TED Conversations

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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  • Oct 28 2012: The experience that made me become most comfortable with my own and other's people mental illness was one conversation I had with a neighbor, a veteran, that in a moment of clarity he said: "People say I am crazy and treat me like I do not know what I am doing. No one knows how hard and so much smarter I have to be in order to live independently with my condition". It was like finding a mirror. So liberating.

    Then we joked about how the majority of people and care providers that give us treatment have NO IDEA how is to be in our heads. They cannot imagine the same way I cannot imagine thinking "normal" without the days floating around me. For me that conversation gave me more acceptance and made me conscious that us, those who live with mental conditions, have some sort of a special culture unfamiliar to many. That gave me comfort.
    • Nov 8 2012: I love your experience and wonderful conclusions. You are so right about a different way of thinking. I flow in and out and occasionally visit that sort of normal space. Reading your comment made me feel more okay about the difference. Thank you.

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