Effects of Stigma

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…


17 responses to “Effects of Stigma

  • Lonely Wallflower

    Heya! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I am not sure yet whether I am bipolar or not. I think I could be, but I still have to get diagnosed on that. I have an appointment on June 10th, which is for testing me on Asperger. But (if I have the courage, otherwise I ask my girlfriend) we will ask about bipolar possibilities then too… I will link your blog to mine and when I have more time, I will check it out better!
    Much strength, LW
    PS. I even created an anonymous twitter and facebook just to link to my blog 😉

    • acrazybeautifulmind

      Get the courage to talk about it at your appt! I went years without being diagnosed. When I finally sought treatment it was like I was looking out a window and the blinds had finally been opened. Its not worth living the bipolar way just because its hard to talk about.

  • Cynthia Brennen

    Thank you for your comment on my blog…I know you will get so much out of the show, as Craig is an amazing advocate with Bipolar, as well as living it and managing it himself. One of my favorite guests, for certain. All shows are archived on my blog. You can also call in to the show if you wish…12-1pm EST (New York time) tomorrow (Saturday)… 607-732-4820. We’d love to hear from you.

    Love your blog also!! Keep writing and expressing your thoughts…so important to work through all the feelings. As a therapist for many years, I can tell you you are in good company. Many people diagnosed with Bipolar I and II are amazing, brilliant people who just need to work out the kinks with meds and healthy living. My best to you!

  • Bpder

    Stigma can be very bad. I was a successful computer programmer for 14 years because my employers, even though no one knew I am bipolar, were very supportive. Then, in my last job I got depressed and I told my boss I’m bipolar because I thought he was owed an explanation for my suddenly poor performance. Suddenly I had all these poor performance reviews. I was asked to get a letter from my pdoc (which they ignored). They sent me for a cognitive evaluation (thinking ability) but by then I was no longer depressed. I passed with flying colours. Oddly enough they stopped doing performance reviews when my performance improved.

    In the end they concluded I was a bad employee and fired me with no mention of bipolar. By then I was depressed again, so I didn’t fight back. You can’t fire someone for being disabled where I live. I’m sure I could have fought and won.

    • acrazybeautifulmind

      I think you would have. I hate that people with a mental illness have to keep a secret. But someone with diabetes or MS never has to feel ashamed. They are all dibilitating.

      • Patrick

        Thank you all. It helps to know there are other fine human being who face a life and death struggle so very often. Break in the clouds for me today after a four-day “funk”. Funny how everyone worries. (Ironic funny). I tell them I will live thru it and everytime I say that I am uncertain it is true.
        Just for today!!!

  • he_is_real

    hi! I don’t normally read blogs, but my husband (sort of estranged) was recently diagnosed and I want to learn more to support him and try to understand what he must be going through.

    he, like so many, was misdiagnosed and misunderstood for many years. I, and his recent fiancee, were of no help–and probably me especially because of the length of time we have and our children, etc. I feel incredibly sad for the time he has lost and the physical and emotional pain he is going through with this change in medication and perspective. He must assuredly be grieving, just so many do.

    Thank you–and all of you–who have the courage and take the effort to describe your feelings so that others may understand and try yo be aupportive! Maybe someday my story with him will be as positive! Keep blogging!

  • jenniflower75

    Hi hun, as you know wer have this in common and the facebook thing was something I also struggled with. I only know of two people on my facebook that have read my blog and have responded in support. Its kind of funny because both are people I went to high school with anf barely remrmber. Its amszing where you get support. This is a very personal decision but for me it was a freeing experience. Good luck and keep writing. Its a very therapeutic means to express yourself!!!

    • acrazybeautifulmind

      I have a feeling that it will be freeing but I’m still too chicken. One day SOON I’m going to. 🙂 Maybe after a little more therapy (writing) and positive feedback from my blog will do the trick! Glad you read my post!

  • effeuiller

    I think what you are doing here is great. Raising awareness about all MI issues is so important. And if it helps you personally along with informing other people, all the better! Best of luck. 🙂

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