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-stigma-barriers-mental-health-addiction-spiritual-solution

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

Comments
  1. Laura says:

    Wow. I was told I have BPD and everything I ever read about it says how horrible it is. There are books and divorce lawyers who help suffering family members and spouses deal with someone who has BPD. So i was naturally upset when I was told I had this. I’ve always been VERY sensitive yet very in tune with everything around me. I feel too much and want to take meds so I feel nothing. I have horrible social anxiety and take lorazepam just to leave my house. I have suffered several traumatic experiences, the earliest of memory at age 4. I’ve been battling the up and down and the emotions for so long. I have wanted to die many times. I never thought of any of this as a gift. I know that because of my sensitivity I’m more sensitive and understanding with others. I believe that the fear of seeking help is very great. I am afraid to find help because I’m a mom pregnant with number seven. I’m afraid to trust my husband because when i told him my feelings a year ago, he made me put the kids in school. We moved to a different city and everything is upside down. I watch my kids struggling in school and i want to hoMeschool again. Anyway, i ramble. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. woundstoseal says:

    Beautiful and much needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We live in a sick culture that encourages and awards isolation and the persuit of self interest which completely goes against our primal need to socialise colaborate and contribute to one another. I have always had a sneaking suspicion that this sick mentality is mostly to blame for the ever increasing number of people suffering from depression. A great read! Thank you for sharing your thoughts !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cica says:

    Thank you! I’ve been diagnosed with BPD, PTSD, BP and IED. BPD makes sense now. Even though it seems my regular Drs seem to have a cow with the diagnosis. Trauma makes sense and I don’t know if it can be inherited but I see signs in my daughter. I guess I could be wrong. I do see the good/bad in most people and sometimes even more. I guess I do thrive on some type of relationship, good or bad. I always think I’ve done something wrong. Then you have then other sides of me that can come out at any given moment, which even Drs don’t understand. They have you at the front desk with rude receptionist, asking stupid questions, pissing you off, knowing your diagnosis, then they want to tell you if you don’t calm down you’ll be ask to leave. So, Drs and their staff don’t understand and laugh behind your back plus think all you’re doing is drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That experience explains stigma perfectly. It makes people afraid to ask for help , then if gets worse, and then it blows up. It is society that needs to change

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cica says:

        Yeah, but I had one tell me You don’t want to be labeled with that! I mean now everyone just thinks I makeup this shit. I’m good but not that good. Why would I want all of this? Why would I not want to be NORMAL? Whatever that is? When I’m happy, what is that? 17 almost 18 months ago, that’s when. Haven’t been since, just becoming numb again and that’s not good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is no such thing as normal, that is an idea developed by those that are afraid of people not like them. No one is happy all the time, that is a lie that we tell ourselves. Feeling your feelings is good, people shaming you to hide them is abusive

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cica says:

        I know there’s not. Just heard it so many times. Even got in a physical altercation, which ended with me in jail, with a girlfriend of 40 years, who has told me more than once I needed to be institutionalized. I not long after scared her death in a little drive home. I believed she deserved it. Others would say that what I did was somewhat extreme. It was all over her saying things about how I should feel. People don’t listen when you’re talking, but quick to give advice. Sometimes the response is not what they thought it would be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes it’s a major issue that could be solved easily with compassion and listening. The solution is simple, although we make it complicated

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Arwen says:

    Sadly, we live in a society that increasingly tries to eliminate the “different,” maybe because we fear what we don’t understand. Another thing that probably prevents people from seeking help is because mental health services tend to be so inaccessible to those who really need it [what with rates going at $120-200/hour..].

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amina Berg says:

    Wow, this was powerful to read. My heart cries for Sammy and all other Sammy’s out there! This is a well needed post. Unfortunately, we live in a society where everybody is trying to fit – conceal who they are and their emotions. No one wants to be perceive as weak, lazy or fake. Pretending and hiding our emotions has become a norm – something easy to do, a necessity in order to fit in or even survive. This because of the stigma of human emotions/behavior.
    Thank you for sheding a light on stigma!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this. It s an awful thing that cam new reversed by people like you with compassion. Why we are taught to hide emotions is unknown to me, but it causes all of the issues we have in mental health and addiction

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tmezpoetry says:

    I agree, stigma is extremely harmful. Robin Williams had Diffuse Lewy body disease which is thought to be the factor in his suicide.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tmezpoetry says:

    I totally agree with that statement, I’ve personally lived it. Just saying in Robin Williams case, he was not diagnosed properly. He did go for help.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You understand.
    You know.
    It’s not just enough to see it, or to be surrounded by it.
    You have to be able to relate to it somehow even if and when it is something with which you have no direct, personal connection.
    That’s a matter of compassion, not intellect.

