There is a stigma attached to mental illness. People who would never ridicule a person with a physical disability, think nothing of making fun of someone suffering from psychiatric illness. The reasons are numerous and complex, but admitting to having mental illness is an invitation to ridicule, scorn, abuse, and prejudice.
Because of this stigma, I had previously obscured my identity. I feared that the stigma might threaten my ability to find work; that it might hinder me socially. The sad fact is that it probably will to some degree.
Despite this, I’ve decided to “come out of the closet.” I am going to live what I preach. If there is no shame in mental illness, then why hide? After much soul-searching, I’ve decided to make my identity known. Someone has to speak up.
In these pages I want to show what mental illness looks like, to explain some of its puzzling aspects. I want to share some of my experiences, to show people who I am. If they’re open to it, they’ll see that I’m much like anyone else.