Monday, August 22, 2016

Stigma

Many parents get divorced so why would it bother me, I mean my mom's parents got divorced and she got double the Christmas presents and all feelings were hidden so why would I have any feelings when my parents got divorced.

When I was eight my stepmom died and eleven years later I still get nightmares because watching someone you love die is terrifying. But why would it bother me? We never talked about Cindy that summer after she died and I never really grieved because my parents assumed I was fine.

And maybe my family's history of hidden feelings is why I didn't know about my mom's depression or all the alcoholism on my dad's side of the family until I swallowed a bottle of Tylenol hoping it would kill me.
My siblings still don't know that I've been admitted to the hospital five times because of suicide attempts or really that I'm sick at all. We don't talk about why I missed Christmas dinner or spent all summer hiding in my room. My sister saw me take my Prozac one morning and asked why I needed medication and when I told her it was to make me happier she thought I was joking because we don't talk about mental illness. I mean why mention depression when you can pretend everyone's happy all the time.

I've been diagnosed with an eating disorder and a personality disorder and my siblings don't even know those exist. They could tell you all about cancer or diabetes but when it comes to metal illness we hide it behind doors that never open, it's like I'm in a seclusion room my entire life.

When I make a Facebook post about mental illness, people comment on how strong I am to share this information. When others make posts about physical illness people comment on how strong they are to get through it.

They say the stigma is gone but it's not. We're labelled as over dramatic attention seekers going through a phase. We're told that we'll outgrow it. Last time I was in a locked unit over half the patents were over fifty and my psychiatrist still had the nerve to tell me I'll grow out of it. Mental illness affects adults too and it's not because we're weak or dumb.

My medical insurance covers hospital admissions but not my outpatient therapy. My medical insurance covers my help only when I'm locked away.


Try telling me again that the stigma is gone. 

1 comment:

  1. Educating people is the only way to beat the stigma.

    My family used to be like that. Crazy runs rampant on mum's side, but being the typical Irish family they are, no one talked about it. Then I went crazy and refused to be silent about it. I figure the more people know the real story (and know how my parents went wrong in initially dealing with it), the more people will have the knowledge to support their friends and family if they find themselves suddenly having to deal with mental illness.

    My insurance won't cover inpatient anything. Or outpatient. I think they'd prefer we just OD'ed and be done with it. :/

    xo

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