Resource: Ted Talks Coming out of your closet

Marci posted this great Ted Talk about coming out of the closet. It’s specifically the story of one gay woman’s journey, and she frames it beautifully. But it’s hitting me where I live right now. I find myself slinking around thinking, uhhh, what if SHE knew, what if HE knew, would they discount everything I said because I’M BIPOLAR and everybody knows that bipolar people are, like, unreliable and have imaginations the size of Texas and might even hallucinate, so how can anyone take me seriously? And then I saw this film and thought, dang, this is ME talking only I haven’t got the cojones to come out and SAY it yet. I wonder if Ted Talks has anything on coming out of the “mentally ill” closet. Come to think of it, even though it has caused me a lot of distress and illness, I am thinking more of my condition as a neurodiversity and not rubber-stamp illness, because I’m not ill with it all the time, but it’s there all the time. It’s just when it gets out of balance that I’m ill. Be that what it may, what are your thoughts on “coming out of the mental illness closet”?

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  1. Terri

     /  November 22, 2013

    I have CPTSD, major depression, and a pretty traumatic life. Whenever I tell people about some of my experiences, they disappear. Happened again recently. I think it’s because people are so stressed out anyway, they don’t wanna hear about anything else. They get overwhelmed by my past and now and run the other way.
    Don’t think I’ll be coming out again anytime soon.

  2. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  November 23, 2013

    Wonderful logic. Everyone has a tough conversation to have, be brave. 🙂
    Humor is my shield. When I saw the quote “a closet is no place to love”, I thought to myself, ‘not unless you’re playing 5 minutes in paradise’. Sorry, no offense meant! 😀

  3. LOVE that talk so much. To answer your question regarding Ted talks specific to mental illness, here is another interesting one I saw recently that speaks to the topic of coming out of the mental closet.

    I can’t remember where I found it and if you were the one who pointed me to it then apologies for both the redundancy and the lack of short term memory. It comes with the territory 😉

    There are two parts to her particular story that could result in the casual observer making problematic assumptions about those of us who are mentally ill:

    1. She speaks of being able to stop her meds
    2. She speaks of her mental illness as being a direct result of traumatic life events

    Obviously these two facts are in no way universal. However, I think her presentation is poised and approachable and her efforts to create mainstream communities of acceptance for the mentally ill is admirable. Not to mention, standing on the stage at all and telling her story to such a broad audience (more than a million hits on is huge. I hope more brave people follow.

    • I haven’t seen that yet but will do so as soon as time permits! Thanks so much for posting the link. Yeah, I see what you mean about your points. She could definitely contribute to the misconceptions that meds are “a crutch” (hell, if you don’t have any legs to walk with, crutches come in mighty handy), and that there is “something” that, if found, a Holy Grail, a seed, that could be found and fixed, the person would be cured. Well, there certainly are life circumstances that create or contribute to mental illness, but most of the time, we’re just “gifted” with “different” brains and sometimes an extra bonus of a bunch of situational stuff just to make it more interesting. Sigh. Thanks again for your comments and the links. How are you, by the way? I’m so rude 😛

  4. PS I just found a whole curated mental health Ted playlist.


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