Saturday, October 8, 2011

Personal Stigma Hurts

I know first hand what it's like to deal with the stigma of having Bipolar. I have met many people in which we could have become friends, but the minute they found out I had bipolar, they backed away. It's as if I had some contagious disease. Either they were afraid of catching it or they're ashamed to know me or be seen with with me. I can't tell you how much that hurts me and how bad it really makes me feel. Then there are those who pretend to be your friend, but they're only there when they need something from you...when it benefits themselves. Otherwise you never see or hear from them. They are the fake friends who pretend the Bipolar is okay, that it doesn't bother them, only it does.

I am a regular person who deals with an illness in which I take medication to help control it.  I'm not all that different from so called normal people, except sometimes my mood may be down more so than the average person and sometimes I may be up more. But I am a human being and deserve to be treated like one and as an equal.

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.  A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.  That last beautiful quote is a quote by Bernard Meltzer. So if you can not be those things to me just because I'm bipolar then your truly not a good friend to anyone. Your only lying to yourself and to them. You are an impostor.

A great place to start to fight stigma is NAMI StigmaBuster. NAMI StigmaBusters is a network of dedicated advocates across the country and around the world who seek to fight inaccurate and hurtful representations of mental illness. To join, click here NAMI StigmaBusters

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