I live with Bipolar Disorder, classified as a serious mental illness but getting the right diagnosis can be the joke. There are so many labels out there that if you search the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) long enough you will be able to find one that suits you.
Even with such a high number of people with so many disorders classified as a mental deficiency, does that mean the sufferer should not be recognized? Even if, to others, the “type” of disorder my seem frivolous, there is a real need for help!! To the sufferer, the need is overwhelming and must be met!!
Stigma perpetuated by this type of thinking is why many people don’t seek help in the first place.
“Stigma leads to isolation, and discourages people from seeking the treatment they need. Political leaders, health care professionals, and all Americans must understand and send this message: Mental disability is not a scandal; it is an illness. And like physical illness, it is treatable, especially when treatment comes early.” - President’s New Freedom
Commission on Mental Health - April 29, 2002
It takes “strength beyond what is normal” for a person to admit there is a problem and that they need help! With so many factors against them and their own self- doubt telling them… “HEY, there is nothing wrong! You just needs some rest!”
Some times the signs of depression, bipolar disorder or the mental health issues can be very hard for others to see. Let alone understand.
So over coming our first major obstacle is the key to getting the help we might need.
What is that obstacle? YOU ARE!
Because of the inner fear we might have due to the stigmatic beliefs we have about mental health, could prevent us from the next step. We need to admit to ourselves that we want, no need help.
By just looking at the statistics on what gender has the most mental issues, you would find there are more women receiving different types of psychosocial therapy (seeing some one or on meds, ect.) If you are a guy reading this and shaking your head up and down saying “I knew that women are nuts!” You are so wrong! Women are smart enough to recognize there is not only a need for help but actually go and get it!
Still the ugly stigmatic thought many people think about when you say mental illness is people who are violent and want to kill, kill, kill. People who should be locked away and forgotten and not allowed to be around others.
This is not the real case at all. Mental health effects all type,s with no one class of people effected more. Don’t let the fear and stigma of the label “mental illness” stop you from getting help.
In our next post we will look at the different types of help that is available.