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Friday, May 20, 2011

Mental Health Month: Stigmas

May is Mental Health Month, and I can’t help but wonder if things changed over the years?  Are people more accepting of mental health issues in the work place, or even in their very own home and community?

WebMD member BipolarDisorder2 shares this from our Bipolar Community, “I’m pretty quiet about my BP. My family is 100% non-supportive, and few of my friends are, so I tend to keep it pretty quiet. I have told my co-workers (kind of, sort of, in a very casual way) and I will probably have to tell my boss sometime so she understands why I miss work occasionally.”

Are there still stigmas attached to mental health? Those living with Bipolar Disorder or Depression seem to think the stigmas remain and face them in their daily lives.

Supa_Kay explains,“It still feels like others don’t think I’m the same as them because of the BP. The hardest part is when the people I live with don’t understand me and perpetuate the stigmas, I try to explain but often to no avail.”

Yet, with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI) and a host of other supportive sites on the internet, you can’t help but think that we have come a long way, at least in the increase in both information and resources for folks with mental illness.

I encourage everyone to take some time to reflect this month about those you know who are suffering mental health challenges and reach out to them with friendship and understanding.

And for those dealing with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it. Come find support and share your story with us on our Depression,  Bipolar, or Anxiety & Panic Disorders communities. We’ll be there to welcome you.

By Susie Byrne

Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 7:39 pm


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