Does the fact that some of these lesions are in my brain, not only in my spine, mean that I have a mental disorder? Well, MS is not typically recognized as such, but why not? It manifests itself as a combination of physical and mental/emotional symptoms, but it’s only the physical ones that are commonly discussed.
I think I’d like to be labeled as having a mental disorder. In Maine, we often describe people with mental disorders by saying, “He ain’t right in the head.” Such individuals are handled with kid gloves, and are granted significant leeway to commit all manner of social faux pas, without consequences.
If we can agree that I ain’t right in the head, then I should be allowed to do the following (hint, I already do):
- Say precisely what I feel, no matter the social norms that I may violate or the feelings that I may hurt.
- Dress myself in any manner which I deem comfortable, even if that means sweatpants and slippers at a nice restaurant.
- Occasionally forsake personal care such as shaving, washing, combing, or getting the gunk out of the corner of my eye.
- Tell the same stories over, and over, and over again (you should never point this out to me, and you must react as if this is the first time you’ve heard the story). This also applies to blog posts.
- Conveniently forget commitments that I’ve made.
- Categorically deny having ever made certain incorrect statements.
- Inexplicably forget your name, even if we go way back.
- Make you wait while I interact with my artificial memory (smart phone, iPad, and laptop) to supplement my damaged biological memory.
- Start speaking about a complex and important issue with apparent intelligence and gusto, only to lose my train of thought and my enthusiasm mid-speech.