We are privileged to share blog postings from our Ambassador Jessie Close, Adrienne Gurman, Henry Boy Jenkins, and other guest bloggers. Please visit regularly as our content will be updated often.
We are on the receiving end of the misconceptions and the bullying, not only from without, but from within. To reverse this, it is imperative that we speak up, not act out. First, we need to understand who we are and what our disorders mean to the quality of our lives. The next step is to address the misconceptions responsible for public prejudice. This begins with education, not hearsay. Caricatures of the mentally ill are the shorthand of the weak.
I nervously explained my diagnosis to her, and she listened without judgement. I told her that I needed help navigating their system, and that logistics were not my forte. After pushing through my expectations and past the annoyance of my constant self-stigma, a miracle of sorts occurred. We were talking. Really talking.
A visual and tangible scene of life has been played out for my family. Baby being born, and all the drama of that scene and her great-grandmother, nearing the end, reminiscing to whoever wants to sit and listen, about her long and adventurous life. We took a bundle of photos when Phoenix met her great-grandmother.
It’s up to us to speak our truths and become a part of something bigger. We need to be seen and we want to be heard. We are not ciphers, cute off-the- wall characters in a situation comedy, or newspaper buzzwords when reporters get hasty. We are not punchlines. Mental illness is no laughing matter.
You know your illness – get to know it better. Don’t let the stigma associated with it blindside you or drop you to the pavement. Fight back with the aid of your doctor and your therapist, your medication, your family and your friends. Above all, do not be ashamed of who you are. You’re a beautiful human being and you deserve to be recognized as such. Spread your wings and soar.
There is an incredible amount of stigma regarding anti-psychotic medications and unfortunately, the majority of America would automatically associate these types of medications with what they see in crime movies involving “mad houses.” However, to joke about something like this…to be quite honest, it offended me.