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, July 14, 2016

Brain Disorder Blame-True Crime

Anyone that knows me, knows I am interested in true crime. I used to consider myself an ID addict, but not so much anymore. More and more, bipolar is blamed for all kinds of criminal activity. I got NO breaks, compassion, no forgiveness for any of the shameful things I did before I was diagnosed as a rapid cycling, bipolar 1. Of course, I never did anything illegal, and the only person that truly suffered at my hands, was me. Yes, friends ran like rats when the basement light goes on, when my undiagnosed brain disorder got ugly...AND it DID get ugly. It didn't take long for most of my friends to retreat back into their sane worlds. And though I often begged, no one felt comfortable offering me shelter from the storm. That hurt.

Still once I was correctly diagnosed, I was determined to regain control over my life. That was much harder than one might think. I was diagnosed by one of the leading bipolar specialists in the country as one of the worst cases of bipolar one, compounded by treatment resistance, PTSD, severe panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Lithium, the heralded cure for bipolar, poisoned me. I almost drove my car into a brick wall while on lithium.

More than a decade has passed, and my doctors have developed a treatment plan that allows me to manage my brain disorder...Not completely, there are still dark lows and frenetic highs...not so often and when they occur I know how to react.

But I swear to GOD, if I hear one more thief, cheat, sex offender, or murderer blame their acts on being bipolar, I might actually go POSTAL!!!! (and blame it on my severe disorder.) No wonder the crowd disperses when you bring up bipolar...It's a stigma that will always be challenging for those of us who have taken responsibility for managing depression and mania, and have gone on to give something back to this world regardless of what it may have taken from us.

I feel like a lone warrior.
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