October 22, 2009

Bring Change 2 Mind

Wednesday, October 21 was the beginning of a campaign. A campaign to educate and support patients, and to remove the stigma associated with the diagnosis of a mental illness.

A series of PSAs have been released showing real people with real illnesses.

One out of six adults and almost one out of ten children in this country have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

It's one of the last dirty little secrets in families. It's time to come out of the darkness, and show that peopl
e with mental illness can, with medication, therapy and support, be functioning members of society.

The Web site bringchange2mind.org launched to help end the stigma. From their site, you can navigate to the following sections:

Share Your Story - only by showing that mental illness can be managed, and that a fulfilling life is possible, can the stigma be removed. You can register at the site and upload a video about your experience with mental illness.

Learn the Facts - Mental illness is a disorder of the brain. It is not a sign of weakness, it is not the fault of the patient. It is caused by genetic, biological, environmental, or social/cultural factors. You can view a list of symptoms for each particular illness they have featured (depression, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia).

Get the Help You Need - a page acting as a clearinghouse for agencies that can provide information about mental illness. I've spent many an hour on the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder site, bpkids.org.

Be Involved - Share this site with ot
hers. Watch your language - remove "crazy", "psycho", "lunatic", and "nuts" from your vocabulary. People with mental illness are ILL...and like most folks who are ill, they are dealing with very treatable illnesses. They don't need all that negativity. Support continuing research into mental illness.

Now, my own disclosure...

I've written quite a lot about The Boy's adventures with bipolar illness. But I've left out half of the story. I have had my own struggles with depression over the past decades. I was finally diagnosed in 1981, and have been treated off and on over the years.

I am not in treatment now, as I have no health insurance. I think I'm doing pretty well right now, despite some struggles we are having here at home. But if I get to the point where I feel I need medication and therapy to cope, I will not hesitate to get the help I need to be a functional m
ember of society. I'm part of the one out of six...and I'm in good company.

You can view one of the PSAs here.


  1. Kudos to you in spreading awareness. I make it 2 of the 6. Thank you.

  2. Add another tally to the 1 in 6. I am there too. I just wrote about my depression last week.

    BTW I love your blog. Thank you for your point of view (especially concerning The Boy) it is such an inspiration to me. And now to find out you struggle with depression as well, you are even more impressive for dealing with your struggles with such finesse.

  3. Awareness? Psha! I love to talk about myself too much. Wanna know about my anxiety disorder? Let me tell ya'! Just because you like to have a clean house, you think you're OCD? No! Let me share with you REAL OCD!

    Genetics and DSM-IV diagnoses go hand in hand, my friend.

  4. Wow I didnt realize the statistics were that high. Thank you for shedding light on it. There is no shame in asking for help. My mom has battled depression and has had help in treatment for about a year now.

  5. Today I was going through the "On Demand" menu on the TV and saw a bunch of these "tutorial" on these topics -- symptoms, treatment options and so forth.

    And I've been treated for depression off and on for most of my adult life. I'm still on Zoloft since having PPD after my son was born. It helps A LOT. : )


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