Why do I find the term "Manic Depressive" easier to accept than someone who has "Bipolar"? I have absolutely no idea.
Back in November last year, whilst during another hospital admission, I had a meeting with an employee from Fife Employment Access Trust about beginning several courses to gain confidence etc. anyway I must have been having 'one of those days' as when I glanced at the bottom of my notes that were present at the meeting - I noticed a line all in capital letters ie. DOES NOT LIKE THE WORD BIPOLAR - Oh dear one must have been having a little 'off day' tut tut.
There is still so much stigma attached to having a mental health illness; and also having been admitted to, shock horror, a psychiatric hospital. It is unreal how small-minded some people really are.
What shocked me the most was when I was first admitted to hospital some 4 years ago and my then mother-in-law and father-in-law did not come near to visit me, not once. When I questioned my then husband at the time about this, he merely replied "well, you know, they are embarassed.." Oh wonderful. Let's hope they do not get struck down with a mental illness in the future and need to be admitted to such a place. Let's see how they would feel for family to wash their hands of them as they are 'embarassed'.
Mental health illnesses do not pick and choose their 'victims', oh no they are completely unbiased; so I reckon what goes around comes around, EVENTUALLY and they will get their just deserts. This I am sure of:)
I met a very nice man, through rather unfortunate circumstances (ie. in hospital). He is 16 years older than me. Purely platonic friendship, nothing more. Of course the gossip mongering went into complete overdrive. Comments such as "she must be having an affair with him" to "why on earth is she hanging around with him, he is schizophrenic" to the usual and more common one "she must be a gold digger". Sigh. It was none of those things at all. We stopped each other from feeling lonely, hardly a crime?
To cut a long story short this man is literally on his last legs. He is terrified of doctors, perhaps part of his illness. He has a massive tumour in his stomach, which was discovered when he finally agreed to accompany me to his local doctor's surgery, under duress, I might add! He was admitted to hospital the same day and the next day signed himself out; due to the fact he was to have a CT scan and well he freaked out at this idea:(
He is now very much on borrowed time. I am waiting any day now on the dreaded phone call to confirm that he has indeed left this world and is now on the other side, if there is infact an other side. I can no longer go round and visit him as he is pretty much resembling a 'living corpse' and I want to remember him the way he was, a big, strong, strapping man. I guess death brings out all sort of emotions in you. He was a truly good friend to me in my time of need. That I shall never forget. I am so glad I stuck by him regardless of all the negative comments that were flying around constantly.
I am glad that I saw beneath the perhaps 'simple' nature of the man. I saw him for the lovely, kind, reliable and honest gentleman that he was. I wish more people out there would try and do this. If you limit yourself to only being friends with people who you think will 'look good' with you, well you are missing out big time!
"This is me - don't try and change it..."