Fun fact about American health care: if I ever need an organ transplant, I’ll somehow have to hide my autism, depression, and anxiety from the doctors, or else I’ll be disqualified under ideas about quality of life. It’s really great to know how valued disabled and neurodivergent lives are.
So here’s a thing many people don’t know about me: I used to be a medical data analyst. (I still do it occasionally, but not as a full-time job.) It’s a pretty self-explanatory job: I took data - often in enormous datasets - and analyzed it to find patterns. (Obviously, we couldn’t associate these with individual patients; this was just after HIPAA had come into effect, and so this data was very heavily scrubbed to remove any identifiable information.)
One of the patterns I looked for was quality of life and quality of care for people with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). For our purposes, that meant major depression, bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and “other SPMI” (I encourage you to not send me messages telling me how those categories are terrible, because a) it was ten years ago and b) I wasn’t in charge of the categories.) In particular, we looked at injury, illness, and death in people with SPMI, compared with the general population, while they were in the hospital and at certain intervals after they were released (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 1 year).
People with severe and persistent illness were much more likely to become ill and/or die in the hospital or shortly after discharge than the “general population”. People with schizophrenia had nearly ten times the deaths while in the hospital, and twelve times the injuries and illnesses.
Just as telling were the notes associated with the patient records. There was a significant pattern in the terminology used. In patients in the “general population”, doctors tended to use the word “is”: for example, “patient is suffering from abdominal cramping”. In patients with SPMI, doctors tended to use the phrase “claims to be”: for example, “patient claims to be suffering from abdominal cramping”.
It was clear to us that medical professionals - in general, I know for a fact that there are doctors out there who don’t do this - were assuming that patients with severe and persistent mental illness were inventing some, if not all, of their symptoms - that the symptoms were not real, and therefore did not need to be treated.
And because of that, these patients were falling ill and dying at alarming rates.
This isn’t personal anecdotes. I spent more than a year analyzing this data - which came from actual hospitals in the United States - and finding these patterns. There’s a problem here.
(I would prefer not to give out the name I was using then in public here, but if you’re interested, message me privately and I’ll see if I can get you links to the articles.)
I* believe there is similar data on Developmental Disabilities. In policy discussions it is not uncommon to hear health issues, both mental and physical, attributed to the DD without investigating if it were accurate or not.
So who else just saw Nightvale - The Librarian in Islington???
Why is it always “Dumbledore is my fave” or “Dumbledore is abusive” and never “Dumbledore is so fucking afraid of letting another dark wizard come to power that he channels his own darkness into training a human weapon from childhood to fight the darkness that he knows he can’t while pretending to be the wise wizard mentor that he wishes he actually was wow that is a super fascinating character and we should write all the fanfiction about it?”
There is a man dressed as captain jack sparrow walking around the train stationI wasn’t joking
The worst pirate I’ve ever heard of, catching public transport.
Ah, but you have heard of him
What does Blaine say about Valentine’s Day? I love a holiday that’s all about taking risks and telling someone that you love them? Encouraging you to take risks?
AND HE LIKES THE SPECIFIC ~ENCOURAGEMENT~ to take risks and tft in multiple ways is written all over this too and /flails/ at the little knot of contradictions! Saying everything you feel but it’s so much better when you’re somehow ~supposed~ to.
Ah thank you robinalaska and mults.
I am thinking through Blaine:
So willing to say “I love you”, I’m not saying he finds it easy but he thinks the risks are worth it. He likes being encouraged to take that particular risk. (And that proposal was a huge risk. All those people and planning and going against Burt and no real undeniable confirmation that this would be desired. But it was a spectacular risk too. A wonderful risk.)
But then he doesn’t take much risk at all when it comes to saying things about what he needs. Or what’s worrying him. Or what isn’t working.
So there are these honest truths (because his “I love you” is very honest) that he’s willing to speak aloud. But the other honest things, the dull dark small ones. The feelings of insecurity and fear of failure and worry about never being quite enough. The truths that feel less a gift and more a burden. Those ones he’s silent about.
yessss to all of this… I somehow have the feeling that between you and pene I was missing half of the conversation here ;). Which is fine, of course! But I was JUST going off the SLS quote to one random place where my brain first fired; of course there are plenty of others!
'I love you' is a wonderful risk in a way, because it's a good thing in itself, regardless to an extent of whatever answer you might get back. It’s a good thing to put into the world.
Whereas ‘I feel bad about myself,’ even ‘I’m scared’… those aren’t such good things to say, to feel, to exist, even if they’re necessary, even if saying rather than not saying is something good too.
I like this thinking - that longing to put good things into the world. That “I love you” has something essentially good about it. So even if it’s a risk it’s a risk that always adds to the universe. Sort of.
And he’s a sweetheart and that’s gorgeous but it also leads him to press down and hide the ugly parts until they explode, usually into action against (primarily) himself.
You either love Run, Joey, Run with the the delighted, passionate joy of a small child on a pony ride, or you loathe it with the fury of Apollo’s chariot in a forest fire. There is no middle ground.
Run, Joey, Run is a classic Glee moments I will forever treasure in my heart.