorders) they feel welcome and comforted. They then misdiagnose themselves.

When people misdiagnose themselves, it is almost insulting. It is almost hurtful that someone could compare a temporary ill feeling to a lifelong disorder. I wish my feelings had such transiency. I wish I had the option to identify with these disorders one day and the next day be happy with life. I wish I could suffer knowing one day I’d grow to enjoy life again.

I have never felt comfortable. Never. Not for a second in my life have I felt at peace. Not even sleep is an escape. My disorders run wild in the chaos I call consciousness. I am okay. I am always okay. But, my “okay” is different from your “okay”. My okay is being afraid to get up in the middle of class to throw out a piece of trash because I can’t handle attention. My okay is assuming every living being hates me. My okay is panicking over the tiniest, most basic issues. My okay is being afraid to raise my hand and share my opinion because I fear I will miscommunicate my own thoughts and disappoint myself. My okay is having at least one panic attack a day. My okay is isolating myself because I think people are better without me. My okay is wishing I were anything but okay. My okay is not okay. But, I am okay.

I am an English and Psychology double major. Literature has taught me about perspective and showed me how one’s experiences mold a character’s personality and thoughts. Every story, every poem, every play has a theme, and a reader will find a theme he/she needs. I may read a poem and believe it is about developing a quality of life while someone else, having read the same poem, may think it’s about competing for success; both themes are correct because they are particular to our own perspectives.

However, my ultimate goal is to become a child clinical psychologist. I want to help kids suffering from mental disorders. I want to help kids with what I’ve suffered with all my life. I found out about my disorders late in my junior year of high school.  All my life prior, I knew something was wrong with me, but no one believed me. I felt sick—always; I was often dizzy, nauseous, insomnia, sweating abundantly, I’d hyperventilate often and my heart would palpitate almost as often as it regularly would beat. My body reflected my disorders, but every time I went to the doctor, he/she would say absolutely nothing was wrong with me, that I was perfectly healthy. This made my suffering worse. I was physically fine, but mentally, I was ruined. The second I was educated on my diagnosis, I felt not fear, not anxiety, not discomfort but relief—-I felt relief for the first time in my life. I never got the help I needed, never went to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. I was never believed. So, when people identify with words symbolic of disorders like “anxiety” when they are merely nervous, I cannot even begin to describe the turmoil I feel. Those are the people that are normalizing the symptoms of mental disorders. Those are the people subconsciously encouraging the lack of severity mental disorder symptoms are treated with. Those are the people that didn’t help me and aren’t helping those like me.

I want to be who I needed.

I want to be the person people like me need.

I believe I can be.

I need to be.

Summary/Synthesis Response 1

Ceyda Baysal

English 300 Texts & Contexts

2/15/17

 

Summary/Synthesis Response 1

Summary:

         Victor Villanueva Jr.’s Bootstraps uses personal anecdotes to evoke empathy in order for the reader to partially understand life being raised in America as a Hispanic child. With these stories, Villanueva exemplifies the differences he and his family saw regarding the English language when considering their race, accents, social class, physical location, and who they were speaking to. He stated, “Language is supposed to be precise: ‘don’t split the infinitives,’ ‘use the plural in the subjunctive,’ ‘don’t use double negatives.’ At home I would correct my folks when an English rule was broken. Yet, even as I was dogmatic and doctrinaire at home, I understood there were different rules on the block” (Villanueva Jr., 8). In this quote, the author is explaining how, despite being taught its strict grammatical rules, the English language and its guidelines are often molded and manipulated to fit specific circumstances.

Synthesis:

          Chapters one through three of Do You Speak American? focus on the ongoing war between prescriptivists and descriptivists. Prescriptivists believe that the English language is suffering, for it does not prioritize nor correct grammatical use; John Simon was a very notable prescriptivist who did not shy from sharing his ideas regarding this perspective, “Today, he [John Simon] sees the state of our language as ‘unhealthy, poor, sad, depressing and probably fairly hopeless.’ Hopeless because he sees no improvement in the teaching of English in schools or colleges” (11). Descriptivists vow that, because of the applied cultural changes such as the addition of new words and weakening of unnecessary emphasis, the English language is thriving; they argue that the English language has molded to and grown with the changes arriving with new generations, just as Villanueva suggested in his piece. The descriptivist point of view mimics a democracy in that it supports the English language considering all members of society including members of a lower social class; Mark Twain was quoted to have said, “A nation’s language is a very large matter. It is not simply a manner of speech obtaining among the educated handful; the manner obtaining among the vast, uneducated multitude must be considered also” (14). The English language’s parallel to an accommodating government supports Villanueva’s belief that the language adjusts itself per individual, community, and situation.

