Syndicated from the Bipolar Blog with a few changes

The Styles section of The New York Times ran an interesting article by Gabrielle Glaser entitled “‘Mad Pride’ Fights a Stigma.” In the article, Glaser highlights the fact that people with mental illnesses or “dangerous gifts” are speaking more and more openly about severe mental illness in an attempt to break down the stigma surrounding it.

I think this trend is a move in the right direction, although I do share the concerns of other doctors quoted in the article about the “medication is optional” belief in some Mad Pride groups. As Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Chevy Chase, Md., was quoted as saying, “Would you be pro-choice with someone who has another brain disease, Alzheimer’s, who wants to walk outside in the snow without their shoes and socks?”

Still, I think that this growing openness is going to have a positive effect on de-stigmatizing mental illness and could perhaps even raise the bar for us professionals who provide treatment.

If you have been involved in Mad Pride groups, events, or activities, please share any information, insights, and announcements to help spread the word and increase involvement.