I hate stigma. It makes me feel as if I’m nothing or dangerous. I’ll explain. My husband and I record a lot of TV shows. For one of the TV shows, we hadn’t yet watched any of the episodes, so some days we watch multiple episodes back to back. It’s this show that started last year, Secrets and Lies (heads up, spoiler alerts). I was all good with it, until close to the end of the first season. They find psychiatric medications in the woman’s house, Risperdone and Lithium. Then the guy that found the meds looks them up and of course it shows only the negative information about bipolar disorder. It shows information about psychosis and how individuals can go into violent rages when their meds are not level or when they’re off medication.
Maybe there are some people who do go into violent rages when struggling with medication, but that’s not how it goes for everyone. Every person is different and I don’t like it when TV or movies show individuals with bipolar with the most extreme effects. There are probably a lot of people out there that don’t realize that they are only showing the most extreme circumstances. There are people out there that know nothing about bipolar disorder until they see it shown on TV and in movies. It’s stuff like this that gives bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders a bad name.
I looked up the word stigma to see what it says and I found that it says, ‘a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.’ When bipolar disorder is shown on TV or in movies, it is usually shown in a disgraceful manner. I wonder if this will ever change.