A friend wrote to tell me that the DBSA National Conference,”Stronger Together,” will take place in Miami, June 14-17.
If you don’t know what DBSA is, you are lucky. It is the Depressive and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Yes, the mental health consumers are doing it for themselves. They get together to educate themselves and plan for better medical treatment.
Some do not believe these illnesses exist. They loudly tell the mentally ill to “take responsibility.”
We would all prefer not to know about such illnesses, and wish they did not exist. But chances are one of your family members or friends secretly suffers from major depression or bipolar disorder. They dare not tell anyone, because they might lose friends or jobs.
The novelist William Styron wrote the classic memoir of depression, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. Hospitalization finally helped him with his severe illness, though depression continued to trouble him. And Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist, is famous for her memoir of bipolar disorder, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. She also wrote a book on the link between bipolar disorder and creativity, Touched with Fire.
Major depression, a chemical imbalance of the brain, is probably caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, “causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”
Such illnesses are not your ordinary suburban ups and downs. Think anguish so dark you are unable to leave the house, or a manic hallucination that causes you to read the Bible to your colleagues and pray loudly in the break room. By the time you have been treated, you’ve alienated everyone and lost your job.
Here is a list of famous people with these illnesses.
Famous People with Depression:
J. K. Rowling
Famous People with Bipolar Disorder: