What’d We Learn: The Stigma Around Mental Illness /// E021

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In this brief follow up we talk about what we learned in “The Stigma Around Mental Illness” with Brescia. If you didnt get a chance to listen quite yet go back and check it out, it’s Episode020.

Transcript:

Keith: All right welcome back or welcome to more in common this is our social experiment here we find and create unity we’re doing it by exposing people their stories their mindsets and the

reasons for them.  It’s our social experiment to find common ground and make this world a better place.  We try to do it by exposing so-called difficult topics such as race politics religion mental health and evaluating people’s stories their thoughts and the reasons for having them

Rodney: And we challenge our ability to evolve how we see and think of each other ultimately exposing that we have more in common than that which divides useven while rooted in differing points of view. I’m Rodney…

Keith: and I’m Keith

Rodney: We’re more common so hey thank you for being here a couple of quick announcements you can catch us catch us and all of our content on our website moreincommonpod.com it’s a mouthful moreincommonpod.com from there you can get to everything that we’re doing our episodes our blogs our socials and our apparel we have shirts if you want to support us. Pick up a shirt, has a great message, they feel good. and with that we’ll jump into today’s follow-up episode of Brescia where we talked about her challenges with mental illness and mental health and just how awesome she is as a human being in general. Keith, what did you what are you taking away from our conversation with Brescia what are you been thinking about?

Keith: Well I think one it’s one of those things especially being a dad and you think about all of the possibilities of the life that that our daughters will experience and so, on the on the downside it’s like man you know I want to do everything I can but I know I can’t control everything. So really trying to find by parenting rhythm around that mentality and in just how awesome Brescia is and navigating that in her experience and her life.  You know she’s what early 20s and she’s certainly gone through a lot, more than I have right. I think the other thing that I’ve taken away from that conversation especially having listened to it a couple of times is… your interaction in that dialogue. I studied psychology, right. I’ve been diagnosed with a depression. I’ve you know, navigated this ecosystem in one fashion or another for a long time. So talking about mental illness is actually pretty normal for me if you will. But knowing it’s not for you and having you know engaged so well in that conversation but I noticed it right and how you how you worked and navigated through it as someone who doesn’t talk about it all that often.  So I thought that was it was a bit of a I don’t want to call I mean I guess I’ll call it a lightbulb moment of the difficulty of these conversations for most people not just myself right.  Like can you kind of take advantage of your own world that you live in so you know it’s helping me frame the importance of having that conversation.  Because I would otherwise say yeah, of course, it’s important we should do it right but it’s not the easiest thing for everybody to navigate right.

Rodney: Yeah like super uncomfortable for me I mean I don’t, I don’t like you said I haven’t been diagnosed I don’t I didn’t study it I don’t get it. From a very academic or I think logical standpoint like I understand the things that Brescia was telling us.  And in that mean that opened a lot of a lot of doors and a lot of things for me.  Like just to try and glimpse it more, know that’s why I’m so, I’m so, I don’t know if fascinated is the word.  So interested in this understanding why we have such a hard time as I guess as individuals and then as groups of people in families dealing with mental troubles.  And I think so much of this because you know like we talked about because you can’t see it and even I guess if you could see it, I don’t we can’t see it.  So, it’s uh yeah it’s challenging and it’s hard for me to talk about.  Even like you know the conversation we had leading up to this where we talked about undiagnosed and maybe in like oh well I’ve got undiagnosed typewrite depression in my family or it was myself like I don’t even know how you talk about that as an as somebody who’s not who’s not been diagnosed,  but thinks they have tendencies towards and or or has symptoms of, right.  It’s like well that’s not those things aren’t equal but being so far removed from it like it doesn’t make sense. And then there’s also the aspect of like I don’t want to go see a doctor to talk about it. Like what if I do? I don’t want that you know there’s an avoidance aspect for myself.  I don’t know about others.

Keith: I’m curious and I mean that’s that’s super insightful right.  Because you know I didn’t really think about it until I listened back to the conversation and so I’m curious how with all that said how the conversation with Brescia, like what was a big thing that you took away from it is especially given the context that you just laid?

