So, I’ve just seen a friend complain about the treatment she’s recently had from a teacher. She’s been told by the teacher that ‘positive thinking’ will help clear up her IBS – that ADHD can be cleared up if she “just challenges herself”.
Whilst this is absolute bullshit, and obviously so, it’s become common thing now where people dismiss real problems because they perceive that they can’t be true.
I’ve had my mental illness dismissed as not real, or as a convenient excuse for when I’m angry, before – “oh, he’s not serious, this is just his paranoia, this is just his illness be angry”. Even when I’m calmly saying what my issues or concerns with someone is.
My boyfriend has done this to me – he didn’t know he was doing it until I pointed it out, whence he was suddenly very apologetic.
There’s two main sides to this, and they’re both as despicable as each other.
On one side, there’s people like this teacher – spreading misinformation about a real problem, making it sound like it’s easy enough to cure if you want to, whilst simultaneously making it sound attractive and convenient excuse enough to be able to pull it out of the deck whenever you’re asked to do or not do something.
I think it’s particularly bad when it comes from people in authority because other people begin to believe them – because these people are authority then they’re ‘supposed to know’.
But friends share it with each other, too. They convince each other of this kind of bullshit. My boss feel for it when he was asking a friend about losing weight and his friend said “oh, I went gluten free, cos it’s bad for you. I lost loads of weight cos of no gluten”
Um… No. You didn’t. And gluten isn’t bad for you. It’s bad for some people – though studies are showing it might not even be gluten allergy, all this might be an intolerance.
Further, you lost weight because you were watching your diet, not because of cutting out gluten. Gluten is in a lot of high-carb foods, so it’s no wonder you lost weight, short-term.
On the other hand are the people that complain about something they haven’t got. In one group I saw a woman complain about IBS – which, after reading her posts, she hadn’t got: none of her symptoms matched, she’d posted the same thing in four different groups, looking at her activity, and she clearly didn’t know what kinds of things to say when questioned by the other group users.
She’d posted there because she wanted the sympathy. She wanted, desperately, to be noticed and people to ‘like’ her, so she made up some bullshit story about some problem she has. Or found some bullshit ‘science’ website and thought ‘that sounds like me, it must be that’.
I’ve seen this time and again. People that can’t handle certain cutlery because it’s come into contact with certain foods and they have an ‘allergy’. People that get annoyed when you discuss certain subjects because they have ‘triggers’.
They don’t have any problems like this. They make people run and fetch for them, and this gives them a perceived amount of power, and they glory in it. But it’s downright disgusting. It’s abuse. It’s also very close to slavery.
I had an argument recently with someone who said their child has gluten allergy because she “felt so much better when she went gluten free, and stopped having stomach problems and toilet issues”.
When I asked if their daughter had been tested for gluten allergy it was a case of “oh, not all forms of gluten intolerance show up in tests”.
Yes, yes they do. More than that, there is a form which isn’t easily picked up, but can be picked up by cutting out gluten and seeing if you feel better… by slowly reintroducing it into your diet.
See, she’d done the first bit… but not the second.
This woman assumed her daughter had a gluten intolerance cos she felt better for not eating it. Despite that this cuts out a lot of foods and the intolerance could be to do with one of those instead, or that she feels better cos now she’s on a better diet of high vegetables and fruit.
I know a few people that say they have depression… and don’t. They’re just upset because of something that happened. I’m not saying this to make it any less a problem, because it’s not. But it’s not true depression – so stop claiming it is! People see through your lies easier than you might think, they just go along with it because it’s easier to agree than argue.
As someone who worked at CAB I did have a number of people wanting tips on cheating the Employment Support Allowance because they didn’t want to work – no, seriously.
This leads people to doubt, mistrust and assume most people with real problems don’t really have them.
My friend has a little boy that’s allergic to milk, lactose, citrus, nuts, certain sugars, certain chocolate mixes – poor little dude can’t share sweets with mates, can’t join in Halloween trick-or-treat and sometimes misses out at home: when everyone else is having cake, he has to have an apple.
Her boy was given a lolly whilst at church recently. The person who’d given him the lolly hadn’t asked about his allergies, though they know he has them – but he “can’t have that many”. The poor boy was rushed to hospital and kept there for four hours – he nearly died.
We’re in a society where people who wants to stand out claim they have something, but don’t, simply to get attention.
People like the Tories don’t help – blaming benefits claimants with real problems on them “being lazy” instead of actually supporting, trying to understand or even engaging these people in discussion to see what can be done to help.
Is it really so hard to reach down and help someone up?
Thing is, it is. People don’t take others at face value – if you say you’ve got a problem it’s taken as “oh yeah?”
I don’t blame my friend’s teacher for being sceptical.
But that doesn’t absolve her of being dismissive. She has no idea what's going on, and so shouldn't be so high-and mighty and condescending. Worse, as a person in authority it shows others that it's ok to do the same.
I don’t blame the woman with her ‘gluten intolerant child’ trying to get closure on an explanation for problems her daughter is having.
Doesn’t mean claiming an illness there’s no proof of having is anything but wrong, however. She's lying, being manipulative, and convincing a child of something that isn't true in the slightest.
This really annoys me. There’s people out there with real issues, and trivialising them as a convenient excuse – either by dismissal or by false claim – does nothing but harm the treatment for those people that have the illness.
Believe me, if you had the illness, you wouldn’t want it.