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Added: February 7, 2019
Thoughts on stigma : Bipolar Disorder Forum
I just got off the phone w my Mom because I wanted to know if I have any family history of brain imbalances/mental illness. She said “No and don’t you dare put ME in that category.”
I was then thinking of how when someone is diagnosed with cancer or diabetes etc that people are more apt to show empathy and compassion compared to a mental illness. It might be because of the way it manifests with behavior and emotions- unpredictable does not make people comfortable usually.
I sense it runs deeper than this though. Bipolar used to be called Manic-Depressive Psychosis and people were referred to as “maniacs.” Also I think it was Charlotte Perkins Gillman who wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” who was locked in a room as treatment for “hysteria.”
I’ve been called “weak” and told to “get a life” by people who say they love me when depressed. It is not helpful. I am starting to realize the importance of surrounding myself with people who try to understand instead of condemn. I’d rather be alone.
Maybe in the future I can somehow affect the stigma of mental illness in some way. To utilize my experiences for good would really be wonderful. I’d like to make things a little easier for people.
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