Our Illness is not Mental

This piece is written by a friend of mine over at a mental health support site. She is brutally honest about this condition we both have and I couldn’t possibly have said these things better.

Bipolar First Bipolar Together

If there is anything I hate more than the term “mental illness,” it is being called “mentally ill.”

Gag me.

I mean, yes there is something rather “messed up” in our brains. And for no reason at all it can randomly make us feel….  sad/bad/crappy/anxious/terrified/awful/full of broken glass/aching/deadened/agitated/unsettled/enraged/flattened/hopeless/numb/broken/lost/needy/emotionally destitute/dysphoric/mixed/depressed………

and I guess “ill” is as good a word as any to use to cover all of that.

Except. it is not.

It would be a good word if it at least made people think that we have physical illness in our brains.  And that this would inspire them to give us the same understanding and compassion that they give other physically “ill” people.

But we all know that is not the case.

If anything “mentally ill” has a more stigmafying effect.  It makes people uncomfortable.  It conjures up unpleasant images.

I know it does for me.  I see a blurry…

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Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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