Ask artist Gemma Correll, and she’ll tell you living with anxiety is like living in a real-life horror movie. Actually, don’t ask her — simply click on her recent comic book-style illustrations and you’ll see an anxiety attack can begin when someone decides to call you instead of text. The illustrations are based on Correll’s own “anxieties and neuroticisms,” she told Mashable; she herself has been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and depression. Not only does finding the humor in her situation help her cope, but it doubles as education for other people who have no experience with these disorders.
Consider the list here an extension of that — education. Who does anxiety typically affect? When does it present itself? What treatment is available? Is there still stigma? Ultimately, a deeper understanding of anxiety disorders will make it easier for people like Correll to open up about their struggles, and show others their anxieties are nothing to be ashamed of. Greater visibility leads to greater social support. Continue reading
Dr. Insel discusses a new report that compares the number of people with serious mental illness who are incarcerated vs. the number being treated in hospitals.
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I have attempted suicide. This is not a fact that I wish to wear on my sleeve. This is not a fact a want on my resume. This is a fact that I wish was shoved in a trunk, thrown in a closet and locked away for all eternity.
And I think that most people who have attempted suicide feel the same way. There are many reasons you might want to forget but one of them is the shame associated with a suicide attempt. Many people around you and you, yourself, might consider attempting suicide shameful.
We get the notion of shame from those around us. Imagine looks of scorn if someone happens to belong to a religious community that considers suicide a sin and has no compassion for those who have attempted it. Imagine embarrassed parents forbidding their children to wear short sleeves so that the scars on their wrists are never seen. Imagine the person arriving home from the hospital, after a suicide attempt, not to a welcome home party but to pained silences and looks of pity and contempt. These are the realities that people who have attempted suicide face. And do we feel shame about what we’ve done? Many of us do.
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So, as it turns out I’m a bit of a mental illness stigma eraser – or at least so sayeth the amazing folks at Didi Hirsch. I’m extremely proud, honoured and humbled to announce that Didi Hirsch will be honouring me at this year’s Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards in Los Angeles.
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Among many things, I have been accused of dismissing the pain of psychiatric patients. Oh, excuse me, “psychiatric survivors.” And I would like to clarify something – I have done no such thing. I, personally, have my own painful stories about psychiatry and I don’t dismiss mine so why, exactly, would I dismiss anyone else’s?
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