Today may be a good day to apply just a little encouragement to our situations:
1. The so-called "stigma" that is referred to in mental illness is not so widespread and harmful as it is reported to be. The truth is that, according to my psychiatrist, the "stigma" exists largely in the business world because many owners' insurance companies are required to pay the costs of treating mental illness among employees. That is part of the world of capitalism, folks.
Such a "stigma" doesn't exist among well-educated people, as a general rule, and it certainly doesn't exist among well-educated people who are compassionate. Usually, when it is found, it is in people who have little or no education, are very opinionated, and are ignorant of the causes of the illness, just as one would have an illness of the stomach, or lungs, or liver, etc. Or they are people of little depth, who want to impress or control. That doesn't last long, as you have seen happen in recent months. (Weary Wife calls these types "victims of the shallow social syndrome. You know, deep as a puddle and a mile wide.")
None of us should fear "stigma"; it's insulting and it's unnecessary.
Everyone who has good self-respect and is seeking medical help or has overcome some difficulty caused by chemical imbalance deserves the highest honor and credit for maturity and strength of character.
Please be sure to keep a high self-regard (and your integrity) and discipline those who are unaware of what they are doing when they try to depress or demean who you are.
2. Please continue to share the good and the difficult aspects of what you have been through or are going through. That helps keep the important things in your life in proper perspective.
3. Choose carefully those whom you wish to respond to on the nature and healing of our illnesses, and let us all see fall and winter come with a new devotion to helping and healing one another.
I am always reminded of Dr. Kay Jamison Redfield, the head of a psychiatric department at a major university who is herself a bipolar patient and has written intelligently about that illness and is held in the highest esteem by her fellow medical associates.
Keep your strength and grow even stronger with each passing day.
I wrote to Vogel.
Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 9/6/2011 8:52:09 PM (GMT-6)