     Krista Ratcliffe’s Rhetorical Listening expresses a concern over the lack of listening in society. Ratcliffe insists that listening is essential for best understanding and utilizing language. Listening, reading, writing, and speaking are her four codes of cross-culture conduct. The reason listening is not particularly relevant in modern culture is because it is believed not to fit many situations. Listening is associated with femininity; women are expected to listen to the men who are expected to speak. As expected by Villanueva’s belief, the use of language depends on societal and cultural expectations and roles. Therefore, if “Despite recent suggestions, the following commonplaces exemplify one way that bodies are sexed and gendered in the U.S.: Women are assumed to be nurturing; men, aggressive” (Ratcliffe 9), then the way society degraded the importance of listening because of its association with femininity is quite notable.

     The eighth chapter of What Writing Does and How It Does It lists different ways in which language can be utilized and shared. For example, language can be spoken, written, recorded, and shared through many other methods. However, some systems are used more than others depending on the culture, “He [Ong] suggested that primary orality be reserved as a classification for cultures with no literacy” (203). He continued to label cultures that are literate and use written word to establish oratoral word as using secondary orality. In other words, the intellectual skills of the people determine how language will be primarily used and the mode in which it’ll be used.

   Chapter two of Scrolling Forward informs the reader on the history of writing and how it has changed in order to adapt to the growing necessities of newer generations. For example, a paper receipt is the modernized equivalent to a human witness watching and committing a transaction to memory. Language, in the form of print, was essentially adapted to replace a person. Language is found in many forms and ultimately speaks for individuals, “Documents are exactly those things we create to speak for us, on our behalf, and in our absence” (26). People are less likely to share their availability physically, and so documents share written word and serve as proof for their mental attendance and agreeance to the subject.

     Chapter two of What Writing Does and How It Does It elaborates on the relevance of metaphors and metonymy in common culture. Metaphors bring attention to specific similarities, ignoring the incongruous differences between two items or ideas, “they [metaphors] also suggest similarities that would not be apparent without the metaphor”(43). Metonymy, however, is the reference to something with a created name without considering its characteristics. The more people use metaphors and metonymy in average conversation, the more presence they have in language. Again, the speakers choose the qualities of their own language as suggested by Villanueva.

 

Questions:questions:

  • Do you think that the changes made to modern language are done so consciously or is it a natural adaptation? How so?
  • Would you argue that the oversimplification of language is helpful or hurtful to society? Why?
  • Had language not changed, would current society be able to adapt to and learn the “original” language? Would it be difficult or simple?

Word Count: 843 (only responses)

                    925 total

Sources and Research

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/April-2017/The-Difference-Between-a-Disorder-and-a-Feeling

  • how to differentiate a prolonged negative emotion from a mental disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374974

  • ways in which to diagnose mental illness

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-causes-mental-illness#1

  • possible explanations for certain mental disorders

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44249/

  • how culture impacts mental illness and how we view it

https://themighty.com/2016/11/why-you-shouldnt-use-mental-disorders-as-adjectives/

https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/12/mental-illness-metaphors/

https://themighty.com/2017/01/why-people-shouldnt-use-mental-illnesses-as-adjectives/

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/mental-illness-not-adjective

  • all provide examples of pathos and how it makes someone who is actually suffering from a mental illness when someone misuses their disorders as adjectives

This I Believe Proposal

People generalize and yet degrade mental disorders. I believe that people should stop using mental disorders as everyday adjectives. For example, people should not be using terms like “anxiety,” “bipolar,” “OCD,” “depressed” unless they are properly used. It’s very common for people to use phrases like “I have anxiety” when they merely feel nervous. However, the phrase is a shortened version of “I have an anxiety disorder” which is a meaning the speaker typically does not intend. Not everyone that feels anxious has an anxiety disorder, and the common person should be educated on how to differentiate emotion from disorder.

There is this belief in society that life must always be happy and enjoyable, and, if it is not so, there is something wrong.

Life isn’t supposed to be easy, there are some things that are supposed to make you anxious (ex: a midterm, a driving test, going to school for the first time, etc.). It’s time that people choose their words carefully so that those who actually suffer from such mental disorders are taken seriously instead of grouped with the average, over-reacting person.

However, society’s perception on happiness and optimism makes people reconsider their mental well-beings when anything goes wrong (sadness and nervousness are normal human feelings, just because you feel them doesn’t mean you have a depressive or anxiety disorder). Identifying with mental disorders when it is not justified has caused this overwhelming misinterpretation of these serious illnesses and lowered the severity society views them with (Ex: someone who complains of crippling depression may be overlooked for, today, it is so common for someone to say they they are depressed).

