Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Being Ill

This one is going to get my arse burned if anyone feels like reading and/or commenting, but it's true. Take a survey of the Pagans you know. How many of them suffer from one or more of the following:

Bipolar Disorder
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Now how many of those people claim those disorders keep them from holding down a job? How common are those disorders, really? Are they honestly so common that such a large number of Pagans would be suffering from them?

Now think about the people you know who are from other faiths. How many of THOSE people claim to be suffering from one or more of the maladies listed above? Okay, maybe you're saying there are more of 'them' than there are of 'us' so it isn't as easy to find a Hindu with PTSD or a Mormom with Chronic Fatigue.

Now I want you to ask yourself about the diagnoses. How many of the people you know were diagnosed by an actual doctor? No, Dr. Google doesn't count.

Sage Spicerack, you may be saying, do you have a point? Yes, yes I do. I'm writing this because I know an awful lot of self-diagnosed Pagans. What's the problem with wanting to have the most fashionable or the most obscure disease of the day? Well, besides the negative attention seeking, a lot of people in the Pagan community use their ailments as a reason to not seek gainful employment, even if the problem is very slight and totally manageable.

What makes me qualified to write this bitchfest? I was diagnosed BY PROFESSIONALS as having bipolar disorder. Guess what? I take my meds regularly, I need to see my doc sometimes and get things adjusted and yeah, I have bad days. Buuuuut...I have a full-time job. A stressful one, at that. I don't sit around the house dreaming of ways to get on disability. Is this a problem in the Pagan community? Well, it's a problem in the one I came from. What about yours? What are your thoughts on this?

EDIT: I would just like to point out that this article is NOT directed at people who are legitimately ill and who are physically or mentally incapable of holding down a job. This article is directed as the people with whom I have experience - people who try to get on disability because they do not want to work. They will have whatever disease might get them on disability at the time.