Monday, October 6, 2014

Bipolar Awareness Week - National Day Without Stigma

Stigma. Even in this supposedly day of enlightenment, we still live with stigma.

What is stigma?

Stigma at its most succinct is a prejudice. This is what E.B. White has to say about it.

 But, Mental Illness is nothing of which to be ashamed. I have a Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder. I know of so many others as well. The more you talk about it, the more others will as well. That's what's so great about it. There is no shame in sharing your story. The more you share your story, the more others will share theirs. I've made an effort to share my story with as many people as possible and I've been encouraged to continue to do so and commended for being brave and courageous. That's not why I do it. I share my story to help others do they same. To reach out to those that haven't had the courage yet to do so. To reach that one person who might be thinking of suicide and I might be able to turn him/her around. That's why I do it.

There is no shame in sharing your story, al all.

 So, stop the stigma of Mental Illness. This instance. Today. Not tomorrow. Today. This second. Drop what you're doing and make a conscious effort to connect with someone you know who has a mental illness. Say hello. Ask them how they're doing. Ask them if there is anything you can do for them. Make an effort to get to know them.

Make an effort. That's all that matters. It lets the other person knows that they do matter. That's what counts.

I hope I've made my point. If you want to talk, I'm here. If you don't know what to say, I'm here. If you need encouragement, I'm here.

God is with you."The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." - Psalms 34: 15, 17

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