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In the language that is used to discuss and describe mental illness, many different things—descriptiveness, banality, clinical precision, and stigma—intersect to create confusion, misunderstanding, and a gradual bleaching out of traditional words and phrases. But was it? On the one hand, it was entirely laudable and professional, if rather excessively earnest, advice: the pain of hearing these words, in the wrong context or the wrong tone, is sharp; the memory of insensitivity and prejudice lasts for a long time.

No doubt, too, allowing such language to go unchecked or uncorrected leads not only to personal pain, but contributes both directly and indirectly to discrimination in jobs, insurance, and society at large. On the other hand, the assumption that rigidly rejecting words and phrases that have existed for centuries will have much impact on public attitudes is rather dubious. It gives an illusion of easy answers to impossibly difficult situations and ignores the powerful role of wit and irony as positive agents of self-notion and social change.


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Clearly there is a need for freedom, diversity, wit, and directness of language about abnormal mental states and behavior. Just as clearly, there is a profound need for a change in public perception about mental illness. The issue, of course, is one of context and emphasis. These creative bipolars pushed the boundaries of the norms. They gravitated toward a life of artistry, where there has long been latitude for extreme mood and behaviors, fiery thoughts and heightened imaginations. Like bi-polar suggests, extremes are polarized and polar opposites. During hypo-mania bipolars experience an increase in energy and a change in their sleep, which can lead to productivity and mania igniting to create moving artistic expressions.

Bipolar - PSY - Morin - Library at Shippensburg University

On the far end of the other side of the spectrum, when the pendulum swings to debilitating depression, their human experience is illuminated. They ease depression through their form of expression, where visceral emotions and beauty mix with heartache. With the light comes the dark that can feel pitch black. If I never had to worry about inheriting or passing along mental illness, would I?

After all bipolar is a mood disorder that can lead to self-harm and suicide. If I could eliminate the chaos mental illness created while keeping the artistic self-expression curated from deeply emotional souls, I would.

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My mom is a fighter, who has struggled with the reality of having an unquiet and fiery mind most of her life. She self-medicated to the point of danger and considered suicide before being properly diagnosed and treated. Just like Dr.

2018-Kay Redfield Jamison - An Unquiet Mind: Personal and Professional Reflections on Mental Illness

Jamison had, she resisted taking medication to rid her natural highs, until her life spiraled out of control. The male domination of ritual leadership meant, and often continues to be, the loss of a healthy outlet for women to express their spirituality. Our connections with the greatness beyond human life in the spiritual realm are blocked. Both genders suffer. The role restriction leads to is another opening for agitation and sexual violence.

When anyone is denied healthy expression, the energy is turned inward and festers. The lack of release in meaningful expressions of our creation and creativity suffers seemingly beyond redemption. However, women do have the capacity to courageously accept the rejection of their particular church, synagogue, or temple when there is denial of ritual leadership.

In the process of accepting these sad realities, we free our minds and hearts to find other places to celebrate and worship. The movement involved in the process of ritual action such as dancing, singing, painting, and playing musical instruments, beckons others—including the men—to move their spirits, minds, and bodies in a healthier direction.

If done in this positive vein, our expression can have untold impact. An unacceptable choice, from my perception, is to turn on the men with the same force of violence that the ghetto like mentality has crushed women. Turning to the ancient past helps us understand the hurdles we have to face today.

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The influences on sexual violence have deep roots. Surveying some of the myths of South America, we see that violence only begets violence. Many of the myths of the South American Indian tribes show the conflict between men and women more vividly than other world cultures. Part of the reason is that the differences between being a man or a woman are very pronounced in several of the myths. Some myths did state that men and women had similar origins.

5 Main Characters in Best Sellers Who Live with Mental Illness

Some of the myths even mention that women raped the men as well as the men raped the women. The Toba version of the Brazilian Highlands stated that men were created first, and then women came down from the sky as invaders. In the Chanacoco myth, during a moment in the past, women become full of too much knowledge and were put to death.