Mental Health: Everything Else

Stop judging and start understanding: Can we end the stigma of mental illness?

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The VTeam

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Stop judging and start understanding: Can we end the stigma of mental illness?

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Yes/Agree
Twiggy

we are making process everyday with videos like this.

Yes/Agree
alexis allen

Yes I think we have made great strides in ending the stigma of mental illness.

Yes/Agree
Jessica Lynne

1 in 4 Americans have a mental illness. That is 650 million people! If all of those people used their voices to speak up and normalize mental illness then we would erase the stigma. No one should be ashamed of their illness. A diabetic doesn't have to feel that they must hide when their blood sugar is uncontrollable, an asthmatic doesn't refuse an inhaler when an attack comes on. So why should be hide in the dark? Diabetes, asthma, and mental illness can all lead to death if not treated. We need to normalize this! Sylvia Plath stated in The Bell Jar that she would rather have something wrong with her body than with her mind. I agree. Mental illness is often unseen and diagnosed based on questions and history. We don't wear our illness on our bodies.

Yes/Agree
Sue Abramowski

I believe we as human beings can stop the stigma. Once we recognize that people with mental illness are just people, deserving of the same respect as anyone else, that will be a start. I deal with mental illness myself (OCD and anxiety) as well as developmental differences (ADHD and autism). I work with people in both the mental health and developmental disabilities communities as well. The people with whom I work are all wonderful people, and I have learned a ton from them. They also happen to be some of the most decent, genuine people I know. When one has dealt with and overcome hurdles, they're a lot more accepting than those who think they're absolutely perfect. They know what it's like to have gone through challenges, and understand when someone else is going through them, or is just a little different. I've received nothing but respect from my peeps :)

Yes/Agree
Erica Smith

I think that it is becoming kinda like a trend to have certain mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, etc. because it's "cute" "quirky" "mysterious" and so on. It's not. People need to understand that mental illnesses are NOT something to glorify and find admirable or cute and that they actually ruin people's lives. I think this generation today is a bit more accepting to an extent, but more people need to be educated and realize that just because you can't always physically see things, doesn't mean that it's not there.

Yes/Agree
hipgypsie

As more incidents occur around the world that bring attention to mental health issues, more education, and understanding, will be forthcoming.

Yes/Agree
ajourneywithyou

I blog about schizophrenia and consider myself a stigma buster!

Yes/Agree
Amanda

I am the face of depression! Outward appearance... I look just like you, & you, & you. However, internally I am fighting a neverending all out war between myself and... Myself!
I am sick, afflicted, unbalanced if you will but I am not crazy, nor incompetent! I am not making things up and while it in a sense literally is in my head... It is not just "all in my head"!
The stigma of Mental illness most certainly can be ended but not until we acknowledge it, accept it, speak about it! We need to tell the world our inner sufferings, miseries, and struggles. If mental illness is kept a secret then it will continue to be treated as though it isn't real.
#BreakTheSilenceBreakTheStigma

Not Sure
Paula D

I want to be positive and hope that one day people will have a good understanding. I do think strides can be made, I just think we will always have to fight to make sure that education about mental illness never dies down.

Yes/Agree
autismom4004

hi I am a mom of 2 kids with autism and my daughter has bipolar disorder and as a mom watching my child at 10 struggle with this is hard but love and understand will win out my son has bipolar as well but it is not as sever as my daughers and he is on medication that seems to control it better now but he is also 14 now I worry about my kids with the lack of adult services for mental health what will happen in the future i am a advocate for my kids

Yes/Agree
livinginacube

This is by far the most difficult part of my life, I constantly think about ending my life but my family keeps me alive. I wish I was not drugged all day, I wish I could be just be, as bipolar as I can for at least two weeks and feel what it is to be sober from all the meds. My depressions are never ending and my manias are by far the most aggressive ones, I cry myself to sleep because u can't be or feel normal. I avoid social settings, physical and visual contact, I rather be on my couch that sitting on a bar having a conversation because I don't want to talk about me. I don't have a system of support so I play safe by staying home. I'm honest tired. Dating is no longer an option since every person I've dated leaves me the moment they find out the meds I take, this is hell.

