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Re: how do YOU handle the mental illness question?

Posted by ST on May 25, 2002, at 4:25:26

In reply to Re: how do YOU handle the mental illness question? terra miller, posted by IsoM on May 24, 2002, at 0:42:09

HI,

Good question. IsoM is right on, I think, in how to deal.

I've never been asked that directly, but I am completely open about it. I want to de-stigmatize menatl illness. It's really a cause for me. I honestly hope that someday I am in a position to reach large numbers of people in order to inform and de-mystify depression and mental illness. On the few occasions I've taken my meds in public and nosy people have innocently asked, "Oh, what are you taking, vitamins?" I repond: "Actually it's Wellbutrin, which is an antidepressant. Want some?" They usually start laughing and then say, "Wow, you don't even seem depressed." It's then an opportunity for me to inform them a little without overloading them with info. In the end, these people walk away with less fear, suspicion and bias.

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar II, I wanted it hidden. I told my friends to never tell anyone and hid it form my agent, my bosses, my co-workers, EVERYONE. I was sure I'd never find a boyfriend again. I thought no one would want to work with me. I am blessed that I work in a business where most of the people are "mentally ill" on some level. I honestly don't know how I'd deal with it if I wasn't.

So, I look at it as an opportunity every time an uninformed person crosses my path.

Sarah


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