Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mental Illness and What It Means

A friend of mine was surprised that I mentioned on Facebook that I am bipolar. Partially through blogs like I Trust When Dark My Road and Lilac Rose, I have come to see mental illness as nothing to be ashamed of. Mental illness is no different than any other type of bodily illness, such as Crohn's or asthma. Some people will look down on those suffering from mental illness, but life is best lived not caring about what other people think. I have lots of people in my life to whom I can turn if my illness starts becoming unmanageable, and thanks be to God that I have these people and medications to help handle symptoms. I pray to never be in as dark a place again as I have been, but in the end I have to live on faith.


Gina said...

I have a friend who's daughter is bipolar and she suffers terribly with it. I often wish that she could meet some good adults who live with this and have come through the dark times, so I for one am glad that you talk about this. What this poor girl goes through is nothing short of horrible and often times I think John has the easier road with his physical illness and disabilities. God bless you for speaking up, illness is illness no matter where it lies and all of it should be treated with compassion and love.

skatey katie said...

but life is best lived not caring about what other people think.i need to hear this a hundred times every day.
love you X

Pauli said...

Barb, it's funnny because I was just trying to get to your page from mine when I realized I didn't have you on my blog roll. What's with that?

I know lots of people with mental illnesses, and how open they are about it is in general directly proportional to how well they are dealing with it. There are many "dark places" and we all have struggles. May God bless you with yours.

Susan B. said...

Hi Barb,

God bless you...I'm glad that things are going better for you and that you have a great support system in your family. As you know, I have had my problems with anxiety and depression. I got off Paxil, but then after going through an extreme bout of depression about a year or so ago, I started taking Cymbalta, which has been working out very well for me so far. This taught me that the *right* medication can be very helpful.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Gina, I think we all have things to suffer. Sometimes I have wished to deal with a physical problem instead of mental though.

Katie, I can't imagine you caring about what anybody else thinks. You are so... you!

Pauli, the other thing about my being open is because I have a better understanding of my symptoms. Of course, when I'm bad enough to need serious help I wouldn't feel like blogging anyway.

Susan, I'm glad Cymbalta is working for you. I am on that as well. The right medication can really make a difference.

Dark My Road said...

It is a tough journey, but understanding that mental illness is just another illness is a HUGE revelation. That makes it something that can be treated, not dreaded.