Yes/Agree
livinginacube

This is by far the most difficult part of my life, I constantly think about ending my life but my family keeps me alive. I wish I was not drugged all day, I wish I could be just be, as bipolar as I can for at least two weeks and feel what it is to be sober from all the meds. My depressions are never ending and my manias are by far the most aggressive ones, I cry myself to sleep because u can't be or feel normal. I avoid social settings, physical and visual contact, I rather be on my couch that sitting on a bar having a conversation because I don't want to talk about me. I don't have a system of support so I play safe by staying home. I'm honest tired. Dating is no longer an option since every person I've dated leaves me the moment they find out the meds I take, this is hell.

Yes/Agree
Kate Anderson

I hope we can. So many people are suffering from mental illness and are not able to get help due to the stigma associated with it.

No/Disagree
Phyllis Fein-Jankielewicz

Not enough people are educated on mental illness. There are people who may not believe it's a real illness

Yes/Agree
Amy Rossiter

Yes I do Believe we can if all work together and realize that these are actual diseases that need attention. Just because these individuals look normal does not mean that there is not an underlying mental disorder causing the problem. If left untreated these individuals often will end up in trouble with the law or committing suicide which is why we need to take a stand and start understanding that mental disorders are actual diseases that can be dealt with. With therapy and proper medication these individual's can lead normal lives. People need to understand that the term mental illness covers a broad range of emotions, Behavior, Moods, anxiety and depression are also considered to be mental illnesses. As a nurse that is very misleading to a lot of people they are ok talking about anxiety and depression but when it comes to talking about schizophrenia or bipolar they don't want to talk about it. There are alot of people who have PTSD from different situations they have been through in their life and PTSD is also a mental disorder. So my question to you all is can we in the stigma to mental disorder WE HAVE to. Yes it is going to take a lot of continuing education because there are a lot of people in the world who don't understand what mental disorder is all about or even really covers because they've never been through it or had anybody close to them go through it. Until you've been there yourself or with a close friend or relative that's when you know what mental disorder is really about. But I do think with continuing education and awareness WE can end the Stigma to mental disorders. So let's all educate someone and pass the word around.????

Yes/Agree
Cassandra Kievits

I myself suffer with type 2 bipolar disorder and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder ). I work hard to control my symptoms, I take my medicine as needed, and some days still feel like I am a prisoner of my own mind. I wish there was more compassion vs. Judgement in this world about mental illness.

Yes/Agree
psychoticdisorders

The term "mental illness" covers a broad range of behavior, emotions, moods and thoughts that are considered to be abnormal.

"Severe mental illness" are conditions that include schizophrenia/bipolar disorder and other forms of psychotic/manic behavior.

Dozens of medical conditions and substances, including psychotropic drugs cause abnormal behavior considered to be "severe mental illness".

Dehydration can cause symptoms considered to be "mental illness".

The routine use of over-the-counter cold medicine can cause psychotic symptoms that are clinically indistinguishable from paranoid schizophrenia.

Fatal disease such as Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease can also be misdiagnosed as bipolar/schizophrenia.

In order to stop judging and end the stigma of mental illness, mental health advocates MUST form a unified advocacy agenda that incorporates best practice standards of care.

Best practice standards test for and treat underlying causes.

Unfortunately, our main stream advocates support psychiatry's "Chinese Menu" approach of using the DSM5.

Our main stream advocates promote stigma by failing to address the fact psychiatry uses a Rubber Stamp labeling system and a one-size-fits-all drug treatment regime.

Our main stream advocate promote psychiatry's Medication Management Monopoly and turn a blind eye towards the harmful effects of psych drugs.

Individuals suffering from symptoms of mental illness are among the most stigmatized, discriminated
against, marginalized, disadvantaged and vulnerable members
of our society.

They are in need of strong advocates who will advance best practice standards of care.

It is a crime this information is being overlooked by our main stream advocacy agenda.

see:psychoticdisorders dit wordpress dot com/bmj-best-practice-assessment-of-psychosis/

Yes/Agree
marcie lipsitt

Can we? We have to.

Not Sure
Bella2135

For me sometimes I can openly talk about my depression but I'm afraid when it comes to my BPD it might scare people away. Because when people hear of BPD all they think is horrible things so it's so hard to discuss.

Yes/Agree
JulieAnnN

We CAN end the stigma of mental illness. But it will take continuing efforts from both those who do and do not suffer from it, an end to the systematic discrimination embedded in Medicare and MMedicaid, and a big change in our education and penal systems.

No/Disagree
sail6193

Because , I have been diagnosed with so many different mental health issues by the VA (Veteran's hospital) . They finally agree on PTSD from being raped in the military and my ex and beaten while in the military and after by my ex and my own family still does not understand why I cannot get over it. So NO , I do not believe it will change.

Not Sure
Deanna Hopper

I have bipolar and anxiety disorder. I've been taking meds since I was 29 I'm now almost 56 nothing helps the meds have horrible side effects and I'm so depressed most days I don't want to get out of bed. I have no way of getting a job but I am on Disability. I barely can survive and I live with my sister but I'm so tired of living with all the side effects of being dizzy, passing out. Having no energy, either sleeping not at all, or too much. And I've been to so many Doctors that do not care they just put you on more antidepressants that make me more Manic! It's terrible! Nobody cares it's just awful!!

No/Disagree
Laura Levine Gumina

I was diagnosed with an "atypical affective disorder" atthe age of 21--this was in 1971.

The medication was as horrible as the illness and totally ineffectual. I lived w the sitgmas for thirty years- and not until the emergence of the SSRI's did I begin to heal. Even today, February 2015...mental illness, a bipolar disorder carries a strong stigma.
EWven with the popular 'abilify' advertisements on television, and other psycho-tropic meds...showing beautiful women taking magic pills and all their problems solved- do not dispel the stigma.

I am content with my life, and live independently w/ my small disability check in a HUD subsidized apartment. For myself, I have overcome.

Laura Gumina 313 614 2406

Yes/Agree
Celia Frye

I was out of work when my son first got sick with anxiety and delusions. I posted a fundraiser campaign to help to support my son while I sought treatment for him because he was talking about suicide. A girlfriend who calls me regularly (when she has had two or three glasses of wine and needs someone to whine to about her problems) had the audacity to tell me that I should not let anyone know that my son is mentally ill. Can you believe it?

Not Sure
Frances Harper

I have lived with mental illness the greater part of my life and I am 66 years old now...I still hear jokes and snide remarks about the mentally ill and pray daily for those afflicted as well as for myself.

Yes/Agree
Laura Ingalls

What a blessing it would be if and when, we end the stigma of mental illness! It is challenging enough to live with (depression, panic attacks and PTSD in my case). Being an LPN, I have astoundingly seen it in co-workers, and as a patient, you really appreciate the compassionate nurses! And don't get me started on the absolute dreariness of the mental health unit! I believe prayers are powerful. God help us, Amen! :)

Yes/Agree
margy agar

my soldier daughter spent 15 months in Iraq driving a 52 wheeled convoy truck and an IED blew up on her driver's door and she went through a second one 3 months later. 4 years later without treatment or a diagnosis of her traumatic brain injury she was swept into a deep depression and took her life. So I have become an activist speaker for military PTSD TBI Depression Suicide and especially STIGMA in the military.

Yes/Agree
Lisa Giuliano

ALL MY LIFE I KNEW I WAS DIFFERNT FROM MY FAMILY! BUT YET THEY MISS TREATED ME AND FATHER BEAT ME ALMOST EVERYDAY CUS OF MY ILLNESS!

Yes/Agree
Amy Baccei

We need to start a dialogue regarding mental health/illness and stop stigmatizing brilliant people with our communities.

Yes/Agree
Sharon Mistic Moon-owl

I have been living with bipolar, moderate OCD, manic depression And sever anger since I was very young.... In the past five yrs I have also been living with panic attacks, social anxiety, anxiety and hypercondria and its hard people always pass judgement because they don't understand they say I'm crazy this is including family members it made me feel lonely for a very long time but I found someone the love of my life who also has mental health issues and together we work through it we are each others support not to mention his mother ,my mother and my ex husband father of my child is a great support. But its hard to explain to people my conditions without been judge I believe sociatie needs to be educated that living with bipolar depression OCD and so on does not make a person crazy even for those whom see therapist without having to take medication are not crazy life is hard.

Yes/Agree
Maureen Jones

I believe with organizations like Bring Change to Mind, that encourage people talking about mental illness, we can end the stigma. People are afraid of what they don't understand, and the misconceptions that have been carried through generations. Educating people, and getting people to talk about the truth of mental illness can end the stigma.

