There's always been stigmas about different kinds of situations in the world, which unfortunately not all of us can relate to and understand. I believe that many times, we judge what is unknown to us and somehow different. This a very common and sad human mistake. We fear what we don't know, and in turn, are judgmental and cruel towards others.
I think the solution to most of these stigmas and the way to remove most of them, is to inform people about the reality that is happening daily.
Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I've had difficult times since then, but most of all, I've been able to understand that more than a "curse" (as I've witnessed other people call it) it is a gift. I'm not gonna lie, it is an illness which should be taken very seriously. And I've suffered so much because of it. But now that I've gotten used to it, and with the right treatment, I am grateful of who I am. I like how it sparks some sort of creativity which other people most of the time don't see. It definitely comes with pros and cons. But if you learn how to control it, there are a lot more pros than there are cons.
Something that continues to amaze me, is that mental illnesses receive a lot of negative attention. And I don't blame people for it, they just don't know that they're poorly informed. There are a LOT of facts that would surprise people if they just wanted to learn a bit more. For example, 1 in 100 of people in the world suffer from Bipolar Disorder. And I've met so many people whom I can sense have some kind of undiagnosed mental disorder and go about life thinking that their only problem is that they have "terrible tempers" or were a "trouble child". This is something that affects the world and society greatly. A mental illness is as important as a physical one. It should be given the same level of importance as any other illness there is.
I am glad, however, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel which is beginning to become visible. A "silver lining" should we call it. People are starting to become aware of this situation and are taking a stand for it.
Speaking of "silver linings", I very much enjoyed the movie starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro among others. Silver Linings Playbook. Such an amazing film, it explores the real issues that revolve around mental health patients, and it is portrayed in such a comedic yet realistic way (speaking as a mental health patient). It makes you realize how common these disorders are, and how severe of a problem it is that we are overlooking something that can be solved and treated.
I remember an interview in which Jennifer Lawrence (one of my favorite actresses, by the way) gave when she won the Oscar for the movie. I felt so good to see that people were starting to be understanding of this. People like Jennifer are really starting to give hope to this situation and there's nothing that makes me happier. I remember she said:
"I don't think we're going to stop until we get rid of the stigma for mental illness,"
"I know [director] David O Russell won't, and I hope that this helps.
"It's just so bizarre how in this world if you have asthma, you take asthma
medication. If you have diabetes, you take diabetes medication. But as soon as you
have to take medicine for your mind, it's such a stigma behind it."
It makes me so glad that someone as famous and glamorous as Jennifer Lawrence decides to address this issue. And bring light to something that needs social understanding. Apparently, Jennifer is not the only celebrity who thinks this is something we (as a society) should work on. Bradley Cooper, has joined Former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow in on a cause to find a brighter side to those suffering of mental health issues.
People should be able to stop for a moment and recognize that someone close to them or they in fact may be suffering from a mental condition. Speaking of experience, it is SO much better when they do recognize it. It is a joy that in this advanced and modern world, there are so many opportunities for everyone. It IS possible to get treatment and to live a better life. Trust me.
Trivia: did you know these famous people have/had bipolar disorder? And look at them (the ones who fortunately found treatment, of course), they are successful and happy!
- Mel Gibson
- Ernest Hemingway
- Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy
- Vivien Leigh
- Abraham Lincoln
- Demi Lovato
- Marilyn Monroe
- Friedrich Nietzche
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Axl Rose
- Frank Sinatra
- Jack Irons
- Kurt Cobain
- Russell Brand
- Rose Mary Clooney
- Carrie Fisher
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
- Sinead O'Connor
- Jim Carrey
*Note: some of these people are thought to suffer from / have suffered bipolar disorder by diagnoses made by psychiatrists, public statements are not included in all cases.
Do you know anyone who suffers from any kind of mental disorder? Do you think you may be suffering from one? Share your stories.
*kisskiss* - Adrienne.