Mental Illness and Gun Violence

The Mentally Ill are Taking the Fall for Gun Violence.

Are You Brave Enough to Stand Up for Them?

In the aftermath of yet another senseless school shooting, the masses cry out.

Not only is gun control one of the first discussion points, so is mental illness. Because, you know, (inject sarcasm) that’s the single most comprehensible explanation for anyone to commit such an atrocity!

I have bipolar, and I am also a responsible gun owner.

Being mentally ill does not mean I’m going on a shooting spree.

The news commentators and government and social media call out, “We have a mental health problem!” No shit, Sherlock; however, that’s not why these shootings occur. Continue reading “The Mentally Ill are Taking the Fall for Gun Violence.”

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”

Road Less Traveled

Road to Understanding Mental Illness

Is that road well-worn or less traveled?

What if Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” were about mental illness? I know it’s not, but hang in there with me…

  • The well-worn path = the general public
  • The less traveled path = those who struggle and those who
    empathize.

It seems as though unless you’ve personally struggled with mental health battles…and realize it affects everyone differently…then you are the only ones who “get it.” The less traveled road is where true understanding lies. Where the empaths are. The path of those who undoubtedly get it.

Continue reading “Road to Understanding Mental Illness”