Stigma killed Robin Williams and many others: A Stigma Story

Posted: April 17, 2018 in Depression, mental health, mental illness, psychiatry, Robin Williams, stigma, suicide
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“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

By Cortland Pfeffer

Robin Williams didn’t kill himself, stigma killed him. It kills many people like him everyday. Here is how:

STIGMA, that is the reason people do not ask for help. STIGMA is the reason people do not go to the doctor and say I’m depressed, I’m an addict, or I do not feel things like anyone else. Who wants to say that they feel all these intense emotions?

Especially when you know what the result is likely going to be. When you know likely what will happen is the doctor will probably give you medication. People will tell you to change, or to just feel better.

The issue is we have it backwards, the depressed and mentally ill don’t need to change, society and our culture needs to change.

We, as a society, we do this. This is why people with great talents still kill themselves. Much has been written about Robin Williams; however why do you think he was such a good actor?

I’ll tell you what I think, it is because he got to wear a mask and pretend he was somebody else. That is easy to do when you do not like yourself.

Why don’t they ask for help? STIGMA. Why do people kill themselves? STIGMA. We are all Co responsible for this, and until we take responsibility for our part, things will never change.

A few years ago I was sitting with a patient. I’ll never forget as I watched her as she sat with her hands in her head crying. She was crying like I had never seen anyone cry before.
She had just been told by her husband that he was leaving her and he would be taking her child with him. He would be divorcing her if she didn’t “change.” This child was 6 years old at the time.
I remember the look on her face like it was yesterday. She had a look of pain and anguish that I have never seen before. Her lips were shaking. I could see her chin trembling. Her knees were banging into each other as her feet were shuffling back and forth. The tears were coming down her face. They were clear tears, very clear and big tears. Her eyes were squinted and almost closed. Her mouth was leaning towards me as she trembled in fear as if to say to me, “do something, I don’t know what to do.” It took everything I had not to cry.

She said to me, “I don’t know what to do. My husband’s going to leave me if I don’t change and I don’t even know what that means.”

She paused as she saw me pause. Looking at me with eyes like a child saying “make me feel better, help my soul, this isn’t fair.”

I didn’t save the world this day. However, for this moment, I was able to take away some pain, or teach her how to do this for herself in the future. That is good enough, because that is all we can do. That is how we can cause a mass ripple affect and stop suicides and pain. One moment at a time, every single action and every single moment matters, every single one.

So what I told her was “I know you’re feeling like somebody just hit you in the stomach and you have a dull aching pain that will not go away and you just want to keel over and surrender.” I knew this because I have been there. I spoke from the heart, not from a book.

However in my experience, this kind of pain is a beautiful thing. Why I say that is because in the moments like this in my life, this is when the truth entered me. Rumi says it best in my favorite quote of all time, “The wound is where the light enters you.”

There have been times in my life where everything was ripped away. When I lost all the things that I thought that were important. Things like cars, houses, fake friendships and relationships with family members. These were the things I grasped to. I was certain I needed them or I would die. The beautiful thing about adversity is that it will rip away everything, so you can see what really is important.

She said “All I want to do lay down and go to bed.”
I know she meant forever. The pain she was experiencing was shame. She felt like she was not ok. She had to change. She was sick. Her whole life as she knew it, her husband, her son, and everything she had ever known was going to be taken away from her because she was sick. She then put her hands on her head and cried.

She looked at me and I said to her,
“Sammy, just look at me.”

She put her face up, she stopped crying, her hands stopped shaking, and her chin stopped shaking. I had her attention. She paused, and she looked at me.

I said, “Sammy, there is nothing wrong with you.” She looked at me like this was the first time anyone had ever said that to her in her life. She sobbed and put her head in her hands.

Then she pulled her head back up and said, “I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to do!”

Her husband was offered talks, education, and all other kinds of resources and ways to find out about her issues. He declined this every time he was offered. He always stated that he had to work or something else.

I said to her “We don’t know that he’s going to leave you. He’s probably stressed out because he has a kid all by himself for the first time and he’s working full time. Maybe he had a bad day. Good days come and go, and bad things come and go. That is life. We try to do our best with what we know at the time. Life flows.”

She shook her head yes. A sign to continue.

Then I said to her, “I’m sure you’ve had hard times before and it didn’t last forever. What you are doing is healthy because you are feeling your feelings. You aren’t running from the pain, you are taking off your mask; you are being strong and healthy. You aren’t cutting, you aren’t drinking and you are not gambling.You are feeling your true feelings and it sucks and it hurts what you are going through. You aren’t blaming anyone, you aren’t telling anyone they have to “change.” You are just being loving and hurting, you are being real.”

I told her a lot that day, but the only thing that really mattered is when I said, “There is nothing wrong with you.” That was the moment of clarity and truth.

I am going to finish her story towards the end of this.

The reason I tell this story is because of the stigma and how stigma destroys people, and stops the patients who are suffering from asking for help. It prevents people from wanting to get help because they are scared they are going to lose everything. They are scared that people are going to look at them weird and tell them to just get better. Stigma, that’s what it is. People don’t want to ask for help because of STIGMA.

Stigma is created by us. So we are the ones that can end it.

Loud, opinionated, yet uniformed people have power. We must stop stigma by education, not by hating. If we treat them the way they treat those with mental health issues, then we are no different. As Martin Luther King Jr. Said, “Anger does not stop anger, hate does not stop hate. Only love can do that.”

So you look for opportunities to educate and you use them wisely. If we just randomly spout of at the mouth we lose credibility, even if what we are saying is accurate. If we try to reach people that are not ready to hear the truth, we will lose them. When you see an honest opportunity, we must use it, and jump on it. Educate every chance we get. You prepare yourself through reading and knowledge, and living. Then you will see more opportunities come, and that’s when you jump at them.