Not Sure
Phyllis Fein-Jankielewicz

I have been hospitalized 4 times. I'm on medication. I see a therapist and psychiatrist. My family understands to a certain degree. They don't understand the entire concept of mental illness.

Yes/Agree
Deb Pacheco

I have written my experiences of Recovery for my adult children who suffer from Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. My son survived an 80 foot jump of the local bridge while in the grips of a schizophrenic episode. I wrote the book."FIRST BREAK SCHIZOPHRENIA : RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE " BY D.J. Munroe ( pen name ) available on Amazon; because I believe knowledge and empathy can replace stigma if we start educating in the schools. My goal is to have my book be suggested reading in all high schools. Understanding is what we need to stomp out stigma.

Yes/Agree
Karen Bowman

Education!!! People must be educated to know that its not scary and its not the persons fault however to be a good person in society every single person must take control of his or her actions

Yes/Agree
Emily Paul

If we take care of ourselves, take meds etc., we can show people that we're not scary

Not Sure
BipolarLady

I think mental illness is a difficult concept for most people to understand, especially politicians. Here in VA, the Governor is attempting to pass a bill to help those who suffer with mental illness. The General Assembly however seems to dismiss this as not too important. Well it is. I am a bipolar 1....I have been in one of the worst depressions and taking new medications to help relieve this living hell. I have not had one of these episodes since my 20s (in my 40s now). It is difficult for most of my friends to understand, but they try to be there for me. My Mom is very much involved in helping me recover. I suffer from other ailments as well, both mental and physical. Sometimes I feel defective, although I know that is not true deep down. But society basically shuns us as defective and stigmatize those with mental illnesses. It makes me sad and although I hope things will change in the future, I'm unsure if that is a possibility.

Not Sure
Dana Lee

I think understanding mental illness requires a "walk in our shoes". People seem to have an impossible time trying to grasp the complexities of mental illness and its severity. I don't know how to simulate that for the shame-ers - but now I'm going to give that some thought!

Yes/Agree
Joanna

We can, and we must. My girlfriend suffers from severe manic depression and she and I together have been fighting the battle for mental health awareness and understanding. It's not an easy battle, but it is beyond important.

Yes/Agree
Brandy Crawford

I really hope so--I think ending that stigma has come a long a way but definitely not far enough--it should have to happen to you or someone you know before you recognize that this is a real issue

Yes/Agree
Mari Joram

Being diagnosed bipolar 21 years ago, I finally have meds and a "normal" life. I do open up and am not ashamed of my disorder. I feel speaking about it can educate others who think we look so normal. Well, of course, diabetics, heart patients, numerous ailments are underlying, not apparent. In more than 40 years, so much change has happened with regards to mental health. I'm sure there are less suicides with having better medications. Untreated depression is a loaded cocktail. Peace all you who haven't found the right antidepressant yet, keep trying. Being happy, or at least not thinking dark thoughts is a huge improvement. It takes mental health professionals quite awhile to determine best course of action, since it is not an exact science.

Yes/Agree
Sally Rickerson

I am depressed and sad most of the time. My Son, Christopher, was text book diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. He was an Alcoholic and took medication. he died August 2, 2011. He was 22.I am now, not right. He was suffering, and died. I found his body. And I as well, am suffering horribly. Help.

Yes/Agree
Andrea

I am bipolar type I. Stigma is everywhere. It takes one voice. I am not ashamed of who I am. I do not let my illness dictate who I am. I embrace the fact that I have bipolar disorder, as I know this will never change. It's taken many moons to come to this point. Do I scream this information from the rooftop? No. But it's never a hidden fact. I'm a forensic / psychiatric nurse. My bosses are aware. What I hope they observe, though, is that I'm a kick Ass RN! :)

Yes/Agree
Lisa Mulloy

There should be no more of a stigma surrounding mental illness as there is about a headache.

Yes/Agree
Presence Tarika

Following what some might call a spiritual awakening, which was followed by an intense amount of hot lava-like energy that felt like a fire hose had been turned up and was rushing up my spine to the top of my head, I had trauma memories come up from childhood that brought on a near psychotic break. Since then I have not been the same. I was diagnosed with PSTD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) the latter of which I have a mild form of. Dealing with the decline of my mental abilities has been difficult, and while I believe most mental illnesses (like other dis-eases) can be healed/"cured" and/or managed effectively, societal expectations of the "norm" can make it challenging to come to terms with and even to discuss it publicly. I'm very moved and grateful to Glenn Close and the founders and director of Bring Change 2 Mind for starting the conversation about mental illness and providing information, resources, etc. to those suffering from it! Thank you so much!!

