This poem by Lisa St. George helps put the stigma of mental illness into perspective. I received this handout as part of the plethora of information from my online NAMI Peer Counseling training, which will be completed by the end of the month.
YOU AND ME
If you are overly excited, You are happy.
If I am overly excited, I am manic.
If you imagine the phone ringing, You are stressed out.
If I imagine the phone ringing, I am psychotic.
If you are crying and sleeping all day, You are sad and need time out.
If I am crying and sleeping all day, I am depressed and need to get up.
If you are afraid to leave the house at night, You are cautious.
If I am afraid to leave the house at night, I am paranoid.
If you speak your mind and express your opinions, You are assertive.
If I speak my mind and express my opinions, I am aggressive.
If you don’t like something and mention it, You are being honest.
If I don’t like something and mention it, I am being difficult.
If you get angry, You are considered upset.
If I get angry, I am considered dangerous.
If you over-react to something, You are sensitive.
If I over-react to something, I am out of control.
If you don’t want to be around other people, You are taking care of yourself and relaxing. If I don’t want to be around other people, I am isolating and avoiding.
If you talk to strangers, You are friendly. If I talk to strangers, I am inappropriate.
For all of the above you are not told to take a pill or are hospitalized. But I am.