I want to talk about the most stigmatized illness in mental health. It is the illness that “Sammy” had. We call it a “disorder,” however, I want to try and explain why  it can be  a gift, and not a “disorder.”

Borderline Personality Disorder. This is what they say is the single most difficult mental health diagnosis to treat, and the most difficult illness to have as a patient.

What is said is that those with this illness depend completely on the external enviornment for clues as to what emotion to feel. We say that they are manipulative, they are gamey, and they are attention seeking. We say they want everybody to love them and that they feel like it’s up to everybody else to make them feel good. We say that they don’t know how to feel. They feel intensely connected to everything therefore, affected greatly by everything. They say we need to teach them how to handle emotions. If you ask me, the wrong people are in the role of teacher.

The truth is that science is finding out very quickly that we ALL ARE IN FACT connected. Science and studies have found out that we are breathing the same air that people breathed in and breathed out thousands of years ago. The air we breathe is composed of mainly nitrogen, gas, and oxygen gas. Very little is lost in space, and only occasionally is there a new source of carbon or oxygen introduced into this planet. So every breath you take has atoms that have been here for billions of years.

We could be breathing the same air that mother Teresa, Ghandi, MLK breathed in and out. We are connected.

There was a computer program set up in various spots around the world. It would shoot off random numbers, there was no pattern ever seen for years.This is called a Random Number Generator. However when the September 11th attacks happened, or other moments that human consciousness became coherent, things changed. For instance, in the case of a severe tragedy in which all humans are thinking about similar things and having similar emotions, all the numbers become structured and organized. They show an unpredictable sequence of one’s and zeroes.The odds of this happening by chance is one in a trillion.

Some people still think that Darwin said evolution was about competition, survival of the fittest.However, that’s just the part that got popularized by people who had a hidden agenda. The truth is he said compassion and cooperation is what is essential. This is truly what he was about.

Every single thing you can see around you. The rocks, the birds, and the trees all are comprised of the same atoms. Just expressed differently.

There is science out there that shows if bees were to go extinct, that humans would not last more than 10 years. This is debatable, however we would suffer greatly, that is for sure. Albert Einstein once said that humans would not last 5 years without bees. One third of our food needs to be pollinated. That is mostly done by bees.

Science has also proved we are all connected in other ways.

Humans and chimps have 90% identical DNA.

Humans and mice have 88% identical DNA.

Humans and cows have 85% identical DNA.

Humans and dogs have 84% identical DNA.

Humans and Zebra Fish have 73% identical DNA.

We are all connected. We use our genes differently, express them differently.

Science is figuring out what borderlines and great sages and philosophers have always said. We are all connected. So why is this a disorder again?

What we do is tell the people with this “Disorder” we call BPD, who have always felt connected to everything and everybody. We tell them that they are too emotional. What we are doing is we are telling these people with a gift, the gift of the truth, that they are crazy.

There is a trick that I see, especially in the hospitals. Someone comes in with Borderline Personality Disorder, and it is very easy to look at the mood swings and say “It is a chemical issue.” Which is another myth. Chemical imbalances do not exist. The APA admitted this in 2005. It is used as a marketing tool by drug companies.

We then use this to diagnose them with Bipolar Disorder. Then what we can do is give them these “mood stabilizers” or these “antipsychotics,” and they will  sleep and are tired all day. Then what we say as we pat ourselves on the back is “Look, no more behaviors, we cured them!”

We have chemically restrained them and shut them up because they speak the truth.

Marsha Linehan said they are like 3rd degree burn victims, if you just walk by them you can hurt them. My biggest questions and concern is, why do we call that a disorder? They are the ones that know the truth and we don’t, we lie; we put a mask on them because we do not like what they have to say.

How Borderline personality disorder is developed is very simple. We are all born with an innate temperament which can be on one of many different levels. We can be born not very emotional, slightly emotional, or normal emotional, (whatever that is). Then there is highly emotional and extremely emotional.

Once again, there are studies that prove this. They tested babies when they were first born and followed them. There were babies that cried more when their mothers would leave the room. When they were tickled by a feather they were much more affected by it. These babies grew up and continued to have the same innate temperament. It is something we are born with, like blue or brown eyes.

Temperament alone will not cause Borderline Personality Disorder. We all know emotional people, you know those people who we say “Wow they took that harder than anyone else.” The pain that they feel is intense.

Imagine you are eating a pizza, and you feel it is luke warm. The guy you are eating it with thinks it is burning hot and it is burning his mouth. We don’t understand him, we do not get it, and we roll our eyes and we make jokes and tell him to settle down, “What is wrong with you,” we say.

That is invalidation; we all do that from time to time to each other. That alone does that cause BPD.

Let’s pretend there is a boy named little Johnny. He is a very emotional person or perhaps an extremely emotional person. He has some “weird” instinct and/or intuitiveness where he can feel everything around him in his environment. He is in a family that is perhaps functional or dysfunctional. Regardless, the family and his friends do not understand his emotional states of being. Let’s say little Johnny is very connected to something he finds very important and we don’t understand his attachment. Then one day, he loses this item and he is crying continuously. An invalidating environment forces him to stop. We tell him that it is not OK, we tell him to quit being a baby. What we are really saying to him in other words is to “quit being yourself little Johnny.”
Johnny now feels like something is wrong with him and he is not OK. Now he looks to the external environment to tell him how to feel.  He watches for cues on how to feel and how to act because he does not trust himself or his feelings.

