Kudos to celebrities who work to erase stigma

Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility this Monday for bipolar disorder treatment. And I applaud her. She is proactive and committed to periodic care. What's so important is that this news, so openly provided, helps erase stigma. "It's not easy, she says. I'm not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it's completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don't have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it." Many other famous people have been afflicted with mental illness. The list is long. Some have managed to control their disease; others have not. I became interested in working to erase stigma after my son's suicide as a result of his bipolar disorder. I wrote earlier about my conviction that his death might have been avoided had he not been affected by stigma. My … [Read more...]

What is Stigma and How Do We Erase It?

Here's another mental illness resource. The stigma of mental illness could turn deadly if we aren't educated.... A few months ago my cousin came to our house to review and discuss the family history my husband had been writing. After reviewing the material he made one request leave out the part about his father's bipolar disorder. In fact he didn't want to see any discussion of any of the mental illness that permeates my side of our family. That was proof enough for me that the stigma of mental illness still exists. Although my husband did not mention our family's mental illness in the history, I openly discussed my grandmother's, uncle's, and mother's mental illness in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On (now in paperback and eBook), and that I believe that their genes passed on bipolar disorder to my son. The most important way to erase stigma is to open the conversation about mental illness. This conversation could cover several aspects: What are the causes of … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 5

Today I'm visiting with Amanda Lebron and her blog Rage against the Washing Machine where I discuss: "Does the Stigma of Mental Illness Still Exist." Amanda is the mother of (in her own words): "a beautiful, vivacious ten year old daughter who has Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and Asperger's. It is for her that I am on a mission to wash away the stains of mental illness and to soak you in all the knowledge I find along the way. I am here to tell you, you are not alone." I'm so pleased she invited me to help her wash away those stains. http://mommylebron.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/author-guest-post-madeline-sharples/ Please click on the link so you can see her beating her washing maching with a baseball bat. … [Read more...]