Talking About Mental Illness | Steve Pitman

Where we go from here is that we have to talk
about it. In our NAMI classes we talk about how people can advocate. The simplest way
is to speak of it and you will find yourself flooded with other people who’ve had a similar
experience and they’ve never had anyone to talk to. That makes the illness worse, it
disconnects the mentally-ill person and it disconnects the family because if you’re a
family and you have a son or a daughter with mental illness, you don’t want to go back
to the places you’ve been before. Because sure as shooting, somebody’s going to walk
up to you and say, “How’s Johnny?” And you don’t want to have to say that Johnny dropped
out of college and now sits in his bedroom and plays video games all night long and then
sleeps all day. You don’t want to get into that so you go
new places, the mentally-ill isolate, families isolate and it’s all because we fail to talk
about it. It’s all because of stigma. The more we can talk to about it, the more we
can shed the light on this problem, the more freeing, the healthier the environment will
be. People will seek treatment.

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