My heart is saddened by the fact that I live in a culture where so many people feel they are better than other people or groups of people in some way or another. We are all God’s children and we are all created equally in His eyes. Everyone in this world should be treated kindly, lovingly, fairly and equally.
Diversity is a beauty that makes my heart happy and sing. Just like my favorite box of new crayons I love the variety of shades of people’s skin, their backgrounds, religious beliefs, genders, ideas, cognitive and physical abilities and levels, and all the differences of people in the world today. Diversity and differences can teach us about life and inspire us all to become better and more than we all ready are.
I was diagnosed with mental illness about 25 years ago and more specifically labelled with Bipolar Disorder 1 with rapid cycling and mixed episodes, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Personality Disorder. I prefer to call all of my many labels and my illness a DISEASE because that is exactly what it is. I do not have disorders. I have a disease inside of my brain.
Regardless of what people label my illness with or what name they give it, mental illness and the wonderful amazing strong and courageous people surviving with it continue to face the painful stigma, discrimination and prejudice of mental illness. We face it everyday.
I believe the stigma of mental illness is and should be the new Civil Rights Movement of 2016 that all of us need to fight together to destroy the ugliness, pain and many lives it is affecting negatively and destroying.
Suicide continues to increase at alarming rates. Many people with mental illness are afraid to seek the treatment they need to fight this illness. Unfortunately, other people are not receiving the appropriate care and treatment they need soon enough.
Too many people are ashamed to say they have a mental illness and family members are ashamed to say their child has a mental illness. Unfortunately, the words “mental illness”are whispered if even spoken at all. All of this is caused from the awful STIGMA of mental illness. We must stop it and stop it now. So we can save many beautiful precious lives stolen because of mental illness.
Three out of four people with a mental illness report that they have experienced stigma.
Stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart. When a person is labelled by their illness they are seen as a part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes create prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination.
Prejudice is an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling formed without enough thought or knowledge.
Discrimination is the treatment of a person or a particular group of people differently, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.
When I was giving one of my presentations to share my story to help educate others about mental illness, I had a Mental illness professional staff person tell me that we needed to take baby steps with what and how we say things to the public. In other words, her and her colleagues thought we should take slow and gradual steps when we educate the public about Mental Illness.
I was dumbfounded and upset after hearing her comments. I know we do not have any time for baby steps when increasing awareness and educating the public about mental illness. Reducing the stigma of mental illness is essential right now. We all need to take big giant steps and huge flying leaps and bounds to increase awareness of mental illness and educate the public in any way we can.
Let’s stop the whispering and turn the whispers into loud shouts of
education and knowledge
appropriate care and treatment
compassion and kindness
fairness and equal treatment
love and joy
and NO MORE STIGMA!
Many blessings and much love and hugs from,
A link to another post on mental illness Stigma titled I Have A Dream No More Mental Illness Stigma
This is so true. Thank you for writing about it.
Unfortunately, some are afraid to be judged or looked at differently. In some cultures they would immediately think that you belong at a mental hospital if you talk about mental illnesses. It’s terrible.
I really enjoy your post and while I am sure you suffer along with so many, there is healing and renewal of the mind. I pray for you and those suffering daily and encourage you not to settle into this as a disease but rather a challenge to overcome by the blood. Best of blessing my sister.
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Thank you very much for your beautiful comments. I appreciate your kind words and your prayers. There is power in prayers for sure. Thank you.