Your normal is not my normal: Why people misunderstand mental illness | Tien Chiu's Blog
I've had a number of interesting conversations since my last blog post, which has given me more insight into why mental illness is so misunderstood, both by people who have it and people who don't. Here's why: Your normal isn't my normal. In fact, it's probably very different. This is actually true for everyone, because everyone's life experiences vary. People who live in different communities and cultures, or under different circumstances, will have very different ideas of what constitutes "normal" life. People tend to assume that what is normal for them is normal for everyone else. This works pretty well when you are surrounded with people with similar life experiences, i.e. most of the time for most people. But it's literally a killer for people with mental illness. Here's why. I grew up with bipolar disorder. I was probably asymptomatic as a little kid, but like other people, I don't remember much from my childhood. It was definitely present from the time I was twelve or thirteen,