In this short, but excellent interview, Johns Hopkins Clinical Psychologist Prof. Kay Redfield Jamison talks candidly about the difficulties which accompany ‘coming out’ and making one’s bipolar disorder status public. Prof. Jamison knows from personal experience exactly how risky this strategy is, particularly in circumstances (or occupations) where stigma is still rife.
My own personal situation, where ‘post-coming out’ I’ve encountered much ignorance and misunderstanding, is not unusual. This is why it’s important for more people to talk openly about mental health issues, especially when one considers the prevalence of mental illness is in our communities. The worst thing we can do is to stay silent.
Prof. Jamison is a wonderful example of someone who has done an enormous amount of good in her own professional circles, and far beyond, debunking the many myths that fuel stigma and ignorance. Let’s hope that her excellent example can encourage more people to stand up and to speak out; it has certainly made an impact on me.
Here is the short APA TV interview with Kay Refield Jamison: