Tag Archives: no more blame

Is it shameful to have a mental health challenge?

logosIs it shameful to have a mental health challenge? I don’t think so. Mental illness isn’t a choice that we make for ourselves, is it? We all know that every day may not be a good day BUT, there is something good in every day IF we search for it.

There is a clear contrast between dealing with a physical injury as opposed to a psychological one. An acquaintance broke her leg, and even though it came with psychological distress, anxiety and some fear, there was no shame when telling others about it. No – not a single drop of shame. She knew that her co-workers and friends would comment and maybe warn her to be more careful  in  the future, but she was quite sure that nobody would tell her that her leg injury was her fault. She had a bad fracture and that’s all. She felt neither abnormal nor ashamed of having a broken leg. She did not feel inadequate nor did she feel that she had an inherent problem. She reveled  in the encouragement and positive support she received from people around her. They all showed care and concern in one way or another.

People simply identify with physical injuries more easily.

It’s harder to know what to say when mental illness is the problem.

Let’s stop the blame, shame, stigma and discrimination N O W.

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MY WISH LIST FOR 2015

new year celebrationsAnother year has come and gone and my Wish List for 2015 is not all that different from the one I had last year. In fact, very little has changed.

I dream of a year where there is no more

Blame,                   Shame,            Stigma and

Discrimination against people with mental illnesses.

I dream that I will wake up one morning to hear that there is a cure for Parkinson’s Disease

I dream that there will be a cure for Schizophrenia

I dream that someone will discover a miracle cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

I dream of a time when we all accept those who are different from the rest of us, of a time when school teachers will not only be able to recognize a student who has a mental health problem, but direct that student to the appropriate place for help as well as guide the rest of the class toward acceptance of mental health issues.

I dream of a time when people will approach an individual sitting in a wheelchair and refrain from asking the caregiver how he/she is; rather  aim their question directly at the patient who is often perfectly able to speak out for himself/herself.

I even dream of a time when Prime Ministers or Presidents will take on Mental Illness as their priority.

 

1000 blogs posted to date

no more stigma 5I posted my 1,000th blog on May 23, 2014 and even I was amazed at the amount of material I have included on these pages.

I have written two books, my work has been included in two Anthologies and I have had many articles and stories published. So you might ask why I began blogging. Well, while my son was ill with schizophrenia, my husband and I belonged to a support group but if we’d had blogs to read in those days, we would have gained even more useful information that could have helped us enormously. So, I decided to blog about mental illness, other brain illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease and hoped that in these pages, by speaking out frankly, somehow, I would manage to give others some empathy and even hope sometimes, encourage people to join me, and together, we might be able to lessen the blame, shame, stigma and discrimination accorded the brain illnesses. What surprised me most was how many people in countries all over the world started following my blog. Probably due to the sensitivity of the subject of mental illness, few people actually left comments, but, what they did do, was send me emails. And, I replied to every single one of them even though it is time consuming.

When my blog was born in November 2011, I had no idea of how much work it would entail to write a blog and keep it going. and, I had to learn how to post a new blog, how to save a draft and worst of all, how to get an image not only onto the screen where my blog was, but, I had to learn how to make that image show up and remain where I wanted it to be on that particular page. The result was that instead of going to bed at a reasonable time at night, I found myself fighting with my laptop till the early hours of the morning; sometimes with good results, but very often, the computer won the battle and I gave up tearfully. After all who could a blogging grandma call at that hour? Believe me, I was often tempted to wake B., my computer guru, but I knew that he would not have been impressed.

I felt as if I were doing a fairly good job, but every time a journalist related yet another incident of violence committed by an unstable person – the latest occurred on May 24, 2014 when a young person suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome and living in the USA, went on a shooting spree.  In my humble opinion, unless the United States of America changes its gun laws, I cannot see a way out. I always thought that the safety of a country’s citizens was the priority of a government.   

 In America under the Brady Act, one cannot have a gun for personal or business use if a person:  

Has been convicted of a crime punishable by being in prison for more than one year.

Is a fugitive from justice;

Is addicted to, or illegally using any controlled substance;

Has been ruled mentally defective by a court or is committed to a psychiatric institution;

Is an illegal alien living in the United States;

Has received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces;

Has renounced his/her U.S. citizenship.

Is subject to a restraining court order that involves his/her ‘intimate partner,’ that partner’s child, or children; has been convicted of domestic violence in any court.

 In spite of the above, I shall continue to blog about accepting a person with a mental illness the way we accept people with other illnesses. Maybe I am naive, but I firmly believe that even one voice can make a small difference. Please join me.

Time for change 1