Working on Us, Week 4

Stigma Sign
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On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information and the guidelines, click here. This week, I am going to respond to Prompt 1.

From Beckie: The following question/suggestion for this week Prompt #1 comes from Carol Anne of “Therapy Bits”.  I,  for one, think that this is an awesome question (s).

Prompt #1 Questions:

How do you deal with the Stigma surrounding your mental disorder/illness? The last time I was stigmatized for my mental illness was in 2003; I lost my job. Back then, bipolar disorder wasn’t considered a disability and was therefore NOT covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which allows for accommodations to be made for a disable person. If something like this happens to me again, this time, with bipolar now being covered by the ADA, I will definitely sue.

I have never hidden the fact that I’m bipolar, although I don’t go around announcing it at the tops of my lungs. I started my blog to show people what life is like for one person who is bipolar, and to fight stigma by putting it out there.

Does the Stigma associated with mental health bother you?  If so, in what way? Yes, it does. Stigma only serves to make us feel like freaks, unworthy of being treated with respect. The clichés people have about us are only exacerbated by stigma. Because I believe that stigma is a social construct, it can definitely be dismantled by the mentally ill and their advocates.

5 thoughts on “Working on Us, Week 4

  1. Hi, Barbara! You did such an outstanding job with your answers. You actually gave me a bit of a history lesson. I had no idea the ADA didn’t consider bipolar a disability back in the early 2000’s. I couldn’t help but feel so horrible for all the people back then.
    I give you so much credit… I’ve been following you for quite a long time, and you have gotten so much better and stronger as time has moved forward. You seem as if you’ve got a real handle on your bipolar in the last year. I’m so thrilled for you!
    Thank you so very much for participating in Week #4 Prompt #1’s “Working on Us”
    Love ya!

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