Yes/Agree
J Ann Murphy

I have always tried to teach my children that it wasn't to be ashamed of. Your mind sometimes gets sick just like any other part of your body. And that there were special doctors for it just like any other sickness. I have a 39 yr. old son that needs help so bad and because of his age they tell me there's nothing I can do.. They put him in jail for awhile and that's it. He comes out a little worse ever time. He see's people and hears voices that are not there. He was damaged at birth .. What do I do ??

Yes/Agree
mickijo

My daughter who was born with special needs was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, anxiety, and OCD as a teen. After that her dad (my husband) was also diagnosed with the same. We found out at some point that there is a history of mental illness in my husband’s mother’s family. In keeping it a big secret, my husband suffered for years. My daughter and husband are stable on medication today but it was a long, hard journey. At one point my husband told my daughter she could not tell people she has Bipolar. We had a very serious conversation about the secrecy and the damage it causes. I never want my daughter feeling ashamed of something she did not choose. It is no longer a secret in our home. We talk openly about the struggles. It has given us strength and hope for a better future.

Yes/Agree
Denise Fletcher

I have been depressed since my earliest memory. I have been treated professionally for depression since my earl twenties. In my forties the diagnosis of anxiety was added. I take medications prescribed by a psychiatrist and have seen a therapist my whole adult life. I look at my mental illness with the same concern for treatment as my physical illnesses. I have Parkinson's. It is now more of a challenge to treat the mental illness due to changes in brain chemistry and Parkinson's meds side effects. Too much Sinemet can mimic mania, for example. As a retired psych nurse with mental illness I work very hard to help eradicate the stigma attached to all brain diseases including mental illness,addiction,and Neuro diseases which are often misunderstood as well.
Denise RN,Tampa,FL

Yes/Agree
kmp560

My older brother was schizophrenic most of his life. He passed in 2003 at the age of 44. I had strangers and family members who would avoid him because of his way his illness made him behave. It was sad and upsetting for my entire family. My daughter is bipolar. She has her episodes. But, I still love her.

Yes/Agree
Alissa Little

I have suffered my whole life from major depression and anxiety, my father suffered, only after the older generations in the family passed could we actually talk about it, I found out I have several relatives that have committed suicide, the STIGMA NEEDS TO END!!! I am not ashamed, people slap a "label" on you once you open up about, I don't care anymore, it is time to end the stigma, it does Suck!

Yes/Agree
Carol Villa

The more people talk about mental health the sooner stigma will begin to resolve itself.

Not Sure
anolan32

I think things are getting better. I remember when I was growing up my mother did not want anyone to know she was seeing a psychiatrist. She had a hard time understanding why I didn't hide it when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was very open about it and wanted to talk about it. I wanted to help get rid of the stigma of mental illness. I don't care who knows about my depression and anxiety. I want people to know I am still a functioning and contributing of member of society and want to be known for that and not for my mental illness. I just don't know it the stigma will ever completely go away, but I think the more we talk about it the more people will understand and accept.

Not Sure
Donna Bridges

I don't know if it can be ended in my lifetime. I am about to turn 64. I think it can always be improved.

Not Sure
cpeep417

I struggle from depression, anxiety and anorexia. Mental health is greatly underrated. By that I mean they people tend to think it is behavior and not ilness

Yes/Agree
Willa Sullivan

I have the ptsd, along with bipolar and axienty, i have a really good doctor that tells me how and what and why,and the things that trigger along with some tools to use, and lets me know that what i already was doing was a copeing skill , so the more we speak about it and the more poeple we send the info to that do not understanding it will be very helpful, as in my experinces, not to many people understand and then lable me as crazy, not true, just need someone to listen and be there to know how to say the right or just be there will help a lot, i tryed taking my life and did pretty good job of it flat lined three times,but god would not let me go thankful for that i felt know understood or cared, not even my family or children, so i fekt it was best for me to just go i was tired, so the more we speak and send out the information that we can send the better and it shall all come together, i have spoken to the wrong persons before and it all went bad, so i think we need to be careful to whom we tell, this is good very good, ty vm to glenn and all that have shared ur storie, i do not feel so alone ty