Congratulations to society, he now is wearing a mask. The intense feelings are still there, just because they are hidden, does not mean they are gone. In fact this makes it much worse. The emotions are building up over time. He can’t take it so he gambles, he drinks, he cuts, he overeats, he steals, or he becomes hyper sexual to mask the feelings. The behavior depends on what’s most acceptable to his certain environment.

The next step is then the judgments come in about this behavior, the criticisms, and it’s usually from the ones that caused the behavior that are doing the most judging. The original shame about who he is, still is with him. Now he wakes up and he feels worse, he has more guilt and more shame. The intense emotions are worse now, so what does he do again? Well, first he fakes and fakes and fakes until he blows. What they call this in the books is “unrelenting crisis” what I call it is blaming the victim.

We have it backwards; it is hard to see someone go through all this and especially when we do not understand. However, to say “It’s all attention seeking and drama,” is really making it much much worse.

Sometimes the only way anyone understands is if he attempts suicide. This may be the only time he gets reinforced by family. Still no one ever tells him he is OK. What we have done accidentally is told him that he has to be somebody else.

One invalidating moment will not cause Borderline Personality Disorder, it is repeatedly invalidating someone and telling them who they are is not OK is what causes it. We must remember that these are the people that understand life and connections. Instead of validating them, what we do is we drug them up until then they have no behavior, when really they have a gift.

That’s where stigma comes in. Let’s shut them up.They don’t play pretend like the rest of us. They don’t play grown up very well. They just speak the truth so we get them drugged up and we put them in hospitals, and we call them names behind their backs.

What we think of them is something which affects how we treat them. This, in turn, affects the reaction we get. We have made it so that they don’t think they are OK. What we have done is we have tricked them.

The truth is, we are not OK. Another thing we are told is that this is the toughest mental health diagnosis to work with. I was told this before I knew what it was. It would frighten me. The behavior frightened me. When I first started about 25 years ago and I was training in, I was told this was all attention seeking behavior and manipulative. I watched the elder staff roll their eyes so then I started doing it. I thought it was fake and I didn’t want to deal with it. I didn’t want to have to dig deep.

We train our mental health professionals that these people are “bad.”

Then it was explained to me this is a trauma disorder. 100% of people with this disorder have suffered trauma. The statistics say 70%, I do not believe that for one second, I am convinced it is 100%.What is a trauma is different to each person. What is a trauma to me may not be a trauma to you. If you are on the top of a ladder when you fall down, it is a lot more painful to fall than if you were only on the first step . I believe that they have powers and they are locked in darkness, like a genie in a bottle.

I am NOT saying this is easy. They are not bad, they have a gift. They know your emotions instinctively and they sense and feel things that we can’t feel. They know how to make people happy, they can read your soul.

In a way they are lucky, and in a way they are not. The way they are not is the way that our society treats them and tells them that it’s not okay.

Back to the story I started with. This patient was crying with her head in her hands and trembling in fear while her husband was about to take her life away because she was sick. How is this justice?

I said “What do you need to change Sammy?” and she said “I don’t know.”

I said for the second time “There is nothing wrong with you.”

I didn’t save her life. A few months later, she killed herself.

However, for that one day she felt she was ok. I know this because she was brighter, and happier.She looked better. She felt ok.

That is all we can do is embrace every moment with each other and make it the best moment possible. In that room, for that day, she felt ok for once in her life. She got better and was discharged in a week.

So to all you Sammy’s out there, and all the Sammy’s I will meet in the future. My message is you are ok, we are not.

She didn’t kill herself, Stigma killed her. This is the same thing that killed Robin Williams. He got enough attention, the Sammy’s of the world will not.

We will never change the problems of the world until we start embracing diversity and gifts. We have these intuitive, special people and they are invalidated and abused. We continue to abuse and punish them. We need to stop punishing them. There is truth in their behavior. There is a truth that sometimes we do not want to deal with.

We have to simply change or reframe the way we see things. See beyond the mask. To do this, sometimes we have to forget all the knowledge we think we think we have.

Sammy, there was nothing wrong with you, there is something wrong with us.

Taking the Mask Off: Destroying the Stigmatic Barriers of Mental Health and Addiction Using a Spiritual Solution $3.99


Taking the Mask Off” is the new book by Cortland Pfeffer and Irwin Ozborne. Cortland Pfeffer spent years as a patient in psychiatric hospitals, treatment centers, and jails before becoming a registered nurse and working in the same facilities. Based on his experience, this story is told from both sides of the desk. It offers a unique and valuable perspective into mental health and addiction, revealing the problems with the psychiatric industry while also providing the solution – one that brings together science, spirituality, philosophy, and personal experience.

“Taking the Mask Off: Destroying the Stigmatic Barriers of Mental Health and Addiction Using a Spiritual Solution” is available on Amazon, and Balboa Press

  1. aspeckinnature says:

    Reblogged this on A Speck in Nature and commented:
    A brilliant and compassionate article on stigma and BPD.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joyful2bee says:

    Your compassion and desire to help others is phenomenal. Please don’t stop. I would like to write blogs about recovering from an abusive relationship. I will be reading more of your work. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is an incredible post! I know nothing about BPD, but from what you have written I think my daughter (who was diagnosed with Rapid-Cycling-Mood-Disorder) was mis-diagnosed. So many things you have said point to that. I’m going to research BPD, and see if there’s anything I can do to sort out the mess.
    Thank you for this enlightening post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is wonderful. People are very often mis doagnosed. I wish we didn’t diagnos and label people and instead treated the person. But if you take her to 5 doctors, you may get 5 answers. It is not an exact science. IF ANYONE EVER diagnosis her before the 3rd visit. Do not ever see that provider again.