From observing members of society, I find that people tend to shun those who have mental disorders and yet readily misdiagnose themselves when they feel a slightly negative feeling. It seems as though they use these adjective-turned disorders as excuses when they find themselves uncomfortable. Relating to someone when uncomfortable is, ironically, comforting. However, by doing this, they degrade and almost make fun of those who actually suffer; they make life for sufferers even more difficult, for there are now very few people who realize the severity of their pain. And yet, these are the same people that deem those with schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder “crazy.”

What makes identifying with mental disorders when it is not appropriate so attractive to common members of society? I will say this, mental health disorders are not common, that is why they are considered “disorders” and not just an innate extension of character. With my project, I vow to prove this and educate people on how powerful words are; they cannot afford to misuse them when lives and mentalities are at hand. The idea is to stop people from misdiagnosing themselves, and to convince them to take mental disorders seriously (give the people who need help the help they deserve).

Timeline:

Feb 12-14th—gather information on mental health awareness and education in society; I would also like to collect some anecdotes from people suffering with mental illnesses (maybe ask them about their perspectives on how they feel about people abusing terms reserved for addressing mental illnesses)

Feb. 14th–Checkpoint 2 completed (gather sources and complete research)

Feb 14th-21st write script

Feb 14th–write a clear, distinct thesis

Feb 16th– write 3 paragraphs

Feb 18th—write 2 paragraphs

Feb 20th—revise

Feb 21st–Checkpoint 3 (complete script)

Feb 22nd– find a recording platform and learn how to use it

Feb 23rd— record a test try

Feb 24-26th—record various versions of the script and select the best one

Feb 26th—Checkpoint 4 (complete recording)

Feb 27th–March 1st–choose images

March 3rd–7th— correspond the images with the recording

March 7th–13th—edit until perfected

March 14th—Checkpoint 5 (complete editing)

March 15th-25th—check for any last minute changes

March 26th–Project due

Some sources:

https://themighty.com/2016/11/why-you-shouldnt-use-mental-disorders-as-adjectives/

https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/12/mental-illness-metaphors/

https://themighty.com/2017/01/why-people-shouldnt-use-mental-illnesses-as-adjectives/

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/mental-illness-not-adjective

 

 

Read my Voice

My name is Ceyda, and I live in my head.

I don’t have much to say, or so it seems that way. My voice prefers to stray from vocalization. Speaking is almost a fear, a phobia. I am infatuated with words, and I like to believe they find comfort in me. I’ve written since a very young age; poetry, in particular, is my jewel. I find that I’ve confided in written word, for written word speaks for me. And, it does so accurately, seamlessly, silently.

I find that I’ve housed this perspective all my life. When asked to elaborate, I share this piece I had written long ago:

  “Miscommunication is a theme in my life. My only means of peaceful, efficient           communication was art, a language I was born fluent in. Art will always have a sacred   part of my being; it’s undeniable. Mostly, for art is silent. I’ve always had trouble with     my voice. There’s no question that it’s there; the question is if it’ll ever be loud enough.

 My words are meant to be read, to be sewn in ink, to be given to permanence and   withstand time. Vocal words are transient, improperly delivered; if I use them, they are   wrong. Vocalization never fails to misunderstand my thoughts. I say so little that every   time I speak, I treat it as if I am a president delivering a speech, and that, in itself,   creates a flood of anxiety that I have yet learned to fix.

  My character is not established by how I act in person, my behavior does not always     match my character and, for that reason, every word I do say must be strategically   chosen and perfectly delivered, for it is my only chance to invite another soul into my   mind; it is the only chance for someone to know me. I feel as though my words are   treated as a reflection of who I am.

  Nonetheless, I always find a way to disappoint myself when I speak. There are always   things I wish I would have said or ways I wish I had said them. I know most people   don’t  listen when I speak, I am quite aware. It’s even psychologically proven that   people’s brains are accustomed to underestimate the words of an introvert. People grow   up being taught that those who speak have something to say, and those who are silent   have thoughts less than vibrant. In reality, it’s the opposite.

  Every word I say is chosen. It is a symbol of my character, a tinge of my mind.     However,  because of their predispositions, people naturally devalue what introverts   say, so used to them not saying anything at all.  But, if what I say affects one person in   the room, even in the slightest, I have successfully vocalized my thoughts, otherwise   suppressed. That is a victory in my constant war with Miscommunication. I slowly win   tiny battles against him. 

  I cannot speak without unease, but I will write. I will not miscommunicate. I will rather    emulate my character.”

I am an introvert.

I am the classic stereotype of an introvert. I shy from conversation. I heavily prefer working alone. I keep to myself. I am often alone. I speak only when I must. I carry thoughts foreign to normality. Social interaction can be enjoyable but mostly tiring. I thrive off of my own individuality and loathe conformity. I observe.

I may be quiet, but my thoughts are loud.

My voice is meant to be read.

XOXO, The Quiet Girl

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton