New Blog Post by Amy Gamble

4 Reason Why It’s Hard to Disclose a Mental Illness

Since I have been publicly sharing my bipolar disorder diagnosis I have had some very interesting responses from other people.  Most of the time people are very supportive, however, when they start to know a bit more about the struggle sometimes the questioning looks begin to happen.  Here are my top four reasons Why It’s Hard to Share a Mental Illness Diagnosis.

#1 – People wonder if you are “crazy”

The general public has so little information on mental illness they don’t have a true idea on what the struggle really is about.  Granted there might be some “crazy” times in the world of a person who lives with severe mental illness.  But I have also personally experienced many times where I am really rather quite normal.  If I am really “crazy” you will know it.

#2 – They think you are always sick

Had a bad day?  Stressed out over life changes?  Not in a good mood?  The moment I am not my usual friendly self, sometimes I get very strange looks from people who mean very well, but don’t realize I am not always sick.  There are days when I am simply having a bad day.  Everyone has those days.  I just don’t get the leeway like everyone else.

#3 – People don’t believe you can recover

When I say I struggle and I battle and I fight bipolar disorder, this really means I manage it.  I work extremely hard at being “normal.”  Not everyone can get their illness to the point where they feel as if they have recovered.  I am not one of those people.  I have several occasions where I have been either extremely manic or so depressed I could not get out of bed, but I always get better and return to a fairly high level of activity.

#4 – Oh the stigma

There are countless misunderstandings about mental illness that is created as a result of stigma.  Stigma is shame.  Shame causes silence.  Silence hurts us all.  This is my number one reason why I am an advocate.  There more I talk about living with bipolar disorder, hopefully the more people will see that I am more like everyone else than I am different.  I just happen to struggle with an illness that effects my brain.  Does that make me a crazy, wacko, nuts or psyhco?  I don’t think so.  The more people come into contact with someone who is open about their mental illness the faster we can eliminate stigma.

My message to those who live with a mental illness is:  Keep talking about it or start talking about it.  Don’t be afraid.  Because all of these obstacles I mentioned can be overcome.  That’s how change occurs.

One thought on “New Blog Post by Amy Gamble

  1. Amy,
    I just finished reading your book…………..my adult son has Bipolar Mental Disorder (at least that is what 2 doctors have said. Another physician says Schizophrenia.) We are trying to find the right diagnosis and the right medication treatment. We are in the Huntington, WV area. Very said healthcare options and no support for families at all………..any thoughts?

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