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.)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Homeland-Claire Dane's portrayal of bipolar

I have been a big fan of Mandy Patinkin since I first saw him in Barbara Streisand’s picture “Yentle.”

I have followed him through Chicago Hope, Criminal Minds, and most recently in Showtimes series, “Homeland.”  I was intrigued that one of his elite CIA agents,Claire Danes (My So-called Life), suffers from severe bipolar one, as do I. I think the way her disorder is portrayed is so close to home, it hurts me to watch. Her manic episodes are so close to the ones I have suffered, it scrapes the scabs raggedly off the scars that my disorder has carved into me.

As with me, her disorder is well-managed with medications, but she, as with many bipolars, occasionally does not take her medications, feeling that they dumb her down…make her dull and unable to truly focus. In desperation, she even willingly undergoes electro-convulsive therapy. I swore I would never do that, but after years of suffering with no positive response to medications, I said, “Do it.” After 14 treatments, my doctor discontinued the therapy citing that I had suffered cognitive damage that outweighed the benefit.

Life just isn’t fair. Still, I manage my illness. Few would ever guess I am bipolar. I may not be quite as bright and shiny as I used to be. I have to work a little harder these days to keep the train on the track. Next stop is sanity.
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