Stigma Society

“Oh Wow! So this whole time I was actually just stupid?!” Well hell, had I known that, I wouldn’t have needed to take my meds. What a relief. So I’ll go speak to my psychiatrist and ask them how to get “un-stupid” and then I’ll be cured! Said no-one ever.

So I was searching Google for funny bipolar disorder memes when I came across this gem. I figured I’d find something sarcastic and funny to post to my bipolar disorder support page on Facebook. After all, sarcasm is my middle name. And humor is what gets me through just about anything in times of struggle. So what better way to inspire those who are suffering? I am not offended easily either, but when I came across this, I felt so angry. It shouldn’t surprise me that our society in general can be a very ignorant place considering we are still surrounded by stigma, closed mindedness, and those who are completely unwilling to see beyond the walls of their own little bubble. If you don’t have bipolar disorder, or any other type of mental illness, you will never have to experience it. You will never have to sit and wonder why you are feeling absolutely thrilled for no reason. And how you genuinely needed 5 pairs of shoes so you bought them but now you can’t pay your bills. You will never know what it’s like to feel super productive, but then lash out at the people around you because you are hypo manic and obsessing that you have to finish what you started or something bad will happen. Thank GOD you will never know what it feels like to feel like nothing means anything even when you have it all and all you can think are unhappy thoughts. This doesn’t come from a liberal, bleeding heart place. It comes from the raw place of personal experience with mental illness. Myself, my friends, family, and unfortunately sometimes, their children. I mean let’s look at this meme again; “When I was young”. How far back was that exactly? A generation or two? 25-30 years ago? Well I hate to break it to you, but mental illness has existed as far back as the beginning of civilization. Here is a great article that talks about this very thing.

I am going to play devil’s advocate here and tell you that you were not given the sufficient tools.

The bottom line is, if you have a heart problem, you treat it. If you tear a tendon, you have surgery to repair it, take meds, and get rehabilitation to get the tendon working again. That’s what mental illness is. An organ (namely the brain in this case), isn’t working properly. So that calls for medical attention. Whether that is meds, or therapy or both, that’s what we as people suffering from mental illness have to do to stay healthy. The only difference between your illness and mine is that you can’t see mine. In this case it’s out of sight but certainly not out of mind. Stigma is real. And it will not be tolerated. I am an intelligent, loving wife, and mother. I own my own business and write 3 blogs. I may not have graduated from college, but I do have a high school diploma. I will continue to pray and be grateful for those that will never have to suffer like I have.

Namaste’ -V

Read more from Virginia at her personal bipolar blog, as well as her motherhood blog. Read her other IBPF posts here.

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