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breakdown of the middle ground.

Coming out of an entirely different closet…the one of mental illness

Unfortunately as prevalent as mental health disorders are the nation (50+ million diagnosed in the US alone) and world wide, it still tops the ranks as the most difficult to admit.

Higher than revealing to be a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or molestation, harder than confessing a drinking problem or previous bankruptcy; surveys have even shown it to more difficult than admitting ones gender identity or homosexuality. Sufferers face significant social taboos. And it doesn’t affect just one type of person. Mental illness knows nothing of age, race, gender, or economic background.

You don’t have to personally admit it yourself to believe the notion the reality that people are more likely to break off, or not even start, a relationship with someone with mental issues -which I for one find particularly interesting because members of society are more likely to stay with someone with a physical disability. People with mental disorders tend to prefer to hide their illness like major depression and anxiety, because unlike people with physical illnesses, people with mental disorders must also fear being rejected by family & friends, harassed, fired or not hired, or denied child custody—just for starters.

Please check out this personal blog discussing the Price of being Bipolar in Public)

Last week I had an entire conversation with a friend about them being practically afraid to admit their Christian faith at their workplace because of the negative assumptions his non-same faith based peers might think about his character or behavior.

Once you know someone’s religious preference it changes your whole personality to people who don’t agree with you. Sometimes it’s like every negative image or thought they have about it becomes who I am as a person- even though I haven’t changed. It’s their behavior towards me that has.

I’ve read more than a few articles of a biracial person attempting, or enjoying the ability to pass for one race over another—not because they have a problem with it necessarily themselves, but because other people do.

Sometimes it’s like every negative stereotype or prejudice they have against a race I share membership of encompasses who I am as a person. Granted racism is an ongoing issue for those of one race, but it is just as prevalent towards those of plural heritage.

Sexual orientation discrimination —don’t even get me started.

(great message board discussion here coming coming out as gay with coming out as bipolar)

Mental illness sufferers are also victims of discrimination and the issue continually needs to be recognized.

“I’m Asian, I’m gay, and I have faced discrimination – but not for the reasons most people think; it was actually when I got depression that I faced most discrimination.”

(Quote from an article in the Guardian)

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , ,

in the past but not forgotten

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