Staci:I am an advocate of mental health, and have been since I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 back in the mid 90’s where Lithium was the drug of choice. After 5 years of therapy and scrips, I was able to get off the meds completely and live a drug free life. Recently, my bursitis started acting up and I was injected with heavy duty steroids on both sides, and it caused my mania to come out and the bipolar triggers are back, along with my anxiety/panic attacks. The doctor doing the injections just laughed when I told him no more injections because it was causing my bipolar to resurface and I politely told him where to go shove his laughs and immediately called my therapist. Now I am back on meds and doing better, but it is different now. Recently my sister in law was hospitalized for Bipolar 2, and is now somewhat stable after a year of changing meds. She has told me that I have been her rock and biggest supporter in getting her through this, and to stop fighting the doctors, but to just embrace what she has, and learn to work with the disease instead of against it. Once she started doing this, her life started turning around again, in a positive way. I have also had an ex-boyfriend/high school buddy that committed suicide a few years ago because he could NOT get the help he needed due to the state he lived in and the insurance coverage.
I believe in positive reinforcement, and I believe that all the stigma of mental illness is getting out of hand. We can not blame mental illness for making a person commit murder, nor can we blame guns for actually killing a person. It seems that every time a mass murder makes the news – the first words out of a reporters mouth is, mental illness. We need to stop this, because the stigma of mental illness is truly getting out of hand. We have an estimated 26% of Americans that have mental illness – and the number is probably higher than this. We have had 4 shootings in the past 5 years that the shooter was considered mentally ill or seeking treatment at the time. So if we did the math on this that would be .06% – that is less than 1%. And if we take that .06% and look at who was getting treatment and who was not – 1 out of 4 of those individuals was actually seeking/getting treatment. So that brings the number down even more. But these are only 4 nationwide shootings, that have been broadcasted. There are other situations that never make the news, or only make the local news and then are never talked about again.
Through my page, I have met some pretty courage people who along with everyone else, are standing up to Mental Illness. My page was created as an outlet for me, a way to express myself without my FB friends casting judgement over what I post.