I am an RN for 19 years. And an African-American female, who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2008.

I struggle with my mental health diagnosis alone mostly, because the stigma of having a mental health disorder in the African-American community is great. When you are out of work due to a set back from a mental disorder, no one helps. Not from the church, or from work, or neighbors, because it is not an accepted disorder, like cancer, or heart disease. Often, you are ostracized, teased and ridiculed to your face, or behind your back.

I struggle alone, and have many family members who struggle with mental illness as well, but are in denial. They choose to self medicate with alcohol and OTC and illegal street drugs. I do not fit in with the family, and get very little help from them, because I choose to go to counseling with professional and licensed therapist and doctors, as well as take prescribed medications.

This is one if the greatest challenges in life, and if I had it my way, I would have cancer, so that I could get empathy, support, and real help.Thank you for allowing me to share.

2 responses to “Tracy”

  1. Anonymous says:


    I know exactly how you feel. I too wish I had cancer, or anything else but a mental illness. I even had trouble typing those words. I wanted to say depression because I felt it wouldn’t be judged as harshly as other MI. I am just as bad as those on the outside who judge us all!

    I was sitting here thinking about asking Glenn Close to adopt me, as I too have no one in my family that even wants to try to understand my disease. I say this tongue in cheek because I am about her age, so don’t think she would be interested LOL. Anyway, hang in there! You are not alone!

  2. Evonne says:

    I can so relate so you are not alone. I’ve often pictured in my mind what life would look like if I had cancer. I am Mexican American and there is great stigma in my culture about mental illness. It still pains me to write that as well so you are not alone. I will pray for you and all our fellow compadres out there struggling. God bless you and NEVER FORGET THE HOPE WE HAVE IN JESUS! God is good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *