Wow! i’m not sure I should answer this question, i’m not sure I can answer this question and the reason i’m not sure is I don’t think I know how to answer this question properly??
#bedlam, for me personally, was brilliant, horrendous, interesting, wrong, eye opening, upsetting, scary, disappointing, thought provoking and many many more things!!!
I wasn’t going to watch it, I didn’t think I would cope with it but I got a message on Facebook from a friend to remind me it was on and that I could watch it on C4+1, so I did with a lot of trepidation!!!
I was really worried that the programme would upset me and it did, but perhaps in a good way? The first episode was called “Anxiety” and was mainly about Anxiety and OCD. I think most people have some anxiety and OCD in their lives but this was different level. Anxiety and OCD had basically put these brave peoples lives on hold. My memory isn’t very good at the moment but I think the main stories had fairly uplifting outcomes at the end. It was very interesting to see how such intense cases could be controlled (if that’s the right word?). One of my thoughts during and after the programme makes me feel ashamed but I have promised myself I would always be honest on here, I have spoken about it to a professional and they seemed to agree with me and someone I follow on Twitter tweeted something along the lines of “#bedlam has this helped to eradicate #stigma or made it worse”.Â So here it is, one of my thoughts was “why? when these programmes are made do they only show people who look a certain way” *. As I say I am ashamed of my thought but I think it is a legitimate thought. I have had people say to me “you don’t look ill” “you look calm and normal” “your just a bit low and need a holiday”. I have spent years covering up my “illness” it is a habit I can’t break and, for me, what this does is magnifies the stereotype that anyone with “Mental Illness” is “Mad”. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went to a meeting to learn about Type 1 Diabetes for my wonderful, ace, spirited, awesome nephew (he is so cool and so is his older brother, xx) during the meeting I was “Jon” (the witty, fun, amusing, intelligent and immensely handsome version), after the meeting I wanted to crawl into a hole, I tried to have a lie down because my head was “buzzing” so much but I couldn’t relax, I wondered back and forth in my bedroom and held my head, that’s not “normal” but no-one in the real world will see that side of me and I would guess this is the same for many many more people out there suffering with mental illness.
You don’t have to “look” ill to be ill, someone with a smile on their face may be in a very dark, frightening, unbearable and confusing place inside.
* If my thought upsets anyone I will take it down, it is not my intention to hurt anyone but if we are going to talk more about this surely we should be honest?
There were three other episodes and I watched them all with interest and got a lot of the same feelings…. good, bad and ugly, I may come back to those at some point but at the moment my head is “buzzing” and it feels like it is going to explode. A few months ago I was driving around the country meeting with clients, one day I gave a presentation to three important people from a big company which led to some extra business and a huge opportunity, it wasn’t my presentation but I gave it and if I do say so myself I did an awesome job. About an hour before I gave the presentation I nearly bottled it because I was getting so stressed and anxious about it, but an awesome lady I have massive respect for nudged me in the right direction and I did it. Those three guys would of had no idea how messed up I was inside and how much pain I was in…. so I repeat “You don’t have to “look” ill to be ill, someone with a smile on their face may be in a very dark, frightening, unbearable and confusing place inside”.
To the person who sent me this question, I am sorry I haven’t managed to speak about all the episodes. I hope I have answered your question in the right way and thank you so much for the question, perhaps let me know what you think about my answer and what your thoughts are about #bedlam.
I stress these are just my thoughts and feelings, they are not meant to hurt or anyone!
Keep smiling 🙂