Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glenn Close on the Stigma of Mental Illness

Thanks to Laszlo for sharing this piece from The Huffington Post.

Actress Glenn Close writes about "Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence:"

It is an odd paradox that a society, which can now speak openly and unabashedly about topics that were once unspeakable, still remains largely silent when it comes to mental illness. This month, for example, NFL players are rumbling onto the field in pink cleats and sweatbands to raise awareness about breast cancer. On December 1st, World AIDS Day will engage political and health care leaders from every part of the globe. Illnesses that were once discussed only in hushed tones are now part of healthy conversation and activism.

Yet when it comes to bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia or depression, an uncharacteristic coyness takes over. We often say nothing. The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well. Our society ought to understand that many people with mental illness, given the right treatment, can be full participants in our society.

Seems like a good follow-up to our discussion of whether only perfect people should have children.


ItsTheWooo said...

The least she could do, considering her most famous role as a deranged obsessed (presumed mentally ill) person did so much to worsen stigma. This is a bit like the guy who played buffalo bill in silence of the lambs speaking out for GLBT rights or something, lol.

tracy said...

"Well put, that was laid on with a trowel."