I really love being able to let it all go.  My thoughts, whether through writing a short paragraph, photographs, or poetry, or in some cases, a long drawn out essay format.  I would like to share one thing I am very passionate about.  I have an issue about the stigma against mental illness.  Every single person has a brain, a liver, a vascular system, a heart, and all the other body organs that must function properly in order for us to live life to the fullest.  I have suffered miserably with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder to a degree that others do not have the capacity to understand.  I have been told, “It is all in your head”, “can’t you just control it”, “just cut it off”, “stop thinking about it”.  Well, I have been blessed to finally be on the right medications.  Finding those medications is like being a science experiment.  Let me tell you, it is not fun.  Think about it like this before you judge a person with a mental illness.  Would anyone choose to feel depressed, scared, fearful, anxious, etc. if the solution was as simple as just “cutting it off in their head”?  I would have cut it off in a heartbeat if it was that simple.  I have known people who have family that detest accepting mental illness as a problem in their child, sibling, spouse, etc.  It is wrong and unfair to the one suffering.  If only it was accepted and they had that support, they could have a much better quality of life.  I myself, started feeling depressed around the age of thirteen.  I approached my father saying, “Dad, I have been feeling really sad lately and would like to find some professional help”.  His response, “I don’t want to hear that s..t. Get your.. back up to the house”.  My mother, thankfully, saved my life by responding to my request.  My husband has also been very supportive.  At the age of thirty, I have finally found the right regimen of medications.  My point is this: The brain can malfunction just like other organs of the body.  People have diabetes, heart problems, etc. and are encouraged to take care of it.  Anyone who is reading this.  Please do not stigmatize those with mental illness.  Let us take care of our mind, as there is no shame in seeking treatment.  For me, I am a happy person and very functional, so long as I keep taking care of my mind and ignoring those who disagree with my treatment.  After all, it is my life and I deserve to be happy and freed of my medical disorders, just as those with diabetes, etc.

By: L.G.


20 comments on “Stigma

  1. Hi Laura,
    Amazing that even today people still consider mental illness a weak mind…this type of feeling is pervasive in all social classes, race and education.

    I am concerned about proposed gun legislation that restrict the rights of the “mentally ill.” This will only stigmatize mental illness further.

    You take care of you….and if fighting for a cause helps…good, …if not give yourself a break.

  2. You are insightful, and it is good you vent frustrations, no, folks cannot say, “I know what you are going through unless they are or have! I’ve been played guinea pig with after my stroke, and we still fight and experiment with drugs and treatments, Hang in there!

  3. There are many forms of silent suffering and they all suck. Wish you luck on YOUR journey, in this world of intolerance and ignorance. Stay strong 🙂

  4. Thanks for writing this post. I’ve a supportive spouse as well. Mental illness can mean silent suffering with few people available with similar symptoms.

  5. You’re right, right, right. The problem is, people don’t know enough about the functions of the body and how it effects us and that mental illness can be chemical and biological. They think sometimes it’s just a feeling, then know so little about the treatments that exist cuz education about them is so poor (as in how all this is publicized).

    It’s all lack of education….

  6. Well put, you do deserve to be happy and live a life you choose. Your support system (medical and social) is your greatest ally to live the way you want to live.

    There are those who do not understand that Mental Illness is usually a manageable condition if professional help is sought out. This is a bigger problem than most people think or really appreciate since many times the issue does not manifest itself until the person is in their late teens to early twenties. Many undiagnosed people become marginalized, end up falling through the cracks and, in the absolute worst cases, on the street. In a city with 7 months of winter (or at least is feels like it), that’s a real problem.

  7. The more we talk about mental illness, the more we work toward eradicating the stigma. Thank you for doing your part. I look forward to following your blog and wish you and your husband all the best…..

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