      Please keep me updated on the developing situation if you wouldn’t mind

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on MINDS LIKE OURS and commented:
    Good post.
    “Borderline Personality Disorder is what they say is the single most difficult mental health diagnosis to treat, and the most difficult illness to have as a patient.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this is so insightful

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that and taking the time to read it. It helps to know it reaches people


      • Iris says:

        I read it twice, with tears in my eyes. I see myself, my own problems, my struggles with real life in every word. EVERY WORD! I need help, but nobody knows how to help me because I need to “change”, while I can’t, I don’t know how to change, I tried to change so hard but I ended up in more and more trouble because of that. I tried to do the stuff what ‘normal’ people do, but I can’t! I’ve seen so many psychologists since I was 11 and I never had a proper diagnose and proper help.

        I lost so many friends (but I still have some), I have so many problems (debts, no paid job because I can’t hold a full time job for more than 5 weeks before trouble starts). I was thinking about committing suicide today but I didn’t, I bought a vinyl album from my favourite band instead from my last money.Nobody knows this. I want to seek help but I never had a good psychologist who REALLY helped me. I’m so afraid of getting the wrong help again… I’m crying right now.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Please don’t hurt yourself. You have hope. I can see thst. you are a special. Unique gifted person. Science backs that up. One moment at a time it gets better. I promise you it gets better.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Iris says:

        Thank you very much for your fast reply. I need to find a good doctor/psychologist but I haven’t paid my (required) health insurance for months.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If YOU ARE IN NEED Of Help Right Away A Hospital Can NOT Turn YOU Down If U Feel Mike Hurting yourself.

        I Have BEEN there. You are not defective. Not at all. It is a gift to feel emotions.

        You just need help using your superpower please go to the nearest hospital if u feel like hurting yourself they can not deny you if you are suicidal

        Liked by 2 people

      • Iris says:

        I tried a suicide hotline once and they tried to help me but they couldn’t. They were focused on ‘doing things that make you happy’. I’m doing plenty of things that make me happy, I work for a radio station (voluntary, sadly not paid) and have a lot of hobbies/passions, it’s just that I suffer from misunderstanding from the outside world and not having a paid job. I am happy when I do a lot of work for the radio station but my environment forces me to find a paid job because I have to pay the bills and ‘just be like them because they do it too and the bills need to be paid’. This is only the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot more going on but I need to find someone who really listens and doesn’t say “Try to be… Or try do this”. I’m tired of trying because I tried so many things and all didn’t work out. Most of the time things worked out for me doing the complete opposite of what was told me. I really suffer from people who force me to do things from which I already know don’t work for me or only work shortly. I just can’t live like the average person, I know that, still the outside world wants me to ‘change’ while I said that I tried everything I could do but it didn’t work. People don’t like to hear “I can’t do that”, what happens is that I say “yes” just to please the person for a short time to avoid the “why can’t you do this? I do it and it works for me (read: I do it so that means you must do that too because when I can do that everybody can)”, while I know it’s going wrong… And it goes wrong and that person becomes angry at me.

        I know I have (also have) ADD, and because I was ‘that kid that was not concentrated/focused, is too busy daydreaming and doesn’t talk much (but talks too much when happy)’ I faced a lot of problems since my existence. My parents don’t understand me, nobody does, only a handful of people who suffer the same like me but somehow face less problems than I have (more luck or different situation). A lot of people don’t know how to handle me while I don’t know why. My ex boyfriend broke up with me because I was ‘annoying’ because every time he came back home from work I asked how his day was, or woke up in the middle of the night when he just came home from a party and I asked how the party was instead of letting him sleep (he literally told me that). People seems ‘annoyed’ by my enthusiasm… Also a lot of people unfriend me on facebook because I rant too much (also about ‘small things’, which aren’t small for me) or being too expressive when it comes to opinions…

        And now I’m talking way too much.

        Liked by 3 people

      • You are not talking to much

        Rant ON wordpress. That’s better for ranting.

        Facebook is fakebook mostly.

        There are people thst will understand you. You may feel like an alien, but there are any of us aliens spread out throughout the world.

        I’m one of them.

        You have a gift, just have to learn how to use it.

        You have to accept yourself for who you are, who you truly are. we all are imperfectly perfect. Including you

        Liked by 2 people

      • Iris says:

        Thank you very much for your replies. 🙂 They really help. I already feel a lot better. Thank you very much!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stay in touch..I try to respond as soon as it is possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Iris says:

        Thanks. Will do!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Allu says:

    I agree on all you said. In earlier times, the western world did lobotomy to fix people who they deemed were afflicted with mental disorder. Today, lobotomy is considered barbaric. But still, up to this today, in the western world, they drug and institutionalize individuals who they diagnose to act as different from normal.

    Those who display sensitivity, emotionality, creativity, and other behavior considered as outrageous and abnormal in western societies, are, in indigenous societies, observed and seen as potential individuals to be trained to become shamans — healers, diviners, mediums and teachers. Elder shamans may be tasked for supervising their training.

    My point is: it is sad that these unique, sensitive individuals who have much to offer, are instead labeled as sick then are drugged, institutionalized and stigmatized instead of being supported, nurtured and guided to become contributors for a better, richer society. What a waste and a loss for society it has become!

    I fully agree with your take about the Dark Night of the Soul. Every shaman has to undergo that severe process of letting go, cleansing, purification, and intense initiation before he or she emerges as a powerful, wise, and compassionate healer.

    We have the same loving intentions for the world.


