Letters to the Editor

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MENTAL ILLNESS: Bias can isolate and silence

Letter by Karen Fay Atkinson, Federal Way on July 27, 2012 at 10:46 am with No Comments »
July 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Re: “Open dialogue can tear down walls of misunderstanding about mental illness” (Your Voice, 7-27).

Alan Taylor spoke of a community that is closed to those of us who struggle or have struggled alone with the sometimes confusing reality of mental illness. I have lived through that kind of shunning and abuse that has come with my diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder, which is a combination of bipolar illness and schizophrenia.

Members of my family and church who have perhaps witnessed my behavior in a time of illness or who have merely heard about those times have chosen to not get close to me in my time of wellness. This is very frustrating and painful, and it makes me aware that I must keep my illness to myself if I am to ever be treated with dignity and kindness.

I would like to thank Taylor for his courage and determination to overcome the biases in our society which isolate and silence those of us who, on the well side, have so much to offer our communities.

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