Stigmatization of People with Mental Disorders


"Stigmatization of people with mental disorders is manifested by bias, distrust, stereotyping, fear, embarrassment, anger, and/or avoidance. Stigma leads the (public) to avoid people with mental disorders. It reduces access to resources and leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It deters
the public from seeking, and wanting to pay for care. Stigma results in outright discrimination and abuse. More tragically, it deprives people of their dignity and interferes with their full participation in society."

--U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher (ret.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Manic Monster

(Excerpt from book in progress: working title I Am Not Damaged Goods by Sheree Ann Martines)


After two weeks lost to incapacitating depression, the inevitable escalation felt good…DAMN good. She was incredibly happy and had a million plans. None-the-less she was just the Titanic setting sail and that eviscerating piece of ice loomed darkly somewhere on the horizon. Still she had a day or two before she had to deal with that, and she enjoyed the frenetic energy coursing through her veins, pumping zeal and a magnificent possibility into her brain. She was hang-gliding with the hawks; she was shooting fives on the Gaulley; she was as alive as living can be. She was headed for a cliff with no way to stop her eventual plummet. She prayed a selfish prayer, “Lord, please give me two good days.”

She could not stop herself, so her doctors stepped in.

Another change of medication: Their plan was to sedate her enough to head off the deceptive pleasure that ultimately ended in more pain…and so the tornado continued to whip through her life, momentarily suppressed.

She knew she was lucky to have two of the best doctors in the bipolar field…but there were times she hated them. They could only clip her waves, but remained as helpless as she to alleviate the pain that always came. She had no choice, but to ride it out and hope she would make it through to the other side.

“Let me take my chances on the wall of death.”

What would life be like if she just threw away all those medicine bottles…went back to the way she had lived for most of her life. She was going to die sooner or later. What did it matter if it was sooner?

Lately, sooner seemed to be coming fast, like a freight train—steel, speed, sparks, fatally bound for a car on the tracks. No effort to brake would stop that decimation of metal and mercurial madness.

Film at 11.
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