THE MARRIOTT OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Sometime ago, I spent a month in a mood disorder clinic. I mention this stay for one simple reason. When my psychiatrist suggested I could benefit from hospitalisation I was devastated. Such clinics were for the seriously ill, not me.

Truth is, I was judging my fellow sufferers just as some ‘normal’ Australians judge me. I felt this experience would be incredibly stigmatizing. Thankfully, I was 100% wrong. You see, like me, too many of us judge from a position of ignorance.

The staff were brilliant, as were my fellow patients. As I quickly learned, people suffering mental illnesses are not to be pitied or scared of. They can be warm, wonderful and successful people who look remarkably like you or me.

Should you ever find yourself in need of such a place, don’t be worried or ashamed. If you had problems with your heart, you’d happily go to hospital so why not when you have troubles with your head?

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