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, April 10, 2014

Living with Bipolar Disorder-Ten Years Later-Life is Good!


Despite education and legislation, discrimination of individuals living with mental disabilities still exists. I've watched people shrink back when they learn I have bipolar disorder, but in the ten years since I was diagnosed, I have truly learned how to manage my illness so that I am TRULY living again. I will always be bipolar, but with the proper medication, lifestyle changes, and knowing what triggers to avoid, I am once again a happy, productive individual, most of the time. Yes, I lost my old career and some friends, but many new doors have opened for me. I was finally able to turn that kaleidoscope wheel and see a glorious array of new opportunities. I have met so many new and interesting people who have enriched my life. I've reconnected with some friends I once terrified, and made amends where they could be made. I won't say I am happy about having a mental illness, but I will say it has made me a stronger, more resilient, more compassionate individual. I always kid around and say, "You do the best with what you've got..." and I'm doing pretty good. Many, many thanks to those who stood by me, and helped me through some very dark years. You know, on the balance scale, life really is good.
Sheree Beard Martines's photo.