    Just read this post twice. Gonna need to read it a couple of more times to really absorb all it has to offer.
    You are, after all, writing about my wife of forty years, The source of most of the strength I can find within myself.
    There is so much in your words that convey the nature of the journey we’re taking together. She and her BPD and Depression and Anxiety and PTSD, me and my Depression and Anxiety and ADD.
    All nine of us.
    As much insight as you have shared here, there is one thought that keeps coming back to me on which I agree with you, but my take on it – or my wording for it – is a bit different:
    I don’t know that stigma is what killed Robin. “Rationally” speaking, Robin did it. To whatever “rational” or “irrational” degree it might have been, it was a decision he made.
    It just brings to mind that “rational” notion that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people.
    Well, you don’t get any more “rational” than scientific, and I wouldn’t suppose any coroner has ever made that distinction.
    Guns don’t kill people. They don’t. Never have, never will. Not even the ones that went off by themselves entirely unintentionally and accidentally when some three-year-old was playing with the .38 snub-nose he found in Mommy’s purse or the semi-automatic, ten-in-the-clip-one-in-the-chamber 9mm Glock they found under the socks in Daddy’s porn drawer.
    Life (or death) doesn’t make that distinction any more than the coroner does.
    Guns don’t kill people, and people don’t always kill people, but people with guns are widely known to have killed people. Sometimes lots of them. Sometimes for all sorts of really, really twisted reasons.
    Sometimes they’re used to end one’s own life.
    They make it easier.
    In that sense, stigma can be as dangerous as a fully-automatic 50 caliber “hunting rifle” in the hands of Adam Lanza or James Holmes: it can be used to kill people.
    As we all know by now, the Second Amendment (and probably a few verses to be found in some obscure chapters of stuck in the boondocks between Ezekial and Malachi) tell us that God wants us all to have the biggest, most bad-ass artillery to be found in our closets, under our pillows, in our purses or strapped to our hips when we’re heading over to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up an eighteen pack of Lone Star and a pouch of chaw. On the way home from church.
    It would be a far more daunting but ultimately easier task to control all of those necessities of life and democracy than it would be to control stigma.
    Under certain circumstances, it would be easier to remove a handgun from someone’s shoulder holster than it would be to change the mindset of someone who chooses to believe that Mental Illness is something imagined, or something concocted, or something that makes its victim less worthy and substantial than they are.
    People are scared shitless by some things they don’t understand, and some find it an easy means of jacking up their own intrinsic value beyond any mortal benchmarks.
    They will never believe the stigma they create is unfounded and destructive, not because it would extol those who suffer from the pain, the suffering and the behaviors conveniently packaged under certain diagnoses but because coming to that realization would vilify those casting that stigma about like stones at glass houses.
    It would knock those folks who have no problems, no misconceptions and no compassion down a significant notch.
    It would be too traumatic for them to have to step off their self-constructed pedestal.
    So they insist on throwing it on us.

    Somehow I’ve been greatly blessed with a snarky, smart-assed capacity for not taking those nimrods seriously. Not letting them ruin my day.
    They want to lay the burden and the weight of that stigma (and their implacability) on my overworked shoulders –
    f*** ’em.
    I have an easy enough time lifting it off my shoulders and dumping on their laps.
    They’re the ones with the problem, not me.

    Stigma does not exist on its own any more than guns manufacture themselves.
    They just make it easier to get the job done.
    This is just me spouting off, just an opinion, just some thoughts meandering through my deeply troubled and shamefully confused mind …
    … but the most effective if not the easiest means of taking the bite out of the stigma that some people seem to feel safer by imposing upon us is to acknowledge the strengths we have within us, the courage than we often need to get us through even some of our better days, the dedication we ultimately have to life …
    … to take those qualities and remind ourselves that those assholes aren’t worthy of a second thought.

    And I haven’t taken my meds yet this morning, so ….

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration.

    Harris

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was awesome! I love it, I love the paasion and the intelligence that comes across. I’ll read read this one again multiple times, thank you for sharing this, I will come back to it alot. This was great. Keep being you!

      Like

      • Who else would I want to be?
        I’ve given some thought to Johnny Depp, but he does such an incredible job at that, so….

        Quick story:
        a number of years ago I had to pull the A.D.A. card out from up my sleeve at work due to severe problems I was having at work. My performance was suffering, my stats were down and there were people who wanted me “out of there”.
        Our office Director told me that.
        It all resulted from a long, long battle with ADD and the fact that earlier that year I had been moved from a nice, quiet corner of our first floor – a Civil Service saturnalia of something like ninety cubicles – to THE busiest, loudest most disruptive spot in the office.
        As the new seating chart had been approved by Administration, there was allegedly nobody who could undo it.
        According to the procedures mandated for A.D.A. protections and accommodations, I provided specific documentation referring to my particular “shortcomings” and my need to be moved to a quieter spot…
        … and I was turned down.
        I sent an e-mail NOT to anyone in our office but to the Director of Human Resources at the County level, to the head of Risk Management and to the County Manager. THE Big Kahuna.
        I advised them that if those reasonable accommodations were not met within seventy-two hours that I would have the ACLU crawling so far up the County’s asses they would taste the patchouli oil.

        It was taken care of within thirty-six.
        Seeing as how it was so difficult to get the folks to change the seating arrangement, word got around that I had gotten some sort of special dispensation from the bureaucratic deities and was “getting my way”.
        Close friends knew the story. I had told it to them. Others heard variations of someone else’s version of the story they had heard from someone who had received a bastardization of the story from (maybe) someone I had actually related it to.
        Or someone else with an enquiring mind.
        A view veiled potshots were taken at me, some to my face, and I got more than my share of smirks when I walked by more than a few of my co-workers not affected by any of this.

        So, Friday comes and we’re ready for me to make the move (get this…) back to my original cubicle which had not been repopulated. Had never even been in the plans to move someone in there. Wasn’t anybody to move in there. It had remained empty for the six months I had suffered in the bowels of ADD hell.
        And Friday was Casual Day. We could wear jeans and whatever tasteful shirts we wanted.
        I showed up in my 501’s and a t-shirt with a goofy looking cartoon character on it, saying “My doctor said I have ADD but I don’t think… LOOK! A SQUIRREL!!!”

        Took all the fun out of it for those dipshits that obviously thought I should be both deeply shamed and more deeply ashamed.
        What could they say?
        I turned it into a joke at their collective expense.

        Top that, Captain Jack.

        Thanks for the kind words and the most awesome compliment and encouragement I have been graced with in ages.
        And right back at you, my friend.

        Harris

        Liked by 1 person

      • OH my god that was a great story. You tell it in a funny way that makes me laugh, but that’s awful that you woulds have to go that far. Most people with disabilities like that are ashamed, and the people doing the shaming love that, they use it to their advantage. Most people won’t stand up for themselves due to stigma and Shame. You ate a true human rights activist

        Like

      • I prefer to think of myself as a marginally erudite and relatively entertaining smart-ass.
        In the immortal words of The Bard of Juilliard…
        “joke ’em if they can’t take a f***.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are very entertaining, that is for sure! !

        Like

  10. For some reason, the first few paragraphs made me cry. Sometimes I think I have some sort of disorder, sometimes I think I am just being dramatic. Or maybe hormones? Never really want to go see a doctor but sometimes all I need is someone to talk to. And yes, stigma is such a bitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sandycademy says:

    Reblogged this on Sandycademy and commented:
    An important read on the dangers of stigma. Most certainly a must-read.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. CoffeeFuel says:

    Wonderful article! I have felt passionate about mental “disorders” and the effects on people and society for a long time, as I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago. I quit taking medicine because I recognized the restraint aspect and didn’t feel like I was trapped inside the cocoon my medication was causing.

    Thank you very much for the passionate insight and stating exactly what I have felt for a long time. It’s validation that is crucial for everyone to realize that they are not alone in their thoughts. I encourage everyone to find someone and really try to understand what it would be like to be in their shoes, if just for a few hours. If more people did this, it might be possible for the world to get rid of this stigma.

    Or at least lessen it’s grip…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for writing that. I really enjoyed reading it. It is a crying shame that people are trained and conditioned to accept sociopathy- or pills.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Colie says:

    I have a lot of resentment towards BPD as my mother was borderline. I agree with what you wrote about it, but for people that can’t or won’t deal with emotions at all and project the negative emotions on to others, it is not beautiful. My mom was an out of sync borderline, unwilling to feel anything negative. Being raised by a borderline it was inevitable I would pick up the traits. Only difference is I feel what I feel, and that is enough.

    Loved this blog, good insight =)

    I wrote this about my mother and I’m glad I stumbled across your blog as it offers a different, more positive, point of view.

    https://guidinghope.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  15. DeRicki Johnson says:

    Reblogged this on DJ's Reflections in a Crazed Mirror and commented:
    Shine a light…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. DeRicki Johnson says:

    Great essay. Shine a light…

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  18. TheResponsibleManiac says:

    Thank you for this.
    It was a beautiful story; I wish I hadn’t seen the ending coming.
    I feel like you’re preaching to the choir, but some must preach.
    A choir can sing. People love songs (not entirely accurate).
    I’ve never sung my own tune. I’m learning how I sing.
    Bob Dylan was a terrible singer. He was a beautiful artist. He still is. Both.

    I’d love the chance at a conversation with you.

    The Responsible Maniac.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can talk by email and maybe skype soon. Trying to set up podcast. If you saw the ending coming then you’ve been there

      Like

      • TheResponsibleManiac says:

        I don’t need a therapist. I have one I trust. I also have a Primary Care Physician, and am using them (as well as other resources) to triangulate a good psychiatrist (a chemist I think will listen to my mind, rather than my wants/needs). My mom and dad helped me do this, along with my girlfriend (who is seeing her own counselor). I have a plan. I have people who love me. I’ve never had much patience, though.

        I honestly just think your perspective is very valuable. I might seem like a maniac, but I’m trying my best to act responsibly with it.

        I experienced a psychotic break last May. I almost tried to kill myself, but I didn’t. People helped me then. People are helping me now.

        I think your perspective can help people. When I mentioned Robin Williams to my Primary Care Physician, he said everything will be okay. I almost cried. I don’t mind crying in front of people.

        Thank you, once again for your perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t try to be anyone’s therapist, I just like hearing peoples stories and perspectives on life and if they ask my opinion, I give it

        Like

      • TheResponsibleManiac says:

        I can’t wait to chat, then!

        As someone who feels maniacal sometimes, it is hard to move past the impulse to lay out the whole scenario in one fell-swoop. You can never be too careful! Especially after reading something written by a “therapist” of sorts (you used the term patient, so I equivocated it to therapist, so I apologize for my unequivocal vocalization).

        I’m just trying to let off some steam after a long week, to be honest. Sometimes I play games. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I try to help myself understand myself better.

        Again, can’t wait to chat!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok, look me up on Skype and send me a message or email me

        I do work in the field and have for over 15 years but I’m not the traditional staff members

        I’m I trouble quite often with administration for my methods

        Like

      • TheResponsibleManiac says:

        Cool. I’ll do that, but first, I need to take it easy for a while.

        I will get in contact with you, though.
        Thanks for the background info.
        I can’t wait to hear your story.

        As Mary Poppins would say, TTFN!
        (I went to film school, so my pop-culture references are a bit odd).

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are a very bright person I can tell, with a fast mind

        Like

      • TheResponsibleManiac says:

        The brightest bulbs burn fast. Or they have bigger filaments and can take on more energy. I think. I don’t know much about lightbulbs.

        I don’t know if I’m a bright person. I don’t know if I have a fast mind. I’m just a responsible maniac. On the internet.

        Some men speak softly and carry a big stick. Some men can talk to animals. Dr. Dolittle (1967) bankrupted an entire studio (along with other big-budget musicals). Dr. Dolittle (1998) helped Eddie Murphy hold on to his career. Just long enough to miss the chance of a lifetime at winning an Oscar for his role in Dreamgirls (2006). If you haven’t seen it, his performance is amazing.

        Ever seen World’s Greatest Dad? It was his last great movie. Holy shit. He also played Teddy Roosevelt…like 3 times.

        I did not mean to quote Teddy Roosevelt and turn it into a meaningful reference to Robin Williams. I sure am glad it turned out that way, though…

        If tapestry is a fate, and you follow the thread, what do you find? An answer to life? The tapestry itself? Or more thread?

        I’ve never really understood what fate or faith is, but I’m beginning to.

        You seem like a bright person, too. Well-trained in talking with people who might think too much. Or just a dude who has seen a lot of weirdos and liked them.

        Unfortunately, over the internet, it’s impossible to tell.

        I can’t wait to chat over email.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like the way you can relate everything to each other, because everything is connected. That takes intelligence

        Like

      • TheResponsibleManiac says:

        Thanks. It’s always nice to hear a compliment.

        I like the way you write.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. I was recently diagnosed with BPD (some OCD (does that even make sense) PTSD, and panic disorder. This is the first time BPD made sense to me. And didn’t make me feel like a completely screwed up person. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’ve seen BPD and OCD IN combo am awful lot. BPD shouldn’t even be called a disorder, it’s like a superhero that’s learning to fly

      Like

      • Jennifer says:

        It’s funny my step sister is a psychologist and she told me a lot of times people are given that diagnosis… And it’s an extremely broad diagnosis. Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing. I had been in therapy for 7 years before that new therapist diagnosed me. All of the sudden it had a name and then I basically had a panic attack. And felt 1000x worse. I don’t know with mental health if labeling disorders are so helpful. I think sometimes it can be more depressing and possibly an excuse. Just my two cents 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the labeling and diagnosis is a sham amd it needs to stop it does way more damage than good and then we attach everything that person does top that label. It allows people I’m power to control. It’s a evil money making scheme. I don’t respect Antoine that diagnosis anyone within 10 times of seeing the patient

        Like

      • Jennifer says:

        Yes with physical diagnosis, it enables you to know how to correct what is wrong. With mental health, there is generally no cure so to speak, therapy for coping skills and meds to try to add any of the chemicals that may be low. Just seems to hurt people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree! You have got it!

        Like

  20. Reblogged this on theramblingsofadiscouragedborderline and commented:
    A must read for anyone suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder

    Liked by 1 person

  21. twa2r says:

    You are so inceptive. Deep and caring. You feel beyond your reality. You are a beacon for humanity.
    If you’ve never read ‘The Lazy Mans Guide To Enlightenment’, please do.
    It will help.
    r

    Liked by 1 person

  22. isirian says:

    This is a great article, thank you for that. I have a friend with BPD, as I have depression and anxiety, we understand each other in a way of stigma and how hard it is sometimes. I met her at university and this article make me think a lot about her past, I know something, but not much. And I think it made me understand her a bit better, although I have never judged her, I know myself that disorders sucks, to say it politely. I know what you mean by the connection and sensitivity, I can feel other people, help them name their emotions, I can sense in advance when something is going to happen, it’s scary sometimes… Anyway, thank you for great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick and commented:
    “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. I agree, yes , the behaviors are tough. But 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 have.
    What we don’t see, is we don’t see past her mask. We cannot see that her behaviors are telling us there is something wrong here. Maybe it’s time we stop drugging them up and start listening.”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. bbbatez says:

    Thank you. i was looking for the word to describe why I refused admittance to a hospital during the heat of an experience. Stigma was the word I couldn’t pull up. Very powerful form of fear. The fear of non acceptance and loss of self identity. Again, thank you. I shared on Facebook with hope that a few close family members would maybe face their own self imposed stigma of being related to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sara says:

    This post has resonated with me in many ways. First, I take antidepressants. I recently got them boosted because my depression deepened after my dad died and I lost my job (all around the same time). Secondly, I’m at this moment dealing with the loss of a friendship and feeling rejected– I like the the Rumi quote. I’m going to keep that one. And finally, I am one of those people who feel connected with everyone and everything. It can be a burden, but it’s nice to know it’s real. Thank you for this post! Very timely and much needed for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m Glad It helped, I am Happy To Hear that it helped. Feeling connected to everything in must cultures you would be considered a healer and a leader. IN THIS Culture You aare told to be quiet and given meds. It is a gift that we don’t know how to deal with

      Liked by 1 person

  26. mincs1 says:

    I agree with you that we are all connected. Maybe, when we start really believing that, we will be able to show more compassion to each other and actually change the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. God, I wish my late wife had spoken to someone so insightful as you. Stigma stopped her seeking help even thought I pleaded and pleaded. She secretly took herself off her anti-depressants and didn’t even tell me – her Wife! Stigma. Bloody stigma. An upbringing of having a stuff upper lip and denying the existence of mental illness ruined her. It killed her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a sad story. But so many don’t get help becaise the professionals so nor understand ands are the worse ones when it comes to stigma, not always, but often. It is a tough tough thing for anyone or any family member to go through

      Like

  28. I honestly loved this SO much <3. I am such a sensitive person and I always tell myself it's such a blessing and a gift to have to be able to feel so much when others don't feel much at all. It does have its downfalls at times because when something goes wrong I'm more upset than I like to be or more upset than others are, things have a greater affect on me but I always overcome them. It's just so sad about the stigma and how people think mental illness is such a horrible thing. It's a normal problem just like all the other problems people have. I have ptsd and it's been so hard to deal with and everyone has always just said , it will be okay, just get better, oh you are being dramatic and think it's all a joke but it's serious stuff.. and people run from that and it's like even when you try to scream out for help or show you need help people ignore it because they don't want to deal with it or don't see it as a serious issues. You need to be visibly hurt in order for people to want to help you or say things like you want to commit suicide in order for people to finally take your emotions and feelings seriously. It's really really sad. It's a struggle going through any mental illness and I'm like you, I want people to know IT IS OKAY to feel that way, It is normal and it's nothing to be ashamed about because it's apart of your life and your journey.I honestly think anyone going through mental illness is a warrior and a superhero because to be battling against your mind everyday, that takes a lot of strength, honestly. But anyways thank you so much for this post, it was such an excellent read and I can't wait to explore more stories on your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was amazing everything you said was great. Yoy are right or is a blessing and a gift, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it is never ready being different. We need to start to treat it like the gift that it is. People just don’t know what to say or do, really sometimes all that’s needed is someone to listen. Thamk you for adding this

      Like

      • exactly! People need to be more informed and aware of this stigma. Most of my friends have no clue about mental illnesses and have no clue how to deal with it. Whenever I say I’m upset they ignore it and then when I’m crying and have my break down they go oh I didn’t think it was that bad. I’m like I told you how broken down I was, what more do you want me to do to show you how bad I feel? Other friends tell me they don’t understand and don’t understand how to help because they don’t get why I’m feeling that way, and when I try to explain they still don’t get it or ignore what I’m saying, even my family ignores it. It’s always like ” you have to think about it this way, there’s worse in the world, there’s people dying of cancer”.. and “it will get better just don’t think about it , ” you need to move on, it’s all in your head” , “stop playing the victim” , “you need to be more strong” all of these and more is the thing people feel is okay to say to someone going through a traumatic experience or someone who is dealing with mental illness because they don’t want to deal with it and they don’t feel it’s a big issue. I literally have said SO many times how much I am sad or hurt, or feel so broken and alone and still people ignore me, they think I’m being a drama queen and literally still verbally abuse me or act as if I’m nothing. and you know what’s funny, I’m going to share this just because I feel it shows really how this stigma is crazy. Well Finally I just had enough , I’ve been holding SO much inside and been shut down by everyone that I said hey you know what I’m tired of this pain, I’m tired of it, I can’t take it, I just want to kill myself. And i said that in a way of like I give up, because to be honest the pain inside does hurt so much and I’m so tired of it , and I express that. and after i said ” i want to kill myself” EVERYONE took it so seriously, everyone was reaching out “oh i’m here for you, just rest you need it , literally before everyone was forcing me to do everything , even when I explained it’s too soon, I can’t , i can’t sleep, I don’t have the energy, my anxiety is so high, all of those things, people ignored it all but now after what I said, it’s like everyone wants to support me, show me love, show me care. “i’m here for whenever you need me, whenever you need to talk, ” well what happened to that when I was asking to talk or for help or to go for a walk two weeks ago? I was shut down, and now that you thought you could of lost me , NOW you want to be supportive. It just baffles me because I think to myself what if I didn’t say that, you know? How much longer would I of been treated like that. So many people get treated like that all the time, and they don’t say anything out loud like I did and they just keep the pain inside because once you try over and over again to reach out and you get shut down, you start to think ” I don’t matter, I’m worthless, I feel so alone, no one wants to deal with me and my problems” and a bunch of other feelings. You start to just get into this deeper black hole that you can’t seem to get out of , and that’s when people truly can’t take it anymore, everything they have inside has literally been sucked out by that black hole and they decided well , if it’s just me and myself , I might as well just let this pain go and die. It’s so sad to me, so sad.Stigma is crazy and I am here to help change it. I try to explain to my friends about the stigma and how to handle people going through what I’m going through. Support is the biggest thing honestly, support and love. Just to know that what you’re going through is normal and it’s okay to feel that way, so many others do and that healing takes time. I’m going to share this quote with you, it’s a quote I love sO much and has been a big reminder to me while dealign with my ptsd and recent trauma. i know this post is long haha but here it is “No person has the right to condemn you on how long you repair your heart or how long you choose to grieve, because no one know how much you’re hurting. Recovering takes time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace” Why I love this so much is because it’s so true, everyone who is dealing with something needs to know it’s okay to take how ever long you need to take to coupe or to deal with what you are struggling through. There is no time frame you need to put on yourself, you know truly in your heart, how you feel and how much time you need to fully recover. It can take months, years or even your whole life and that’s okay, that’s totally fine. As long as you are feeling something and trying your best to get through whatever it is you’re facing, that’s more than enough and no one should judge you upon that or make you feel less of a person because you are taking more time than others. For people who feel everything more extremely, struggles are definitely harder on them and it does take a longer time to heal but only because they feel so intensely. anyways this post is long enough I just wanted to share more of my thoughts. I really strongly believe in this post and it just spoke to me because I know about stigma and it’s so fresh for me because I just recently been dealing with ptsd and it’s been so hard and it is because of this stigma, but i’m fighting it and I’m fighting it for myself and for all the other sammy’s out there ❤ .

        Like

  29. bdlheart says:

    Wow! You nailed it here. The part about not drugging people up but instead listening is so true. In my younger years I was diagnosed with BP and then I worked in children’s psych. Like you I was told clients with this were manipulative and attention-seeking. I listened to the older staff and didn’t do anything but document their behavior and shamefully I too sat back and rolled my eyes. I thought I was cured of BP and that I was just trying to get attention when I was hospitalized. Over a decade later I’m diagnosed with PTSD because of child abuse trauma. I did want attention. I wanted someone to hear my pain, understand my pain. I have always been intuitive which some say is “psychosis. In many ways mental health facilities drug too much and listen too little.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. jruthkelly says:

    Would that many could see how connected we all are…again, a beautiful illumination of truth here. Thanks for pouring out your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  32. alfgarnet says:

    True and to the point post, take care be safe

    Liked by 1 person

  33. OF COURSE you have over 300 comments for this awesome blog post!
    Now I know it has been WAY to long since I have stopped by, but I know I was here today for a reason? To read this post. I have just had my depression and agoraphobia meds increased at my last visit a few days ago with my psychiatrist and I’m having a little trouble lately.

    She also put me back in therapy for PTSD from my past childhood trauma, as I have been having nightmares again. So I have been feeling a lot like that girl in the story. Now I also have been in recovery from compulsive addicted gambling over 8yrs, so my husband has been through this whole ordeal with me, all of it!

    I couldn’t have been blessed with a better husband in the world!! But the Stigma around those of us in recovery, and who battle mental illness makes me still feel at times ashamed that I have but him through so much, and that I just wish I could be normal or healthy. Like he deserves so much more from me. So I have to remind myself how much I have accomplished regardless of my disabilities, and my side track in life with gambling and alcohol addictions. I do what I’m told by mental health professionals, I take my meds like I should, and I have a wonderful support system of friends.

    What more could I ask for?
    Just a great touching post! Thank you for sharing this 🙂
    Author, Cat Lyon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Reblogged this on Recovery Journey of Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon "Gambling Recovery Starts Here." and commented:
    For those who suffer from Mental/Emotional Health, and those who live with them? This is a must read! I know I was meant to find, read, and share it on my blog today! It helped me 🙂 *Catherine*

    Like

  35. Nasheem says:

    To know that the defect is not their own, but ours – can either instill a hopelessness or a rejuvenation based on how you follow up with that new perception given them. That is why I applaud your compassionate actions. The hopelessness can stem from a very intuitive and deep understanding of the fact that some individuals will not care enough to provide the emotional support, regardless of whether its because of their own inner troubles or just a lack of love for others, they will not be moved to accept the responsibility. However, when people act as you did by accepting your role and taking the time, then there is a restored hope in the natural affection of humanity…and that glimmer could have been the one thing she prayed about with thankful tears before she decided to see what else life held out for her. Wonderful article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was amazing. I Love THE Way YOU write. If We Can Ever Give someone A Spark If hope, It Is An Amazing thing. When OTHERS have given it to me, I have never forgotten them as they kept me alive and u never forget those that are there for u in your darknesa, once we are out, I feel we have a responsibility to hospital anyone else we can out of it

      Liked by 1 person

  36. H.J. says:

    This post made me shed a tear or two. I’m following you. Thank you for speaking up for those who don’t have a voice.

    I have a question, is BPD the same as HSP (Highly Sensitive People)? I’ve found out last year or so that I was an HSP. All my life I’ve been misunderstood and labelled “too sensitive”. I’m finally embracing who I am. I understand why I’ve always been that way. Even our immune system is hypersensitive (as you stated we’re born that way). HSP’s feel deeply, and are sensitive to other people’s emotions. It seems that those diagnosed with BPD are HSP’s. Is that the case? As you stated in this post, such people discern things pretty fast, which is not easy to live with. Also, such people are sensitive to tastes and flavors (your pizza example is exactly that!), or violence in movies or music or photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. roweeee says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredible story and taking me through that journey. There is so much detail in there and I intend to re-read it a few times to true process it all. I am acutely sensitive to some things around me and yet sometimes miss the blatently obvious. I have found writing and journaling and other forms of creative expression very helpful in dealing with these emotions and observations. I certainly do not believe we are meant to feel and do nothing. We have been designed and created to feel and also to act and reach out to those around us and show love and compassion…not just simply walk past. I personally believe the robots of this world should be called to account. WHy didn’t you feel? Why didn’t you respond? Did you see? Didn’t you feel? That is the story of the Good Samaritan. xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  38. roweeee says:

    Reblogged this on beyondtheflow and commented:
    This long post is a must-read and re-read to re-evaluate how we perceive the so-called “troubled souls” around us. Such brilliant insights forged at the coal face..I really appreciated this xx Ro

    Liked by 1 person

  39. John Peter says:

    Thank you for this post, and for following my blog.

    I have been ‘diagnosed’ with two ‘disorders’, one a thought-based disorder, the other a mood-based disorder, but both of these diagnoses stemmed from my initial assessment of depression that was caused by a severe depressive/manic episode. If I could ‘describe’ best what my ‘internal’ and psychological state has evolved into since this depressive lapse, it would be ‘dissociation’, or a detachment, a ‘spiritual binding, and hardening of emotion, provoked even further from the ‘masks’ that I have been deceived into wearing for the benefit of display towards and approval of others. I feel that my mind is sound, my ‘gifts’ of writing profound, but my ability and desire to express authentic emotion, or simply ‘speak my mind’ in healthy ways, are practically rendered impotent, and my trains of thought derailed by past ‘perceived’ social traumas. And it is upsetting, because I believe myself to have much ‘insight’ into what you call the ‘truths’ that connect each of us.

    I agree with the above statement that compassion is a major factor in working through disordered emotions and behaviors. It is one thing to truly love others, another to take action out of love to help them. It is hard to genuinely do this, to carry on conversations, and to form bonds with others if we are consistently internalizing pain and inauthentic emotion, all worsened if we do not love ourselves to begin with. I can recall numerous instances of social ‘traumas’ that, to others, would have seemed simply tolerable dialogue, but to a ‘hypersensitive’ child, can be scarring, disastrous, and lead to paths, as you mentioned, of addiction and hyper-sexual behavior.

    Thank you for your mission to address these concerns of mental health, mental illness, stigma, and addiction through your blog.These issues cannot be properly dealt with without the point of views of those who themselves suffer from ‘illnesses’ that result from the inability to cope, or the disordered mechanisms of coping.

    Much appreciated read!

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Your post is profoundly touching. Indeed, we need to show more compassion for people who are, in their own right, unique in how they feel and view things.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Lindsayj22 says:

    I’ve recently decided to go to a doctor for my depression. Stigma prevented me from seeking treatment for too many years. Thank you for reminding me it was the best decision ever!!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Reblogged this on lisaslunacy and commented:
    This is Mental Health Awareness month. Let’s get rid of as many stigmas as we can!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Kat Jolliffe says:

    Reblogged this on MADE IN SYDNEY and commented:
    I found this blog an insightful analysis o how we as social creatures are conditioned to repress our authentic selves and real emotions – how we are socualized to wear socially appropriate masks – at what cost?

    Liked by 1 person

  44. wwwpalfitness says:

    Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness and commented:
    True indeed

    Liked by 1 person

  45. aboriginaljcray☠ says:

    Reblogged this on aboriginaljcray and commented:
    Fantastic post about stigma regarding mental illness and how if we don’t acknowledge it and take off our masks, it will continue to destroy us.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Thank you so much for writing this! I have both BP and BPD. The latter is actually not quite diagnosed–I am in the process. DBT is helping quite a bit. This was brilliant. Thanks again.

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