When I had symptoms, I was afraid constantly. Fear is really prominent in the world and causes a lot of problems, I find. I was so fearful, all the time. My fear was caused by anemia and low blood sugar, but I thought I was fearing some monster. This monster is not uncommon to mental health discourse outwith eating disorders. We talk about ‘the monsters inside your head’ getting you if you’re not careful. When I was in hospital as a teenager we would draw pictures of the eating disorder monster, trying to lure us into behaving badly (not eating, throwing up etc.). There was, and there is, lots to fear if you believe in monsters.
I don’t believe in monsters. I don’t believe in mental health problems being hugely complex, and I certainly don’t believe they are caused by mythical creatures living inside our heads (the illness being the mythical creature). I believe we may suffer because events occur in life that are caused by the senseless actions of people who may be reacting to senseless actions of other people, who may be reacting to senseless actions of….ad infinitum. Also, there are many misinterpretations occurring and causing anxiety. I hate misinterpreting things, yet I do it, although much less than I used to do. For some reason, more often than what would be good for us (a huge generalization on what people do, like ‘people’ are a group that can be contained and profiled to behave in a certain way always), we misinterpret behaviour in a negative light. If someone does deed x and deed x is undesirable to me, I more often than not assume that someone did deed x because they wish to hurt me, not, for example, because they made a mistake in completing deed y and accidentally did deed x instead. Or that someone genuinely thought deed x would cause good, not harm.
Misinterpreting and fearing, that’s the life of many an ED sufferer, I propose. That is how I behaved, that is how I hear others behaving when I meet and/or speak to people who are currently experiencing symptoms. Things are seen in a negative light, causal explanations pessimistic and paranoid… these people with ED symptoms are like other folks, but with a heightened mode of irrationality, due to more frequent bouts of malnutrition/low blood sugar/vitamin deficiency/lack of energy and blood flow to the brain/low iron levels/similar whathaveyous. So yes, I believe, as I *may* have said over the course of this blog a few times, mental health problems can be caused also by simple nutritional deficiencies.
The wrong kind of psychiatry, to me, creates fear and monsters where there needn’t be any. There is enough to fear outside of our own minds, and we need to get to work on improving the conditions of our world and rid of the fears of other humans and our various societies. I find it’s good to start saving the world by working towards and hopefully getting to the grand realization that there is nothing wrong inside my head, nothing to fear, no monsters whatsoever. There are thoughts and there are feelings, which come and which go. Those who add value to my life and/or the life of others, I can act upon. Others, they may float by. If there is something wrong in the conditions in which I try to conduct my life it’s hella easier to work at solving those problems and improving those conditions if you don’t constantly have to listen to an inner monologue of ‘I am a rubbish human, why must I be so crazy and have these thoughts, feelings etc.’. Just let go of those, but if you can’t, examine where those thoughts come from. For they are not a sign of your ‘badness’ or ‘failure’ as a human. Be kinder and more accepting of yourself. There is nothing to fear in that, also.