They say it only takes a small snow ball to start a large avalanche. Or a tiny spark to ignite a huge forest fire.
But what does it take to start a conversation about mental health?
What will it take to end the stigma that apparently still surrounds the topic of mental illness?
Perhaps, nothing more than a few words, such as these:
It looks like the cat is out of the bag, so I’ll fill everyone in on what’s been happening in my life over the past little bit. As many of you know, I have Type I Bipolar Disorder. Recently, my Lithium levels got too low and some other meds stopped working. I was having major problems with issues such as anxiety and depression. On the advice of my psychiatrist, other members of my care team, and my amazing partner, Michelle, I made the decision to go inpatient at the Dube Centre for Mental Health. I have no idea how long I’ll be here; as long as is necessary to regain my health.
The author? James Ford, a resident of Saskatoon, who is now being treated for his mental health illnesses.
He has gone public with what he calls “Jae, Interrupted: The daily musings of a psyche ward resident.”
Visit wordpress.com and search for it. He has been publishing his thoughts for a few days now, and the public response has been overwhelming.
People of all ages, from all walks of life and various parts of the globe, have responded with their writings of support, sympathy, and understanding.
Others have shared their own experiences. One such person is Jeffrey Stiglitz, of Bellingham, Washington. Here are his thoughts:
Depression Is (Opus One):
The slightest slight is like a pinprick so slowed down in time
you feel the pin break the first layer of skin,
then the second,
then the third,
layer after epidermal layer, thru vein and muscle, excavating with a backhoe,
pulling up tons of previous slights, building a wall with each past slight,
each wall taller and heavier until the final monolith of shame stands, begins to topple,
and falls inward knocking each slight wall before it into a cascade of pain and insecurity,
of questioning and sanity,
finally falling back on the latest slight with tsunamic force, making it THE slight,
creating a barricade of anger and fright,
crushing confidence under a wash of emotion,
burying everything in it's wake including the cries of a young child
"Please help me" "I didn't mean it" "I won't tell anyone" "I didn't know" "Why are you doing this to me?"
until the voice can no longer be heard.
Now is only the voice of shame and hurt and anger,
built over the decades,
unleashed on some unknowing and undeserving being.
jbstiglitz April 2014
Keep clicking. This conversation will continue.
And, The Dube Centre is part of the Royal University Hospital complex in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.