Rodney: So it’s, I think it that she has she’s been able to tie together you know from al the data that she has are all the info she has.  She can tie together her accident in breaking her arms to lack of control and lack of control leading to eating disorder because she wouldn’t have control over something.  And that’s after years of years of looking back and diagnosis right.  But like you know you talk about raising children and wanting to do everything right, and it’s like her parents did nothing wrong there.  Like she broke her arm like he was having a good time ziplining she fell and broke her arms.  And like you would I would never think that that could lead to that.  Like it just it doesn’t seem to follow a logical progression, but it does.  It’s just so it leaves me you know it leaves me thinking that I need to allow room for more grace for other people in my life. Like, you know that little side comment where I’m just like she’s so stupid or he’s so like he’s not even trying.  Or whatever it is it’s just like maybe I just need a little bit more grace cause I really don’t know what’s going on under the hood like in the head.  So that was the biggest thing

Keith: That’s a good one

Rodney: Oh and also that the eating disorder wasn’t about appearance. I don’t know if it’s the easy way, it’s just a way to relate to a thing, I guess. Like oh you want to look better so you’re eating less

Keith: It’s the external approach.  It’s kind of that whole concept of you know a broken arm gets sympathy because you can see it you alluded to that right earlier and we talked about in the episode whereas you know a mental illness is something that’s not tangible you can’t see. While control isn’t either right control is not a tangible thing and it is it is you know an experience of our life.  Whereas makes sense so I you know have this because I want to be skinnier because that’s the end result of not eating. But the reality is it’s not about the end result it’s about the process along with it.

Rodney: Yeah and then there’s the thing, we didn’t talk about this per say there’s… you know she was looking for control her mechanism was food and then it led, to serious health issues that you know almost cost her life.  And like that’s like the gravity of that like how.. cause I think somebody could, hell I could listen and say well…you want to control so why not control like how about eat some food and then up your nutrition.  But it doesn’t work like that.  Like it was it there was a break in there that didn’t allow her to flip a switch if you will, and say oh okay yeah well I need more nutrition so I can be healthy.  Like that wasn’t even in the picture it wasn’t even in the in the brain. And it’s like that’s how serious this is like that it’s so serious that you can look completely past your own well-being and you know it goes way it goes back to the grace comment man.  Like it’s serious it’s not just fairy dust and whatever and it gets this is real this is really real.

Keith:  Yeah I just have to you know say it’s it was a great appreciation to have Brescia on, to talk about her story because it’s Hard.  And right and it’s hard for a lot of people and it is serious like this isn’t it’s not a joke it’s not just pick your chin up and get after it right.  These are real things and I and I love what you said about having more grace. Because I certainly could follow that line of thought as well and giving people more of a pass. Because you just don’t know even if they got an hour of sleep last night and they don’t want to tell you about it.  And they’re just you know having that type of day you just never know.  And you know we often sit back and go uh you know this guy is and that guy is and the this gal is and that gal is and you know it is a moment of opportunity to look at situations, and you know look at people who are stronger than then I think I am like Brescia times you know.  And I would you know think about people in a much more positive way.  Because you know they could be stronger than you because they could be dealing with something way worse than you have to deal with today.

Rodney: Yeah and she’s you know and she’s taking it she will she’s taking it she’s recovered from anorexia.  She’s managing or managed bipolar to this point.  And she’s out here trying to figure out how to help other people she’s trying to increase exposure and tell real stories in a cinematic fashion so that people can digest it and hopefully make this thing more relatable  or people.

Keith: She’s an impressive young woman

Rodney: Indeed, it was fun recording and I learned, learn-ed, a lot.

Keith: It’s good, well that’s our follow-up episode thanks for joining us as always. As Rodney said at the beginning you can find the Brescia episode on our website more moreincommonpod.com if you want to go back and listen to it. And of course you ca,n connect with us and in the myriad of other ways that our website provides you. So this is More In Common:expose evaluate and evolve

Rodney: evolve

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Music Credits:

  • Main Theme: I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626 Ft: J Lang, Morusqu

RodneyKeith Richardson