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Glenn Close on Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence

(9 Posts)
MmeGoblindt Thu 22-Oct-09 20:14:20

In the Huffington Post

My SIL is bipolar and the family really struggle with coming to terms with it. How sad that they were able to rally around and support her much better when she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.

Not that they don't support her in her struggles with her mental illness, but they were much more willing to talk to friends, get advice and help from others.

Lotster Thu 22-Oct-09 20:47:03

"The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance."

This is so true, and so sad. When I had PTSD (and a revisit of my previously treated depression) after my first birth, some friends seemed determine to jolly me out of it, others maintained radio silence until I was cheerful again.

But far worse is watching my bipolar niece end up in hospital time and time again through repeated "attempts" on her life. Inverted commas becaue I really feel she doesn't necessarily want to die, but to hand over responsibility to someone else for her pain, and have people bloody well notice. The family (on my husbands' side) are supportive but so hush hush in a way, that every time she is checked in to a phsyc hospital she asks her mum, "haven't you told anyone?" and continues to think people don't care; but her mum just cannot open up about it and we all hear about it after several weeks have passed, by which time she's picked herself up and we're not sure whether to mention it.

I do worry she will suceed one day even if she doesn't mean it. She's already been on cardiac support after downing lots of pills. Now she's attempting to go cold turkey from her tablets, very bad idea, but she's embarrassed about the way they make her shake and people's reactions.

Having had a friend/childhood sweetheart, a friend of a friend, and my sisters best friend all take their own lives after suffering from various mental illnesses, I am so frustrated my the care for mentally ill people, and the attitudes to boot... so I for one am very glad to see someone as high profile as Glen Close lend their name to the cause. Thanks for the link.

MmeGoblindt Thu 22-Oct-09 20:53:36

Oh, Lotser. That made me cry, how incredibly sad for your niece and her family.

My cousin is battling for better care for his wife, and has been for years. It is heartbreaking to see how it is tearing the family apart. My cousin is 40yo and looks ten years older.

OrmIrian Thu 22-Oct-09 20:56:42

It's sickening. People need to see severed limbs or hear the word 'cancer' to feel comfortable angry. Otherwise it's not real illness

MmeGoblindt Thu 22-Oct-09 22:14:29

Absolutely, Orm.

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 09:20:09

bump for the morning crowd

Sagacious Fri 23-Oct-09 09:40:03

My MIL has has a total mental breakdown after being diagnosed with end stage cancer last month.

When it was "just" the cancer friends all rallied round.

Now its excuses (shes now in a psychiatric hospital) about coughs and colds so they can't visit her.

These are people she has known for 40 years.

OrmIrian Fri 23-Oct-09 10:34:53

The really stupid thing is that the majority of women I know have needed counselling/drugs for depression and anxiety at some time in their lives. I never knew that until I started to take anti-Ds and deal with all the issues arising.

Completely perfect mental health is a rarity IMO.

Summerfruit Fri 23-Oct-09 10:48:18

I have lost a very good friend (well I tought she was a good friend sad but as soon as I said the D word, she completely let me down, ignoring my calls, desinviting me from events at her house...I think I was embarassing her and just wanted to be friend with the funny Sumerfruit, the depressed one was not worth it. I'm better now but I dont talk openely about depression anymore as I dont want to scare my other friends away !

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