What to expect when reading bi-polar wife

Thoughts and feelings of living with bi-polar as a wife, mother, and person in the world.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Social model of disability

"The social model of disability proposes that systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) are the ultimate factors defining who is disabled and who is not in a particular society. It recognizes that while some people have physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations, which may sometimes cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not have to lead to disability, unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences.
The model does not deny that some individual differences lead to individual limitations or impairments, but rather that these are not the cause of individuals being excluded. The origins of the approach can be traced to the 1960s and the disabled people's Civil Rights Movement/human rights movements; the specific term itself emerged from the United Kingdom in the 1980s".  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusion_(disability_rights))

So what this actually means is that society, my environment and my illness play a huge part in how I am treated or understood. Its about you as well as me. Some people embrace mental ill health; some people call you a nutter or a psycho and either fear you or persecute you. Its a bit of a gamble when you decide to share your truth with someone.

So lets explore the social model a little further. Now I am back at  work its suggested that my employer makes, "Reasonable adjustments" to my working day in order for me to have optimum functionality. This can actually be quite difficult for depressed individuals, as their symptoms and triggers are all completely different. And being mentally ill is very different from being physically ill. If I'd have broken my leg it would be pretty obvious how to help out. But my brain is a bit broken so I have to try and figure what works and what doesn't. Sadly some things I cannot avoid, like senior members of staff that have had a personality bypass and think shouting louder means things get done quicker.Or those idiots that refuse to see your humanness and attack you with academic brutality just for kicks. Work for them is an arena to dispense pain and misery to the masses and get paid for it. They probably kill bunnies in their spare time or get beaten up by their wives. In these instances I have to re-engage that whole zoning out thing that I do to avoid any outburst and subsequent repercussions.I can also call on sarcasm and/or Socratic irony in an emergency . Sorry.....Socratic irony means:
• n.( a pose of ignorance assumed in order to entice others into making statements that can then be challenged.) Basically its a very good way of making someone who thinks they are clever look very stupid in a very gentle but cut throat way. I didn't say I was a nice person all of the time did I? 
 Anyway, what my boss and I agree to do is stick to half a week, create a stress action plan and see how it goes. I'm allowed to go off to a quiet area if I'm feeling overwhelmed, sometimes I can work from home and I need to structure my time to minimise deadline chaos. I have to implement CBT techniques, keep to my sleep hygiene plan (That's the one where I sleep at a regular time, in a cool dark room, with no excess noise etc) and try not to have a mental breakdown. They also let me pop out to mental club every week and to see my CPN and Psychiatrist too. All in all, they are quite accommodating and for that I am truly grateful.

Its quite a hard balance to strike with people.  I don't want to become a total fruit cake so I  have to pick my way through the situations as they arise and not get too done in if I get it all wrong.  I am responsible for my own well being and although my employers do what they can, ultimately I'm the one who has to call the shots. And this will almost certainly be my downfall.

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