Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little on my favorite topic.

First let me say something in defense of myself. The reason I have not really said any of the following except in the confines of my own home and my therapists office is because I am well aware it can be taken the wrong way, I know it may sound racist and bigoted and that is not my intention at all. Hopefully my choice of words will make it sound less so.

There is a major issue happening in our country right now surrounding diversity. Not some diversity, not simply different skin colors, different sexual orientations, different religions, but also different brain chemistry. ALL diversity is being threatened in the great melting pot currently. By all kinds of people. This is an appalling occurrence. Those poor kids who have committed  suicide over the bullying they have experienced SHOULD NOT HAPPEN in this day and age. End. Of. Story. We should be beyond that as a country. I want to make that very clear, I understand the horror the country is feeling, I understand where that is coming from because I feel it too.

I want to ask a question though. If these kids that are being bullied and committing suicide weren't gay, if they were, for instance, mentally ill...would there be the same outrage? Would their parents be as willing to share that information with the world? That man at Rutgers who was filmed (which, by the way, is awful to do to anyone, gay or straight), if his roommate filmed him having an anxiety attack or a manic episode, would we as a country be appalled or would we laugh?

I understand that there are differing levels of comfort with the topic of diversity and I also know that we have to fight for each and every person to be accepted for who they are. The problem for me is, while I do see the need for all races to be accepted and all sexual orientations to be accepted I see something being done about those issues. At my school there is a "Diversity" office where diversity is defined as racial diversity. There is a LGBT office where students who identify as such and students who are supportive of the issues can go. Why do these offices need to be separate?

Also, the only offer of support for mentally ill students on campus is through a "therapy center" on campus. To be honest I haven't looked into how that therapy center works, mostly because I go to the center that is supported by the college for the community at large in my city. Students would be able to attend sessions there also, but that information isn't provided anywhere. The information about testing accommodations has to be requested, it isn't readily available. In my city the only groups I have found for people with bipolar are for people who cannot hold a job or go to school. What am I going to be able to relate to there? I am highly functioning bipolar, I attend school and do extremely well, I have a full time job that I have had for over 2 years, I maintain a very successful marriage...and because of that the community at large does not allow me the support I need. I am shushed when I discuss mood issues because "people talk" and it makes people uncomfortable. How can we expect people to become comfortable with new ideas if we hide them all the time? How are people supposed to continue being success stories with mental illness if there is no support or guidance?

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