All too many times, nobody wants to talk about mental illnesses. Some people deny that a family member has a mental illness (or two or three).
It’s time to Stop the Silence!
I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder II, as well as depression. I know what it’s like to be treated differently because I have mental illness. I know what it’s like for your family to deny your illness. And, know what it’s like to have society turn its head away from mental illness. The stigma surrounding those of us with mental illnesses is alive and well.
Just because a person has been diagnosed with a mental illness does not make them less of a person. It doesn’t mean that they’re unable to be part of society or be unable to contribute to society. Nor does it mean that they are going to run out and get a gun and shoot up people in a movie theater. Granted, those who don’t take care of themselves by refusing to see a psychiatrist and take medications as directed can have difficulties. But those difficulties are usually more personal and painful.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m very open about having bipolar disorder, depression and about being a recovering alcoholic. I’m not silent about my issues! My wish is for those of us who are diagnosed with mental issues can stop hiding. Nobody told my husband to hide in a corner when he was diagnosed with cancer. Nobody told me to hide in a corner when I was diagnosed with diabetes II.
Why does society want those of us with bipolar disorder or depression or schizophrenia to hide in the corner? Instead of sitting in a corner, we need to advocate for ourselves and for our fellow women and men. It’s up to us to educate the public and to prove that just because we have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, we don’t have to be silent and we don’t have to be ignored or have our illness held against us.
If you, a family member or a friend, has been diagnosed with a mental illness, do you think it’s important to stop the stigma of mental illness?
Tell me what you’re doing to Stop the Silence!Thank you, Mrs. Obama! This was on HuffPost Healthy Living today (on Facebook).