Mental Illness – Fighting Stigma Head On!

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When I was diagnosed with depression, bipolar, and other mental conditions in my 30’s (late 80’s – early 90’s), I felt ostracized in every part of my life.

My family was clearly embarrassed. My parents and older sister only saw my diagnoses and not me. To them, we were one in the same. Maybe at first, this was true; however, in later years (after my Mom passed in 1995), neither my sister nor my Dad could see (or maybe admit) any improvements in me. This would just bring me back to being that sick person in their presence.

My work (for the Provincial Government) also treated my time off for depression as if I was in quarantine for something contagious. My boss met me outside the back door of our building when I went to pick up some papers I needed. He said he didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable…

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