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kelvin VynZ Vine says:

    A brilliant insightful article. Must share.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. michnavs says:

    i am in awe as how understand profoundly the human soul….keep writing and keep inspiring people…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautifully written you certainly have a gift, with the use of words you convey deep and personal experiences in such a way as enable the reader to share in those experiences, even if they have not even come anywhere close to living through them
    I know little about Bipolar Disorder, however in my past I was admitted into a mental hospital although it may seem strange I went quite willingly
    Also my wife suffers what the hospital called mood swing, due to altered medication for the Epilepsy she suffered from for most of her life

    Liked by 1 person

  10. redmoon76 says:

    Wow, I´m shaken. I´m crying for Sammy, I´m crying for my Mom, who killed herself for exact the same reasons when I was 9 years old, and I´m crying for myself, seeing how my emotions were abused and used against me.
    And now I´m a lot more understanding about BPD, seeing I was superficial. My idea is, that school is the right time to teach about what there is in society. Kids do not have prejudices.
    I would like to know if there is an article about Schizophrenia too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for commenting. How real ans raw it was. I’m so sorry for what you have been through.

      I have an article titled the lunatic on the grass about schizophrenia thst was actually featured in wake up world and spirit science and had over 30 titans shares on the internet

      Some people didn’t like it

      Check it out if you wish


  11. 90% of what you speak of I personally agree with. The other 10% I find to be quite sweeping. I get what you ‘mean’ with empaths and intuitives how they literally have the ability to take in more and oftentimes get punished for their sensitive feelings. I don’t however agree with how you have described bi polar disorder in that they are speaking the truth. Same with Schizophrenia. I know that what they see and hear is their TRUTH, but it is not the truth speaking it is part of their illness. Thinking people are following you, thinking you can contact the President and have a relationship through Twitter is not THE TRUTH. It’s an illness. I am well aware of the genius and creative propensities that those with mental illness or empaths have, but I don’t agree with all your sweeping statements. I also don’t think Robin Williams hated himself as you so easily explained? I look at him as a man who was in severe pain for most of his life. I have met plenty of people who have depression or other forms of mental illness who don’t necessarily have self hatred? Also Robin Williams absolutely seeked help. He had seen many doctors. I like your site and plan on reading more articles, and particularly love the quotes. More to come! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you I appreciate and welcome all commwnts. I would love to share the statistics with you if you wish. But I also do t want to bore you with them here if you do not want to hear them. Are you willing to read the data in these “diseases”


      • What discrepancy are we talking about here? 🙂 Labelling Robin Williams as having absolute self-hatred or that everyone with mental illness is just speaking THE TRUTH?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m Talking About Bipolar AND Schizophrenia IN particular

        Liked by 1 person

      • I believe they see what they see, and hear what they hear, but it is not *in fact* TRUE?! Especially CIA follows or ideas that don’t exist in REALITY.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok we are in agreement. It Is their reality. It is their truth. But it is sooo much more complicated than this. I can talk about this all day if you want to email me. We have an article coming up this week in wake up world that goes into all the statistics. But for the most part we agree. Y ou are a kind person and my basic idea is that none of us see the trith. It Is All Our Own Movie Based On Ideas Passed On To us. Antipaychotics work less than 20 percent of the time. My belief through my 21 years. Personal and professinal. Is there is a better way. Recidivism is almost 100 percent which means what we are doing the last 20 years does not work. THIS Is Why Drug Companies Do NOT Make Anti psychotic medication anymore

        Thank you for bringing this up as I may not have been clear in the article

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Catherine says:

    Other than STIGMA, there is another reason we don’t seek help. Lack of medical insurance. The medical insurance issue in this country is atrocious. I have the bare minimum because that is all I can afford. There are days when I cannot leave the house because of depression and anxiety. There are days that I look at my bannister and you do NOT want to know what I am thinking. But–I have to suppress my thoughts because I cannot afford the therapy that I need. I’m tired of being judged. I’m tired of people demanding that I ‘get over what’s bothering you”. They don’t “GET” it! Honestly, your blog is so important to me. It keeps me going. Many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. cognitivefungus says:

    We all have mental illnesses to varying degrees and I think it’s the people who claim they are sane (psychologists & shrinks) who r the truly psychotic & dangerous people. They turn to this profession because they get to feel better about themselves treating others with more afflictions than they have.

    Most comics are depressed people. That is what makes them great actors – and great dramatic actors in fact. Robin Williams had an addictive personality and was the type of person who couldn’t ever be happy. The reason for that is because he achieved everything in life he wanted to have and there were no goals left. He was getting on in years and was told he had a disease that was going to diminish him. Parkinson’s kills people in ways that is unimaginable. My partner’s mother went from being a HEAD RN of a department in a hospital to a blithering idiot who barely spoke and that took years to happen. It’s a slow painful debilitating end and Robin Williams couldn’t take that. He didn’t want to be remembered that way. Also he helped his dear friend, CHRIS REEVES, who was in that terrible accident and watched him go from a vital active actor to a wheel-chair bound paraplegic who later died from other causes stemming from his accident. Sadness at his best friend’s death took a heavy toll on Williams. His many marriages, his infidelities, his children, the death of that TV Show THE CRAZIES – all of this and more ended William’s life BY HIS OWN HAND. He had shrinks, he had everything he needed to be well again – he chose death and he’s not at rest. Of that I can assure you. He haunts the place he died.

    Mental illness today with these stars is usually stemming from depression. Society should change their way of thinking about mental illness, I agree with you on that but that woman’s husband was a coward. His son will grow up hating the father whom he will think killed his mother. His son may also get depressed when he grows up.

