My name is Laurie and I have bipolar disorder. This is a blog I’ve wanted to write for some time but did not have the courage. Why now I wonder. Maybe it’s because I just had another birthday and another year in the shadows after a lifetime with this illness. Some friends here at Senior Chatters know this about me as I do share it occasionally depending on the situation. But by and large I have kept it hidden here in cyberspace as I do in the real world.
Why do so many of us with mental illness feel the need to remain in the closet? It seems to me our society has come from the Dark Ages into the Middle Ages concerning this problem, both in its medical treatment and in the general public’s attitudes towards it. In other words although great strides have been made there is still a long way to go. Thus many of us who suffer from this affliction do not wish to make it known. There is still a great deal of stigma attached to psychiatric illness as well as a profound misunderstanding of its nature. As long as we internalize societal attitudes about our illness and hide it in shame, these stereotypes will continue. The more honest we are about it, the more light will be shed on the subject from which will come a greater understanding and acceptance.