Yesterday I had the opportunity to be out in public in several different venues. In each situation I felt that I was different, out-of-step, and several times that I was ashamed.

What’s that about?

Then I read several articles and blog posts today with others writing again about the stigma of mental illness. I felt it even when no one knew me. Could just be my own shame of myself, however misplaced that is. Then I remember times I’ve been tongue-tied when I’ve talked with those who live with depression or bipolar. There’s a stigma. There’s some shame as though mental illness is a personal personality flaw that I can help. I’ve heard several people – including myself – wish they had cancer instead. Think about that for a moment.

8 responses to “Shame

  1. Ooof. This is so hard. You have nothing about which to be ashamed. I wish it were possible to share with you that there were others in one of the places you visited yesterday that struggle with similar stuff. You’re not alone, but you are brave.

  2. Yeah, I’ve never met someone who felt shame about their blood pressure, or diabetes, or thyroid problem yet mental illness is one of those diseases that is (inappropriately) tagged as personal. I really hate that, but have no idea how to solve that one. Perhaps folks like you blogging and educating us readers will start to break that one down. Proud of ya.

    • Thanks, Anna! I never knew how revolutionary it would be to “come out” with a mental illness and talk about it too. Maybe together we can end the stigma.

  3. Deb, I feel with you on this. I remember the day I went to the psychiatrist the first time two years ago in Mississippi. After the visit, I went up the street to Walgreen’s to fill my prescription for my Prozac and Lamictal. The whole time I was at the pharmacy, I just wanted to crawl under a chair or something and hide, because I felt so embarrassed to be there getting a script for what was obviously drugs for a mental illness. When I got them and went back to my truck, I got in, looked at the bottles in my hand…and wept. I felt like I had just lost a war and surrendered to an enemy. Actually, I was just beginning to fight. I’m still fighting and so are you. Deb, I am so proud of you. Proud of you for being who you are, proud of you for doing what is neccessary to take care of yourself, and very proud of you for possessing the courage to write this blog with the honesty and forthrightness you are approaching it with. I am proud to know you. You inspire me. Together, we will triumph! Deb, Be blessed…

    • I so know that feeling!! I felt it first time I needed meds for the “made up” chronic pain illness fibromyalgia. But even more so going thru 12 different mental health meds in 10 weeks to find something that didn’t make me sick & helped me feel better. Felt ashamed–a junky trying to get a high off of them. Or like a failure cuz I’d need these pills just to start where others did.

  4. oh, by the way…ur blog is now linked to mine. I don’t know if you my blogpost for today, but it concerns you and some other folks…take a look…

  5. I think voicing it definitely combats shame. Hi-five, Deb!

  6. keep up your sincere and honest blog.. we need brave people like u.

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