    I think DEPRESSION isn’t an illness as much as it is an awareness in the world around us. Most people get depressed because they see what is happening in this world. I think it’s a normal thing that happens to cognitive people.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Anne Kaarina says:

    Thank you for a great post and sharing your wonderful and insightful thoughts! I will reblog it and read more of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. […] Stigma killed Robin Williams and many others: A Stigma Story. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  16. safirefalcon says:

    Reblogged this on Safire Falcon and commented:
    When our emotions are suppressed and we are oppressed by those in our environment who bully us to not feel what we actually feel, that energy HAS to go somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for helping spread awareness


      • safirefalcon says:

        Yes, you are welcome. I agree with what you’ve said here and I’m sick of the judgmental behavior of so many.

        No one knows anyone’s story, until they’ve actually spoken to the person about it.

        I like your take on it too when you say how ppl with BPD are genies in a bottle.

        It’s so true that when the truth is spoken it pisses a lot of people off. Non-BPDers who are truth tellers won’t let what others think get in their way. BPDs do.

        Not judging BPDs for this though, because most likely those who are speaking truth either did their work after awareness or they never cared.

        Childhood abuse can be so horrible that it traumatizes a person into that bottle because they are conditioned to believe that everyone will react the same. And life becomes about avoiding pain.

        I think if someone has BPD may want to read and study about complex trauma, since that is what it is. They’re behavior is just another way that trauma manifests itself in that particular person.

        Feeling the feelings in a safe environment is key…even if that safe environment has to be by yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is true. We have to be safe to exits feelings and not shamed into being a certain way. It is for societies comfort. I love the way you put this. Wonderful

        Liked by 1 person

      • EyewearGallery says:

        I felt so sad when I heard the news of Robin Williams. BPD was part of his issue. I can’t help but think he didn’t have anyone who really loved him for who he was. His affinity with his friend Christopher Reeves showed they must have understood each other. The affinity was obviously strong b/c upon the death of Chris Reeves, he went into his misunderstood medicated world. I am sure he had plenty of friends and given his outward personality, would be the life of the party. I wish I could have been his friend and/but I so admired his close friendship with Reeves.
        The whole of these writings, I can relate to so well. I see the beauty, attempt to understand and I cherish understanding.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. neighsayer says:

    terrific. I liked the bit about trauma and the 70% stat as contrasted with the fact that this disorder is a symptom and its existence proves the existence of the cause, i.e. trauma. People sure like to think it’s up to us to decide what is trauma to other people, plus this stupid default – ‘no-one has had trauma until they can prove otherwise.’ Life and all of our families are innocent until proven guilty; the default of ‘most folks weren’t traumatized’ is clearly unhelpful if we want to improve anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Emma Parker says:

    I completely agree with this. I’ve learnt to expect the stigma in society yet somehow am always surprised when a medical professional acts the same towards me. Your lost has made me feel more positive! People are trying to make changes! I myself have a charity fundraiser that runs anually to raise awareness and fight the stigma around mentally illness. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a change that needs to happen. I’m very open about my mental illness and have experienced the stigma surrounding it too many times! Thank you for your post! It’s made me smile! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A couple of things before I regress into nothing but total admiration for this piece:
    “Chemical imbalances do not exist. The APA admitted this in 2005. It is used as a marketing tool by drug companies.”
    Not surprising. My wife is on three different meds for Anxiety, two for Depression, one or two for mood swings, one to help her sleep and night AND lower her stress level during the days (and it’s NOT one of her anti-anxiety snacks). Then she’s on at least two to counteract some of the side effects she gets from the entrees.
    Do you have a link or a referral to the APA’s acknowledgement of that …
    that … that scam? It’s most certainly not that I don’t believe you, or your statement, but I’d like to have something to point at when I pass it on.
    (And, parenthetically as you can see, my wife has been placed up on the BPD shelf by Kaiser, taken down once every three months to make sure they’re shoveling the appropriate shit down her face.)
    Secondly, I deal with Depression, Anxiety and ADD. The most disruptive of these cantankerous little bastards is ADD. It almost cost me my job, my career.
    “What we are doing is we are telling these people with a gift, the gift of the truth, that they are crazy.”
    That same ADD that almost had me booted out of the place also made it possible for me to pick up on certain details and specifics in a given case that had eluded other caseworkers for years.
    That “shiny little thing” I would go chasing after could very well be the needle in a haystack.
    I fully agree that some of our curses have blessings standing behind them somewhere if one is willing to be responsive to them.
    And then there’s DBT. The Knight meant to slay the BPD dragon:
    the HMOs especially seem to have taken to DBT. Many of the insurance providers think of it as the “go-to” treatment for …
    … oh shit, for EVERYthing. Developed for BPD by ol’ Dr. Marsha, applicable within the torturous realms of any number of “disorders”, but they seem to forget entirely about the minimum of one year of individual psychotherapy one to three times a week. They absolutely love those classes she recommends: twenty, maybe twenty-five co-pays at once starts to approach pharmacy profit levels.
    Where does anyone find the actual therapy, the stability that only one-on-one personal contact for a sustained period has to offer?
    But just wanted to thank you for the insight you’ve shared with us.
    And about us “changing”:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes I have a link, they’re are many if you Google it. The insurance companies are another issue you are correct. There are great therapists out there. There are poor ones too, they are all people with their own biases of course. 3 sessook, if you don’t connect, move on I say.

