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Arjuna Nagendran

Doctor,

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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?

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  • Nov 8 2012: I grew up about half a mile from a large mental hospital. Seeing patients was part of everyday community life. It never dawned on me that I would deal with mental health personally. I came by bipolar honestly, apparently and as I found out after I was diagnosed, it runs in the family. I have determined to roll with it. The creative energy of hypomania lets me be outgoing and social, the introspection of depression has given me a philosophical space. When the high or the low get too intense, I turn to my counsellor and my psychiatrist for a combination of talk and drugs to help moderate life. Personally, I have committed to making my condition as "normal" as I can. I would not be hesitant to acknowledge having diabetes or heart problems so I simply state that I am bipolar. Let people think what they will, if enough of us say it out loud maybe it will no longer carry the stigma. I am optimistic and there is nothing to lose. Truth is I am bipolar and inevitably it will out.

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