Synopsis: A conversation surrounding the effects of stigma and its role in persons choosing to receive treatment, “The Long Road: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness” explores different perspectives of those in the mental health community. From parents, loved ones, to individuals, each viewpoint offers insight to the various ways in which mental illness can affect someone or someone around you. You cannot see when someone has
a condition, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Through conversation, “The Long Road” encourages others to share personal history and episodes with hopes that those who have experienced similar events may seek treatment, share their experiences, and be more
understanding for the conditions of others.
In 2017 I was finally getting out of the house and “escaping” the endless ups and downs that mental health episodes brought into our lives. A close family member’s condition began to deteriorate a few years earlier, spiraling into something I could not have imagined. After support classes and listening to others share experiences, it was still tough to grasp and I was ready to return to “normal”.
When I moved to Santa Barbara to began taking classes, my sister told me my eyes would finally open… and they did. I started to see those episodes objectively rather than as fits of rage directed at me or other members of my family. I saw it for what it is: a mental health condition. I had been mistaken to distance myself from the problem and hope it would go away.
As one perspective of the mental health community, I
intend to share the stories of those lives affected, directly or indirectly, with the ultimate goal of sparking the conversation around mental health and the stigma
for those who live with it.