      I love how you explained it. The bright shiny thing you were chasing also turned out to be the needle in the haystack. YOU Seem To Be ONE Of The few thst had escaped this system. Thank you for your great comment

      In 2003, Ireland prohibited GlaxoSmithKline from claiming that the antidepressant Paxil “works by bringing serotonin levels back to normal.” Wayne Goodman of the FDA acknowledged that claims that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors correct a serotonin imbalance go “too far,” but had the temerity to suggest that “this is reasonable shorthand for expressing a chemically or brain-based problem” (quoted in [ 13]).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you appreciated my little story.
        I love thinking back on it:
        a client we had, guy hadn’t paid a single cent in Child Support for pretty much ten years. Nothing. Not a cent. Literally.
        Ten years, two kids, but he certainly wasn’t behind bars or out on the streets.
        Long story short – I got a Cashier’s Check drawn on an account in one of our major institutions in the amount of $110,000.00. While there was a Payment Processing Center it was supposed to go to, I had it sent certified and registered to me directly.
        I wanted to place that check on someone’s desk. Someone in particular.
        A quick glance at all those zeroes and I had their attention.
        “How do you get this find this figure this out we’ve never gotten a payment even from his tax refunds how how how …?”
        I explained to them that it wasn’t all that hard. I had the same stack of case history notes, financial audits, tax records, professional license applications, credit reports, Court orders, filings and pleadings, interrogatories and depositions in front of me that everyone else ever had. I just had a few of the more recent ones.
        “Then I was on the phone with him one day and he said something about spending Fourth of July weekend at his Dad’s place up in Zephy Cove. I guess it was a family tradition, they’ve been doing it as long as he can remember, and, well, he’s almost forty. Just took it from there.”
        Boss looks at me, a couple of dumbfounded shakes of their head, and “Huh?”
        So I took them down the path that I had followed from that one obscure conversational tidbit that I just couldn’t shake.
        “You know those squirrels you keep giving me crap about? The ones I ‘always have to go chasing’?
        “Well it seems one of them little motherfuckers had the answer in their mouth all along, kept dropping it at our feet, and I was the first one to pick it up, so if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to my cubicle and keep making you look good.”

        I eventually had to retire because my ADD got that wildly out of control.

        Thanks for the link.
        Gotta read it, reread it, review it, research it some more and then e-mail it to the cartel rep prescribing at least ten different snake-oil potions to my wife.


        Liked by 2 people

      • Wow this is an amazing story.

        You know most with add are actually the smartest people we have so tor intelligence doesn’t surprise me


      • I eventually got what could be called a “tailored caseload”. There was no way I could handle doing the same routine, procedural list of tasks day after day after day on a master list of 1,100 files.
        My OCD supervisor (who had a spreadsheet generated calculating his accumulated retirement, sick hours and vacation time over the next TWENTY years) realized I just stepped out of the box more often than most tend to.
        Following the squirrels, I guess.
        He just figured out how to best use my little idiosyncrasies to our advantage.
        He could just never walk into my cubie because it was such a disaster zone.
        Made the Ninth Ward after Katrina look like a debutante buffet.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. MMartin says:

    I would implore anyone with mental health issues to explore nutritional balancing. Possibility of leaky gut or candida. Niacin is an excellent supplement for depression, anxiety, adhd, ocd and addictions. There is also the possibility of copper toxicity which causes sadness and over-empathy. This can be balanced with zinc supplements. All of this can be researched online and is well documented.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hong-Anh Nguyen says:

    Thanks a lot for this article – as well as for others. I don’t like the word “disorder”. You’re right, there is nothing wrong with people diagnosed with some kind of “disorder”. They just have different “order”! We all just have different “orders”!

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Really appreciate you bringing about awareness about mental health issues through your experiences. We all have demons to slay everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. bp7o9 says:

    Good goddess! As always you just reach down, grab a handful of my intestines and splay them all over the page in artistic format. Brilliant. Heartbreaking. I’m manic as all hell right now and you just brought tears to my eyes.

    Reading your words is like a death knoll to me: everything written echoes in my past. Over emotional. Dramatic. Drama Queen. Been told to suck it up, stop ‘acting out’. Stop, essentially, being me.

    And yes, I’m afraid of losing the side of me that hurts with the world. If more people hurt when others hurt they’d stop being such sadistic fucks to begin with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Absolutley. Ot is those like you we should be taking our cues from, not demonozong. I love hearing from you. I hope you are well

      Liked by 1 person

      • bp7o9 says:

        Riding the roller coaster ok; swimming helps. Just a bit afraid of the impending down….whenever it comes….

        Liked by 1 person

      • How do you handle the downs?

        Liked by 1 person

      • bp7o9 says:

        I’ve found a couple of fall backs, tho I’ve got to admit they only kind of work; it’s always an uphill battle. First, color. Used to live in earth tones and black. I’m changing that. Yellow in my room, bright t-shirts. When I buy something new it HAS to be colorful. Second, music. I make my own, so when I’m crying I plug in, turn up the volume, let the visualizer go and just ZEN out as best as possible. Tears come and go, but generally I’m left feeling stronger. Third, swimming, or perhaps more specifically, water. I’ve found water immersion a very powerful tool. There’s something about getting completely in water, floating, playing, MOVING through that medium that’s incredibly rejuvenating for me. Lastly, I just avoid downer stuff like the news, which triggers me terribly. I put on cartoons and comedies. Jazz if I’m playing games on my computer. Try to do everything I can to lighten my own mood. Like I said, it’s still really hard…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Love this. What a great example to anyone struggling. You are an inspiration. Keep fighting. I love hearing from you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Farees says:

    I have a question? What is stigma you didn’t define it?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Nurse Kelly says:

    I love that you express your opinions so openly. That instills courage in people who otherwise may be living with the constant pain of self-doubt and shame associated with a stigma. Thank you for addressing the tragic passing of Robin Williams as well – I wish he could have read your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Joanna Lynn says:

