Stigma- a mark of disgrace. Sounds lovely right? Didn’t think so. A lot of people with a mental illness deal with this though. That in turn doesn’t make things for them any easier or better.
Do you remember when you were a little kid (occasionally now that you are an adult) when there was a group making fun of something and laughing at it? Maybe it was something you liked, did or had. How did it make you feel? More often than not it made you ashamed of it. That shame may have led you to hide the fact the you liked, did or had it. It may have even pressured you to join in. That is the feeling that those with a mental illness have.
Now, just like when you were younger this feeling causes ones with a mental illness not to let others know they have it. They can be so ashamed of it that they fail to seek help. That means they won’t go to the doctor, get treatment, medications, therapy or their own personal support system. As I’m sure you already know, that’s not good.
In my case I only tell a few select people. I fear that if everyone in my lifes know that they will blame every little thing on me being Bipolar. Or throw it in my face when there’s a moment that they’re not fond of me. Bipolar II is a disease I have not my major personality trait. I want people to read this blog so that they can relate and to help people understand Bipolar/Bipolar II. But I’m still fighting with myself on whether or not to share this blog link on my personal Facebook page. Hey, we all have things to work on.
This has just been a quick view of some of the effects of stigma. Here is a website you might want to check out bringchange2mind.org There purpose is to change one’s minds about mental illness so they can combat stigma. They also have a lot of great resources listed on their site. That’s all for now…