“Mentally ill ” does not equal stupid or dangerous.

I am not talking about the physical structure of the bipolar brain in this post. I am talking instead about how and what people think when they think about bipolar disorder and the other mentally sick people in this world we live in.

First i want address the reason that i detest the phrase “mentally ill”. It is because when people hear those two magical words, I think some hear stupid or retarded. Case in point;  during one inpatient stays, i had a psychiatrist who, after i told him I thought I had an aneurysm,  (I thought that during a very dark time) asked me where I had heard that word. He assumed that because I was an inpatient I was uneducated.

I am NOT a stupid man. I  have worked in industry for thirty years and the education and skills needed to do this work have been gained through my own, and others experience. If you think it easy or a no-brainer, just TRY it yourself. I also hold a Bachelor of Business  Administration and Management degree from a public university. This degree i earned during one of the darkest times in my life.(3.0 average by the way.) Some people in history who have gone the farthest in science and industry were found, after the fact usually, to be “mentally ill”.

I find that we fight not only the negative social stigma that the media and the public in general place on us, (i.e. “the man who killed that family is thought to be mentally ill) but we also fight the idiocy that we are somehow substandard and stupid. I site the numerous programs and movies that depict us in a dark alley, wearing dirty, shabby clothes and living filth. At 2.6 % of the adult population who are bipolar, that is a lot of alleys to be lived in. Oh, that is 5.5 Million people in the US. Chances are very good that some of the people who you interact with daily, are bipolar. 

 According to the kimfoundation.org,  nearly 26% of adult Americans  age 18, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. That means that 1 out of 4 people are psychologically sick each year. How many people in your family? At your work? On that highway that you drive on everyday? If, we who struggle, we’re as dangerous as depicted, where are the dead bodies? This is a gross exaggeration, of course. But it is time to consider that you might very well be a part of that 26% of the population who have problems.  

People who are bi polar, depressed, schizophrenic, or many other illnesses, are not stupid nor dangerous. Assuming so just shows who the truly stupid people are in world.


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