    Thank you for your honest and assertive writing. My husband committed suicide close to six-years-ago now. He grew up in a family that was (is) all about appearances and he was the favored child. It meant that he could do no wrong in his parents’ eyes but it also meant that he felt he could have nothing he was fighting or nothing “wrong” with him. He had addictions that he chose to pursue which took him deeper and deeper into trouble but I believe he was also bipolar. He knew he had something he was fighting but he could (would) never do anything about it because that might ruin the family image. So, instead of facing the consequences of his choices and getting help, he chose to take his life instead. I don’t ever want to have my (our) children believe that the better choice is to look good (and wear a mask) rather than feeling good and being who God made them to be just like they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. MDDGAD says:

    Great article

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rubiredsaid says:

    Stigma becomes the label we can do without, but so many times just like mud, it sticks!
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Preeti Dixit says:

    Beautiful, beautiful article!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. […] Source: Stigma killed Robin Williams and many others: A Stigma Story […]

    Liked by 1 person

  31. […] Allow me to quote briefly from that blog post: […]

    Liked by 1 person

  32. timlinthicum says:

    Very powerful. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. shambhavi31 says:

    Somewhere between the lines, I found myself. We all affect each other, our behavior affects each other. Everything we do influences our lives and the people around us. And we all miss to notice the damage we do everyday and damage done on us. From feeling everything to not feeling any thing to getting overwhelmed by feeling a lot and once again just feeling everything and feeling helpless. I get that. I really do. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  34. fyidivorce says:

    I agree there’s a stigma with mental illness; however I’m not so sure it is the stigma that causes suicide directly and truthfully there probably is not a single cause. Mental well being starts with the family unit and the environment children are nurtured in. In my opinion, the family unit does not get enough attention in society (i.e.;lack of proper maternity/ paternity leave, lack of support for single parents, women encouraged to work outside the home & have families, fast food/TV during family meals, less quality community involvement, etc.); and with the exponential growth in distractions with the technology age, children do not learn the importance of human interaction, feel neglected and lack spiritual understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Perhaps you are right on Robin Williams. As another possibility, I heard or read his wife said he had dementia – of the many types, some are pretty terrible subjectively I imagine, and with a darker and darker future in front of one, I could understand such a choice. It’d be hard to live in hell out of a sense of duty.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Denise Hisey says:

    There are so many layers to mental health. Our society values “quick, cheap fixes”. Drugs rather than therapy, pointing fingers rather than looking in the mirror. Cookie cutter solutions from education to vocation. Technology designed to make us more “connected” but in fact has us more disconnected than ever.
    and yes, Stigma. It has a powerful effect and will take a herculean effort to make progress eradicating it.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I too was “warned” about BPD in my studies as a mental health counselor. For some reason, though I always had someone with similar traits around me in my life. At first I wondered about their emotions, wondering how could someone be that emotional? It helped me to see I wasn’t feeling my own feelings. I had to learn what they already knew. It’s been a remarkable journey into the world of emotions and feelings for me, one I thought I would never take – or for that matter – even knew existed for me. So I agree with you – everyone is gifted in their own way, and it we allow them to be who they are and see their gifts -we are the lucky ones!! Thanks for sharing what you know, the truth about people!! Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Arlandria says:

    I just discovered your web through a link from your great article The craving behind the craving in and I read this article and some of the comments. And I´ve just felt the need to write to say thank you for your compassion and your words full of hope, understanding and encouragement. It is true: there is nothing wrong with us.

    I´ve been dealing with severe depresion for a long time, a doctor told me once it was Bipolar Disorder Type 2 but by his description of the illness I just could not help thinking: is not that what happens to everyone? So I quitted the pills and the mental health doctors forever by own choice. it didn´t mean that I was cured, I still feel that I´m not, I just decided to continue my healing path on my own. I wasn´t afraid of stigma, cause naively I didn´t even know what was that, so I dared to ask for help, to talk about it with my family and friends and trust mental health doctors. I don´t think that I was brave, I just wasn´t such a good actor as Mr Williams and I never really knew how to wear a mask (I still don´t and I just refuse to learn how to play that game) and I´ve been paying a high price for it. I had a frontal crash with that big wall called stigma.

    I don´t know what BPD is (thanks to you guys now I know a little bit more about it) but I know what it feels to feel totally alone and misunderstood, to feel the most unbearable suffering, and want to die cause you truly believe that there is something wrong with you!

    But now I know that is not true. Over the years I´ve discovered that is society who is sick and crazy and not me. They have a lot of emotional wounds and mental disorders, just like us, but they are so scared and they feel so threatened by us, the ones who can´t play their masking and pretending game, that they attack us to regain “control” of an uncontrollable situation. Sadly is a global epidemic that continues to spread due to our inability to teach tolerance and compassion and break the stigma. The other side of the coin is our own mind (ego), who easily becomes our worst enemy.

    Well that is my personal vision. I´ve been doing a lot of research on my own about psychology, spirituality (non-religious), and I keep trying yoga, meditation and natural remedies. I´ve started to wake up and accept me as I am. I’m different from most people so what? Now I’m proud of who I am. It’s time to stop hurting myself for what other people think/say about me. I can’t change others behaviours but I do can change my reaction to them! Is taking me ages but I finally get it.

    Now I´m reading a book that explains in a simple words what I consider the deep truth about life and human beings that I feel in my heart. The power of now, by Eckhart Tolle. It´s helping me a lot. And I hope this book, or your book or maybe my story can help others to heal and become proud of who they are and their gift.

    Power, compassion and love to all of you.


    PS Sorry for the long post

    Liked by 3 people

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