Not Sure
Lisa Vance

There will always be those out there who have closed minds. So grateful for all the pro active groups I have discovered through my own research for support for myself and those I love through my depression. I am a suicide survivor. Having already become familiar with what darkness does to my life and everyone and everything it doesn't make it any easier for any of us out here. Very little of what I once called my life still exists while my parents and my daughter remain. This definitely has to be as difficult for them as it is for me to be in the swells of the darkness. I am blessed for this.

Yes/Agree
Sonia Morales

Very much agree. I myself suffer from depression and PTSD. Groups like this are very helpful. Thanks so much. God Speed to all.

Yes/Agree
Renata Manzo

Absolutely we can. When we bring issues out from the darkness into the light and people understand what it is and that there is nothing to fear, the stigma will disappear. Follow my own journey on my blog "I'm Still Standing" on Wordpress

Yes/Agree
Kari Larson

I think it's gotten better in the past few years that I've been active in mental illness advocacy (my daughter has schizophrenia). That being said, there's still a strange hierarchy of what kinds of special needs kids are more acceptable than others.

Yes/Agree
debbIe

It just takes each and every one of us to have a voice and express why mental health care is so important!

Yes/Agree
ajboring

I was diagnosed with depression 40 years ago. About 30 years ago I was diagnosed with BiPolar disorder. At the time, I was working as a nurse in a big teaching hospital in Denver. Even as a healthcare professional, I put my own stigma on my diagnosis. As the years have passed and I've gained knowledge and experience, having a mental illness isn't as rough as it used to be. I feel we all need to be open, honest and non-judge mental with mental illness. The sooner people accept these illnesses as real and not "a figment of my imagination" the better off we will all be. Mental illness can be treated and well-managed. The positive strides psychiatry have made in the last 30 years has been tremendous. A big thank you to all celebrities who have championed this cause.

Yes/Agree
Maureen Jones

I am grateful for Glenn and all those who fight to end the stigma of mental illness. I suffer with mental illness: Bipolar, Anxiety Disorder and a Depressive Disorder.
Family tries to understand. But, except for my brother who suffers with PTSD, no one talks about it. I firmly believe that is people would start talking about it, and get educated on the truth, not the media hype, that people would stop being afraid and judgmental. If that would happen, then we would be able to end the stigma of mental illness we experience.

Yes/Agree
Lynn Powers

Thank you Glenn for all you do for advocacy. I provide educational advocacy for kids with mental illness and I often ask the teaching staff who needs an IEP more a child with a mental illness or a child in a wheel chair? I think about 85% say wheel chair.... I inquire why. I never told you why they are in the wheel chair. It could be that they need it for a broken leg or it may be they need 504 accommodations. But a child with a mental illness may not be able to learn unless they have other needs met. Unfortunately insurance doesn't cover that type of help. I do the best I can but since it is what I do to make a living I can only do so much pro bono. I hoped Robin Williams suicide would bring more understanding to the stigma to change it. Please keep doing what you are. My son needs your advocacy!

Yes/Agree
Kat Allison

we have to. I think my sister is bipolar and I'm sure she has no idea.

Yes/Agree
Hannah Sands

We can and we need to. We cannot blame people for having diseases, and they should not be embarrassed because of it.

Yes/Agree
Charles Rodgers

My son and I both suffer from mental illness.

Not Sure
Allie McG

I don't think the stigma will go away entriely either.

Yes/Agree
MichelleBelle

I think the more people come forward and speak out then the less stigma there will be. It is not easy to speak out about mental illness.

Not Sure
Alana Massey

Never entirely, there are too many that we don't even have names for yet. Stigma will continue the more we learn about the true scope of afflictions.

Yes/Agree
bmcg6863

I am diagnosed with Bipolar 2. Sometimes I do okay, sometimes not. A friend posted on Facebook about her fight with Crohn's disease. How she was doing, meds being changes. I thought, I could never post a about my struggles. People so misunderstand depression. They think you are looking for sympathy. I would like to be able to describe my illness as it happens. Thoughts of suicide, no hope, unable to get out of bed. But people just don't get that it is a chemical imbalance that needs to be fixed. Not me picking myself up and thinking better thoughts. Sigh.

