Mental Health

DESTIGMATISE THE CONVERSATION

I have not been able to blog for several weeks because my depression has been a witches’ brew of guilt, anger and bad religion. Lethargy had drained and numbed me to life itself. Things have successively been going wrong leaving me feeling like the butt of life’s joke.

Today I’m going to respond to something that cut me to the quick. I’m going to do it with dignity and not resort to name calling or shade throwing, because then I will have kept the same (bad) energy that one of my folks had when they tried to shame me for my mental illness.

Okay. Can I be honest? Lay my cards on the table? I am aware that stigma and discrimination whether stemming from ignorance or not, are a direct depiction of one’s own insecurities, if you can’t accept someone for things they can’t control or didn’t choose, then you are the problem. If you can’t stomach the thought of their well-being, you could just love them from a distance.

I have to write this so everyone here can get a good look at ignorance and audacity in an overtly heightened state. Nothing is ever worth demeaning a person’s existence. Society NEEDS to destigmatize the conversation around mental health. We cannot do this by talking? Straight forward isn’t it? No.

Most people start the transition from childhood to adulthood looking to the future at a world of possibility. I on the other hand transitioned by a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder. But I cannot be shamed because I wear it like a crown. A crown of grace and grit.

“End mental illness stigma” is a phrase we hear often. The word “stigma” technically means “a mark of shame” and in the context of mental illness advocacy, we mean the unfair mark of shame others assign to us when it is revealed we live with different mental health conditions. It can also be shame we assign ourselves when we feel like there is something wrong with how our brains work, and decide to keep our thoughts hidden from others. However this idea of “ending the stigma” only scratches the surface of the real shame, micro aggressions and acts of discrimination people who live with mental illness sometimes face.

I’m blessed that I got a proper diagnosis. My psychotropics seem to be working like a shaft of light into my weary, befuddled brain.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Therefore society should stop making mentally ill people feel bad for their symptoms. We are flaky. We are sleepy. We are grumpy, aggressive and forgetful. We lash out. We cry. We over think and over compensate. We are sorry. We are trying. We know we are in limbo between too sick to be healthy and “not sick enough to be healthy. ”

S/o to everybody battling an invisible illness!

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