Jack Bragen
Friday March 04, 2016 - 04:56:00 PM

People who supervise mental health consumers often lack understanding of what we are up against, and usually presume that we are no more than ignorant people of less ability than they. Not all mentally ill people are the unaware, unconscious, and childlike people that mental health treatment practitioners assume us to be. We go through very rough times, and the abuses as well as the absurdly bad circumstances and experiences we have to go through often go unacknowledged. Or, we might get cutified.  

Recently, two people who I had never seen before showed up at my apartment, identifying themselves as mental health practitioners, and one of them carried a massive box of cupcakes. One of the two was female and had the look of a churchgoer, with perfect makeup including lipstick, and a nice outfit. The other was a very tall man.  

They believed I would want the cupcakes and would let them into my home. It was quite presumptive and an insult, as well as being an invasion of privacy. I am fifty-one years old, and it is about time that I was not treated as a twelve year old. (This is aside from the fact that I am taking care of my health and not eating too much refined sugar.) 

I sent them away and then I phoned their organization to complain. I would like a little respect, and not a box of cupcakes. (Had it been donuts, or maybe the chocolate croissants they have at Starbuck's, now that's different. I would have said, "Come on in!")  

It was a serious invasion of privacy and extremely presumptuous to have mental health practitioners come to my door unannounced. As the pair left, I overheard them comment that I was "very paranoid." Apparently, to them, anything I did was a symptom. 

I had been away from outpatient institutionalization for quite a long time, and had begun to forget about the "stinking thinking" that goes on in the minds of mental health treatment practitioners. I had begun to even deny that it existed. But, then, when institutionalization came to my door, it all came back to me. Persons with psychiatric disabilities aren't regarded as adults. On the other hand, we are up against very serious issues, ones that most young, healthy, and affluent mental health practitioners would have no concept of how to face.  

Even while mental health consumers get infantilized, our lives, fates, and possible early deaths are not taken seriously and are put on a level of comparable to or less importance than the lives of people's family pets. We are regarded as subhuman, and we are dealt with accordingly.  

I do not like giving people put-downs. I am keeping as anonymous the organization that wanted to give me cupcakes, because it could have a bad effect on an organization in which people apparently have good intentions, and I don't want to dissuade people from going there if they need to.  

The man and woman who came to my door had the visage of missionaries of a cult-like church, or perhaps that of Jehovah's Witnesses going door to door. It was the same glazed look of having severely distorted perceptions, and of not seeing me, but rather seeing whom they wanted to see.  

They were doing "outreach" according to the woman I spoke to on the phone. Yet, from my perspective, it was too close for comfort.  

If I wanted cupcakes, I am capable of buying some at the grocery store. If I wanted to go to that group, I am capable of driving there. I appreciate the good intentions, but these people were mistaken, and it was annoying.