Wall Drug

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”

Mental Illness Stigma

Stop Strengthening the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Mental Health is No Joke.

You’re such a psycho.

She’s so bipolar.

What a schizo!

I often hear people use mental disorders as adjectives and for name-calling.  I hear comments like this and my blood begins to boil. They are meant to be hurtful due to the stigma that already surrounds them. However, using the terms in this way undermines the diagnoses of such conditions that many people struggle with. As John Slick says, this terminology has “seeped into our vernacular…it really gets under my skin and makes me feel like I’m less than a person and that my mental illness is not legitimate…” Even the weather has been described as bipolar. Weather isn’t bipolar. This description of the weather makes the mental condition diminutive when the opposite it true. Continue reading “Stop Strengthening the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness”