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I realized today that I have not accepted the fact that I do have a Mental Health Illness.

I was sitting in the clinic with others waiting to see the Psychistrist. I thought "I don't belong here", incredibly arrogant of me, to think that Mental Illness should not be part of my life.

I have been at great pains to explain away the fact that I am prescribed anti-psychotic medication along with my anti-depressants. I have not told many about my full diagnosis, including my husband and family.

I do think that there is still a stigma about Mental Health problems - I think this is where my non-acceptance comes from.


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You're not alone. When I go to the psychiatrist office and sit among the other patients, I feel truly out of place. I have several excuses for that if you'd like to borrow one:

Feeling the stigma up close: I'm not like you (looking over my magazine at anyone) because I'm an individual, not a stereotype.

The innate need of humans to participate in peeing contests: "Do I look as saner than _______?"

I'm happy. Yeah, I know it's crazy, but I am. I'm seeing the doctor to make sure that I don't regress to my dark place.

What if someone I know sees me? That doesn't bother me at the grocery store because no rumors will start as the result of me pushing a buggy full of diet Pepsi. Losing credibility is a real fear for me.

Anyhow, I think it's natural to feel out of place when you're sitting in a waiting area full of some of the most stigmatized people in recorded history. Sadly, the stigma is strong and will probably never go away completely.

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At least they're not contagious! :-)

Not like the crowd in your general practitioner's office.

Meh, stigmas are in the eyes of the beholder, methinks.

You guys aren't mental patients, you're my friends!

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After 26 yrs of dealing with this I am just now refering to it as a Mental Illness. I always called it a Chemical Imbalance.

My family & friends always thought I was better than the patients on the psych ward when I was hospitalized but I never fooled myself I knew I was no better. I was never ashamed.

But I don't go around volunteering nor telling people I'm Bipolar.

And you know some people have said to me "He's crazy, he's Bipolar he gets a nut check (meaning disability) and I've not opened my mouth and said one thing. They didn't even know they were talking about me.

That has been done over & over again. I joined this forum for Peer Support & more acceptance of myself in different ways.

And as of today I vow if it ever happens again with Pride I'm going to say I'm Bipolar & I receive a check. And ask them if they have a problem with that?

Its the only way for prejudices biases & stigmas to ever go away. People have this morbid picture of what Mental Illness looks like. So thank you for that post. Its been a defining moment for me. I really am much to old to be concerned about what someone thinks about me being BiPolar especially when I haven't given a hoot what they've thought about anything else.

I have to leave the house tomorrow and I'm going to tell someone I'm Bipolar. I know just who.

Have a Blessed Day.

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I know that old stereotypes about mental illness are not dying quickly, but I find that 'depression' is becoming acceptable nowadays because so many people are diagnosed with it, and it no longer has the stigmas it used to have. I know that I talk about it openly at work now - I don't scream it out or bring it up unless it is appropriate, but I don't hide it like before because I don't feel shame about it anymore. I have this disease, it's not my fault, and that's that... if they are not educated in that respect then that's their issue.

Perhaps it's scary for people because they know they have things that go through their own head which is not always kosher... and maybe they could be 'mentally ill' too :eek:

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Hi goose,

I can totally empthaise with you ! Geez, 25 yrs for me having mental ******

I do not even like using this term. A huge reason why I do not like labels. I try to convince myself everything is fine with me, I have no issues , and I am OK.

SO what if I am suppose to take over 8 medications daily. Yes, one is a anti psychotic. And u know what ? the last 2 weeks I have not been able to go to therapy due to severely Si'ing and in CCU for over 5 weeks. Well the counseling center has been sending home visitors to my place, surprise they show up withut me even knowing about it . Now that makes me feel like a nut job . Their coming over to check and talk to me, see how things are going because I can't see my therapist regulary .

Anyway, in my small town those who do recieve a "check" it is called a crazy check as well. Lots of stigma on that one . My brother , he is on SSI , and I am on SSDI. Guess it runs in the family, all my brothers have SSI.

I actually zone out if their are people in the office waiting their turn to talk to the psychatrist. Even if I am only there to see my therapist.

i do not regard myself "mentally ill" even though their are too many labels attatched to what is going on with me .

Your not the only one who feels this way . Go easy on yourself, and remember you are a person, not a label , or anything else . that helps me get through my days .


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Well I did it Goose.

And I didn't even have to leave the house for it to take place.

I told someone that I was Bipolar and took meds. I told him as we were talking over the phone tonight.

He was talking about the people who came into the Homeless Shelter that he feeds. He stated that so many have Mental Illnesses & that he could tell some were Bipolar etc.

He & I have known each other for quite a few yrs and I couldn't really tell if he was speaking with or out of some preconceived notions so I told him.

I stunned him. He got quiet for a moment. Then he said no big deal don't forget to take your meds before we said goodnight. We laughed. We giggled.

It felt strange though when he said he would have never guessed I had a Mental Illness.

But I don't care anymore I do have one. I won't let it destroy my life though.

I feel free with this acceptance of myself. I have a Chemical Imbalance but it is a Mental Illness and its okay.

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Thank you Goose.

I do feel weights lifted. Because I allowed others to make me feel ashamed of myself.

And in the past when I've needed to tell certain people they hushed me up in the mist of it.

Like no need to say it. They understood but maybe if we don't talk about it somehow its all going to go away.

I can't wait to talk to my mom this morning an ask her "You do know that I not only have a Chemical Imbalance but I have a Mental Illness?"

I'm not going to use it as a crutch I never have but its the first time in my life I'm committed to staying on my meds afters 26 yrs.

This has been very therapuetic for me Goose and now I'm crying tears. Good tears. Tears of Joy. Tears of Relief.

After 26 yrs I finally got here. I'm taking my medication everyday lol.

Be Blessed My Friend!

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