Yes/Agree
shuanna Green

Over the 30 years I have dealt with Bi Polar 1 disorder and ADHD and GAD I have seen more tolerance and understanding. Even the government is now allocating money for research. What little they are finding is very exciting. I plan on doing a study at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. I realize it it is not in my future to receive a cure but I believe in the future instead of treating the symptoms which leads to a lot of unwanted side affects they will treat the cause. Because of this I can deal with anything the nay sayers can put out there. I am lucky I have a husband and son that loved me enough to wait for the medication cocktail to be correct and the endless hospitalizations to end and for me to realize that the only way I could really hurt them was by leaving them (taking my own life ). I believe that we are a country of free thinkers and as information is released those who don't understand will.

Yes/Agree
Hailey McKeefry Delmas

It has to end...

Yes/Agree
Mystic Smith

I am a 33 yr. old female, whom recently reached out last yr, about my mental state. I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Clinical Depression. I've always been the shy one growing up as child. But then my shyness got worse in high school, were I would end up hiding in the restrooms, skipping certain classes, so I wouldn't have to stand up in front of the class, to present my projects, or what ever project that was due. Then I started skipping school, which led me into quitting. I ended up getting my G.E.D yrs. after. In my adulthood my shyness became worse. Job interviews are hardest. I sweat like crazy, I forget my words, and so end up not getting the job. I started having Panic attacks at the age of 30. After that my Panic attacks became worse, were I was having them in public. It became hard to shop, or take care of any kind of errands. I was nervous all the time. I became so depressed , that I could barely get out of bed, everything felt like a chore, even trying to laugh or smile with my kids, was hard. So finally I reached out to my local news paper to find help, because I was at my wits end. I couldn't do it anymore. I was tired of the pain. After writing to the paper I received a call from the editor of the paper. He understood my pain, because someone he was close too suffered from Anxiety also. He took my number down, to pass it along to a place called the Burke Center. A place were people like me receive the help they need. Mental issues. I got in, I'm seeing a therapist twice a month, I even take meds for my attacks, and for my depression. I'm doing better than before. Crowded places still make me nervous, people still make me anxious, but after not working for 6yrs because of those reasons. I've recently been employed looking after someone, I guess a provider, caretaker. Not much pay, but I'm working, taking steps to get better. It's hard because no one understands you, they think you make excuses, for being the way you are. It's like do they think I want to keep hiding and being alone? I want a life like everyone else, I want to live, not fade away . Mental illness is real.

Not Sure
charbretz

Time for the stories to be heard. What are the life experiences that put people in the mental states that change the way they are perceived by society. What are the chemical imbalances that strike our brains that put us in hearing voices, and seeing things that others can't. The things that change our behaviors and fog our brains that stop us from knowing what is going on in our own heads. Then there are the addictions that are just waiting to jump onto the mix. Alcohol, smoking, and drugs are all there to be the soother to make things better. Now that is more accepted by society to be the drunk that can't handle their liquor or the one that is always stoned or one that everybody knows is a walking medicine cabinet full of any pill out there. Then the walking dead meth heads and heroin zombies. Who are the judges? Families that hide the person so others don't know. The friends that don't visit and say things are going to be alright and never relate to you the same way again. You become know as the one that is thrown off. Oversensitive you know she has problems. I am considered a lucky one I can struggle through my mental illness and have wonderful supporters all around me that know my history and are there to love me through. I open my heart to understand others because I look with no judgement. Yet part of my depression is judging myself. I am extremely hard on myself to not have depression. I judge myself when I get overwhelmed by everything And can't even get out of bed. I get mad on those days that I cry for friends that are ill and going thru hard times. I get upset when I go out places and have anxiety attacks and get treated rudely by insensitive people that are supose to be people that care. I would not want anyone to understand my struggle and cheer me on because I don't know what the next minute has for me. All I know is that I am the face of mental illness and wear the banner weather I want to or not. See face hear my voice See my words. Thanks for letting me share.

Yes/Agree
Elise Kimmel

This is an "invisible" illness that is difficult to detect and treat. It is confusing even after
detection. The spiral of hospitalizations and the aftercare fails constantly. There needs to be more studies on newer drugs with less side affects. Absolutely more education in schools for awareness. This is just beginning...

