Declaration of Independence from Stigma

I have something important to share with you all. Earlier a friend of mine gave a very brave statement when she said: “I have PTSD!! I’m not ashamed to talk about it!” Taking her example, I want to say this:

I have bipolar. I had eating disorders and PTSD, I cut myself and attempted suicide. I was a victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse. I grew up in domestic violence. I was raped.

And I am not ashamed.

I have done nothing wrong. I am not to blame for the abuse I suffered or the psychiatric disorders I am diagnosed with. I got therapy and take medication and that does not mean I’m crazy. I will not be silenced or shamed by stigma or societal pressure to keep these things hidden. They are part of my story, and I know they are part of your stories too. Join me in declaring that you will not be silenced by stigma!!! ♥

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About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

5 responses to “Declaration of Independence from Stigma

  • Barbara Lanier

    Bravo! You should be very proud of yourself. I am very proud of you. Hugs, Barb

  • Lynda - Out of the cRaZy Closet

    In 1967, at the age of 14, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia ~ the catch-all psychiatric diagnosis of that era ~ and committed to a State Mental Institution, where I remained for 2 years. Although I’ve been told by numerous doctors over the years that I was badly misdiagnosed, I have been branded with the stigma of “mental illness” ever since. To this day I am treated like an embarrassment, and a social outcast, by the majority in my family of origin.

    In 2003, a few weeks before my 50th birthday, I took the settlement money from my last divorce and, in desperation, checked myself into a renowned psychiatric clinic. I paid cash, having lost my health insurance, along with my monthly support, in the divorce. I had enough money to buy a modest home for my old age, but I chose to use it in a last-ditch effort to save my life, and my sanity, instead!

    After a full battery of psychological tests, I finally learned what has been “WRONG” with me all these years…. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    “YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!” my doctor, Paul Meier, MD, author and founder of the Meier New Life Clinics (formerly Minirth-Meier Clinics), told me. “PTSD is not a mental illness, it is a completely normal reaction to extreme trauma ~ just as it is normal for a person to bleed, if she is stabbed. Not only are you very sane, you are amazingly STRONG. With your trauma history, I don’t understand how you can be as functional as you are! I’ve had patients with 1/10th your trauma history, who were completely unable to function in life.”

    “Turn PTSD into C.U.R.E. with Compassion, Understanding, Respect, & Encouragement.” ~Lynda, Out of the CrAzY Closet

    • writingforrecovery

      Wow. Good for you for doing what you needed to to save your life, and for declaring yourself free of stigma! I hope you have good support and the RIGHT treatment now. Best wishes on your continued recovery. Thank you for your comment! Peace, Sarah

  • Lynda - Out of the cRaZy Closet

    Thank you, Sarah. I do have wonderful support and help now. For me, life began at 50. These past 8 years have been the best years of my life… so far! I hope all the best for you, too, in your life journey.

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