Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mental illness stigma

There is still some stigma attached to mental illness; which is ridiculous. I am on medication for anxiety. I thank God for it. Before I got on the medication I would have crushing headaches that lasted for weeks. And of course the anxiety where I would become so afraid of certain situations it was really interfering with my life. And finally, it made me real b----y; if ya know what I mean. I can tell what a difference the medicine has made in my life. It has given me back my old self. It's definitely genetic. My mom and grandma have the same problem.

Whenever the opportunity arises, I share my experience with my friends. It's my way of breaking down the stigma a little bit. Two of my friends talked about the psychiatric medicines they are on. For some of my other friends it was an ice-breaker into their own mental/emotional problems, even though they aren't on medicine themselves.

Here are some interesting stats for you:
46% of Americans will suffer from some type of mental illness in their lifetime
Of those: 29% are anxiety disorders, 21% are mood disorders 25% are impulse-control 15% other
According to a federally funded study the younger you are when it starts, the more serious it gets, but the younger you are when it starts the less likely you are to get treatment.

The study suggest that we have a long way to go to combat mental illness, but I, being an eternal optimist, have to remember how the mentally ill were treated not long ago in America, when they were chained and imprisoned like criminals. We can thank Dorthea Dix for her compassion and influence to better the lives of many people with mental illness.

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