Yes/Agree
Christine Ramos

My 25 year old son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 4 years ago. He is isolated socially and feels like an outcast.

Yes/Agree
Laura Robbie

I'm a Teacher in central California. My 84 yr old father shot himself last Friday due to declining health and depression issues. His grandfather shot himself.. And one before that. In 2009, my younger sister put herself into a drug/alcohol induced coma from her issues with anxiety, depression, and borderline. I and my three older siblings suffer from anxiety/depression. My mother turned to alcohol:tobacco as a treatment for her mental illness. She passed away at age 65. When will this end?

Yes/Agree
Brandy Higgins

I am a behavioral health RN and I have Bipolar, anxiety, dissociative disorder. It has to get better because I fought for 20 yrs of my life to be accepted at work and in life as I am. I've tried to be open about my illnesses even when the response from others was painful. Only now at my current place of employment do I feel that I am accepted as I am most of the time. I don't want those I love with mental illness to have to struggle so hard to be accepted!

Yes/Agree
Kaytee Reilly

My daughter is 13 with schizophrenia. She only goes to school for 3 hours a day which I FOUGHT a year for and is still socially isolated. She is a sweet amazing human being, but because people are ignorant and judgemental with regards to this disorder, they "hide" her from others. It is our purpose to educate the idiots of society. Ignorance is no excuse. I will do whatever it takes, one person at a time, to change the uneducated opinions of others regarding Schizophrenia. I pity the ignorance, not my child. She is the epitome of perfection to me & many others! There is hope.

Not Sure
lifeincolor

I think we are scared of absorbing mental illness in our family.
society need more education to treat them equally & kindly.

Yes/Agree
Becky

Illness is illness. We develop medication and treatment for illness. We are complex creatures. Not so long ago some thought of cancer as potentially contagious & attached stigma to that fear. Even today some are afraid of cancer even in others. As if it were somehow contagious.

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Samantha Rosen

WE can and we should. Everyone knows someone suffering from it!

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Karen Cahn

I would like to think that as a society we can stop judging lots of things but truly, I feel that until something happens to you or your loved one, you can't really walk in someone else's shoes, therefore stop judging. I have a number of close family members with some sort of mental illness and I see how they struggle. And here's the thing...it's not their fault. The minute you realized this and accept that it's not their fault, the easier it is to start helping them recover. Let Love Rule.

Yes/Agree
Katie

Mental illness is completely misunderstood. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, a physical condition. Just like any other disease that we do not judge people for.

Not Sure
Jadehunter

Society cant make me feel disgraced or dishonor over my indifferent medical conditions. At 7 yrs old i had seizures and took medications for years. I've been thru my own addictions (26 yrs of) where i disgraced myself. Now im off the drugs and have been diagnosed bipolar with severe depression and battered woman's syndrome (PTSD). I wont blame society for my awkwardness as well as i wont let society make me feel awkward. That said i do feel awkward at times but is it a stigma? Only if i let it be!

Yes/Agree
Jill Whitman

I like the message of this video--the important of having a dialogue and advocacy in general.

Yes/Agree
Mily6000

It was a shock to find out that So many people I know are on anti depressives . It has forced me to understand that there are fine lines between being mentally well and mentally unwell .

Yes/Agree
Victoria Trilling

Let's talk about it more and bring awareness! Just because there is no simple diagnosis doesn't mean it doesn't exist and impact us!

Yes/Agree
Nia Howe-smith

Yes! Talking about mental illness and having some accurate portrayals of it in the media will definitely help end the stigma.

Yes/Agree
smartyskirts

I know many people with mental illness, and it can be tough, but there should be no stigma, no exclusion, but hopefully more honesty and better treatment.

Yes/Agree
crickett8285

Stigma starts and stops in the home, take it by the horns before children even start preschool.

Yes/Agree
Katie

The way of the world is the easy road, honest open and challenging conversations on mental health can lead to understanding. Period.

No/Disagree
Aleshia Wilson

We can create awareness for it but there will always be ignorance towards something people don't understand that's just the way of the world.

Yes/Agree
Lindsay Dolak

Yes. Of course we can. It starts with stopping our initial judgmental thoughts and then working hard to better understand mental health and illness.

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