26 thoughts on “We Suffer Because We’re Treated Like Lepers-Stop the Stigma!

  1. Oh and PS (sorry to ramble and go on so much) I forgot to mention that often times my poetry was rejected for being too sad. Okay I accept that. Except that if we shun writing because it is not happy enough, well what are we saying to the writer? I was told by my entire family that I should write happier things, and never told, oh you are a good writer, because the negative outweighs the positive and people like to say that to you. They cannot stand to let you write out your truth. It is only other people who can empathize who have been supportive and that’s wonderful but we wonder why depressed people become suicidal? With people deriding the validity of their expression, their art, their voice.

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    1. I think that some of the art of submitting work to publishers is an understanding of what the house publishes.

      Your work seems appropriate to anthologies that might be more along the lines of the Exquisite Corpse or the Paris Review.

      Poetry is a tough market to break but the good news is that with our current technology you don’t need them. Well not as much…:)

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      1. I don’t know Exquisite Corpse (though I know the same-titled book by Poppy Z Brite). Agreed. I have published but yes, the road was steep. I don’t mind hard-work I just am a terrible networker, too much phony for me I can’t do it. Thank you for the words my friend.

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  2. Of all I have read and seen on this subject what I like about this is the clarity. It really gets to the purpose and I think someone who wasn’t clued in on this ever present stigmatization would get a lot out of this. I will be sharing this on FB if that’s okay. Meanwhile I wanted to say I couldn’t agree more. I’m a hypocrite. I don’t tell people about my depression very often, I do write about it but I use the alagory of poetry to do that, and mostly I don’t talk about it because I feel I have to APOLOGIZE. That’s so wrong of me as if someone came to me and said they were depressed I would NEVER make them feel like they needed to apologize. Why do I then? Because it’s hammered into us, that if we are depressed and/or have any type of DEFICIT (just the word alone is negative) mentally then we are thus, not as WORTHY. I truly believe society has done a great job of this and I truly believe the reason so many do not recover is more to do with the stigma than the sentence! It’s a really sad day when you feel you cannot apologize enough for being say, depressed or bipolar or MPD or whatever. Because WHY should you? Would a person with cancer? And yet the way we are vilified we’re basically reinforced with this notion that we are UNLOVABLE. I have been told by people I am beautiful and talented blah blah but I always feel I have to explain to them oh the reason I’m broken and not cherished is because I have this defect of depression – and yet that’s absurd! Just as the notion of not being loved because you are not physically beautiful or any other reason is. We should ALL be loved and if we love someone JUST because they are beautiful or JUST because they are not mentally unwell then we’re shunning a whole swath of people. But that’s how it is. If I were honest and dated and said to everyone I met I’m depressed on the first date, there would never be a second date! I’m not talking about myself really. I’m using myself as an example of how unfair the system is. What is the cure? I don’t know. I suppose greater awareness and time. But to be honest I think it’s getting worse not better. If we, the mentally ill, if we call ourselves that, at least band together, and support one another, this helps somewhat. At times it’s been the only life-raft I had and I would be under the waves without it. So thank YOU for being a VOICE in the darkness.

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    1. Please share anything that you think may help others. Juggling stigma is a skill. At this point I’m free from many of the demands that attend having a career and building a life so I can be more open. I don’t recommend it for people who are not near retirement age…:)

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  3. Reblogged this on MOUSEYCARL326 and commented:

    This is such a powerful graph that I think everyone needs to see no matter what.

    Too many people judge a book by the cover, and many don’t see the underlining struggles someone with a mental illness go thru to look normal to them.

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    1. They also don’t stop to consider the connection between the way they vote and the presence of untreated mental illness on the streets. Everyone who sits out an election or votes for a paltry cut in taxes at the expense of public health participates in the stigma. The answer to the question of why our tax dollars should pay for another person’s medical care is this: because that’s how civilized people behave. It disgusts me to think that my generation is responsible for creating the poverty that our parents fought so hard to eradicate.

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      1. Washington state started taking caring for the mental ill and the homeless and quite a few people I knew of complained about tax dollars going to treat mentally ill and drug addicts. Once the governor that put that into place was voted out of office, I have heard bubkas of this since. However our homeless increases!

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  4. Wow, thanks for the information. I just watched a video today that spoke about women with autism who weren’t diagnosed until adulthood. One woman was 33 years old. All the women said they learned how to hide their impairments because of fear of being different even though they knew deep down they were different. They also said it was a relief to finally be diagnosed because they were able to put a name to what they were experiencing and are now able to truly be themselves. It’s so sad that we judge so easily in this world. 😀Joe

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    1. Your comment is timely. I was not accurately diagnosed with a dissociative disorder until 2010; prior to that I spent thirty years being unsuccessfully treated for Bi-polar disorder. Part of the reason I wasn’t diagnosed accurately was that the psychiatric establishment simply decided that Dissociative Disorders didn’t exist.

      When it did get around to recognizing DID it arbitrarily decided that people who had memories of what their alternates had done could not have DID because patients weren’t ‘supposed’ to have memories. I can remember some of the behaviors of some of my alternates therefore I did not have DID.
      Recently I read an article in which psychiatrists now realize that people with DID can have memories, can communicate with some of their alters and can collaborate with them. The reason is quite simple: Dissociative Identity Disorder is not MORE than one personality; It’s less than one personality because the alternates are fragments that function as if they are a whole. They are ‘as if’ personalities. And the differences between the personalities are often subtle, which is how it was possible for me to have periods of successful functioning without treatment.

      Sadly, chronic conditions worsen without treatment and in 2010 I became too ill to work. Fortunately a new paradigm for understanding trauma and dissociation emerged and now I am getting the treatment I need. It is sad that we judge so easily, it’s even sadder when the judgment comes from medical professionals who know better.

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      1. Yeah, but I think the medical professionals are the ones who set the standard. I’ve always had a problem with the medical field. I always used to say “there’s a reason why they say they are a practicing physician.” 🙂 Joe

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