May the Stigma Not Be With Me

Well, today is the big day. The appointment with the neurologist. The day I hopefully find out some answers. I have all sorts of posts planned and not gotten a chance to write at all. My headaches are unpredictable and intolerable. I have great ideas but they fade away almost as soon as I get them. The pain-free time that I do have I have been spending with family as much as possible. It’s funny what things get put into perspective when faced with the unknown. Those closest to me have gotten all my attention as of late and not my grand crusade to end stigma, I’m afraid.

However, today will be an important day in the day of stigma. I know doctors should be the least stigmatized, but in my experience, that is not usually the way it goes. Every time I go to the ER or other doctors, I somehow feel I have to defend myself and my symptoms as if they are not all in my head. Most doctors don’t treat me just as another patient but as someone on a quest for attention. Someone trying to exaggerate something that isn’t there at all. It is disheartening and frustrating. You would think a medical doctor of all people would understand mental illness or at least try to understand it. It doesn’t make me less of a patient. It doesn’t make me less of a person.

I have high hopes this will be different and I don’t try to fool myself either. I mean, after all, we are dealing with my brain and my mental illness is a big part of my brain, but it’s not all of it. I’ve wondered myself if this couldn’t be some weird progression of my illness, but it simply doesn’t make sense. Something deep inside me tells me something is very wrong. Call it women’s intuition, call it whatever you like, but there is a feeling you get when you know something is just not right. I know something is not right, whether it be some rare type of a migraine or something may serious I hope this doctor sees to it that I get the proper test. I hope they look past my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis and try to get to the root of these headaches.

That is why putting an end to the stigma of mental illness is so important. It isn’t just ignorant people, but it’s also well knowledgeable people as well that still cast a shadow of a doubt on those with mental illness. It seems sometimes that the only people that understand mental illness are the ones that suffer from it themselves or the ones that work in the field, and the ladder is a stretch. I’ve seen mental health professionals as well show great signs of stigma in inpatient as well as outpatient settings. I’ve seen therapist┬átry to rationalize behavior that sometimes can’t be rationalized and even though they know it to be true, will still cast judgment on those who suffer from mental illness. Stigma is far-reaching and has to be stopped in its tracks. It’s only a matter of time before it gets even more out of control.

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