Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Am Mentally Ill

I have debated about writing those four words for quite awhile now.  It wasn't until I read over on Crooks & Liars about an 18 year old schizophrenic boy being killed in his home by a police officer that I decided that now is the right time.

In the summer of 1987, after having attempted to kill myself, I was diagnosed as a manic-depressive (bipolar is today's term) with a borderline personality disorder.  I was only 18 at the time and had graduated from high school that spring.  Even after years of seeing a psychologist from seventh grade until my senior year, this was the first time I had been diagnosed as with a mental illness.

As with most who suffer from a mental illness, one wouldn't necessarily know that I am a manic-depressive with a borderline personality disorder just by looking at me.  I try to dress nicely, am fairly well groomed and fairly well spoken.  To be honest, I don't want anyone to know that I have a mental illness.  All I want them to see is the facade of a "normal" person trying to make it through this world.

I don't want people to know the daily struggle I have fighting against both mania and depression.  I don't want people to know that I can't stand being around people while still needing to be around people.  (Wrap your head around that one.)  I especially don't want people to know that I am not really employable for more than three months at a time and am currently seeking government assistance.

This is the blogger you have been reading.  I am hoping that what I have been suffering through for over 30 years doesn't scare you off and I am hoping that by me sharing with you that I am mentally ill, that you have a better understanding of me.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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