Happy New Year's All,
I have read many of your posts and have also shared some experiences. I think Mayo Clinic is great for allowing us the opportunity to express how we feel, make connections and support one another. I recently learned that a loved one was diagnosed with a mental illness and he has been very paranoid about everything from the diagnosis itself, the thought of taking any medications but more importantly he has been concerned about what others will think of him and how he will be treated.
I guess, I am at a stage in my life where I don't see living with a mental illness as a contributing factor of my worth. This stage in the recovery process has taken many years of therapy but more important the unconditional love and acceptance that I have been lucky to have received from immediate loved ones/family has been a contributing factor.
Another factor is that it is very important for everyone to understand that living with a mental illness does not have to mean that one has to give up on life, on hopes and dreams. It does take a lot of work and sometimes it even means developing thick skin because unfortunately there are always those that lack compassion and sensitivity.
As a professional, I want you to know that I have met more people with serious challenges working helping others, when the first thing they should be doing is getting help for themselves. Kind of reminds me of "Do as I say not as I do". It's denial and I am sure you have seen this as well. The workaholic, the micromanager, the anal retentive perfectionists who is quick to make you feel worthless because they feel this way about self. Then we may have loved ones who really do not understand our condition but they should be educating themselves so they can be less judgemental and more supportive.
Just like any illness, those living with one need to know they are still loved, respected, worthy, intelligent, creative, and can still be major contributor's to their families and communities.
If you have time, google famous people with mental illnesses and you will be surprised how many people live with illnesses and lived and/or live wonderful lives in addition to struggling.
I know how it feels to be frowned at, talked about, lied about, and made to feel totally stigmatized by a label. I am at a different place today and I am grateful for this. Today, I believe that people who judge what they are unaware of or are even indignant towards others sometimes act foolishly because they have their own issues and the difference is that I am dedicated to my well being. There is no time for denial. It does not matter what the label is.
If something ails you, please get help, educate yourself, educate your loved ones, know your rights and always keep in mind...................You Are Not Alone!
Let's try to have a blessed year, be better people and first and foremost take care of ourselves (we deserve all of the blessings coming our way).