Dear Professor: It’s Time to End The Stigma

Dear professor,

I missed your class last Tuesday because I was in the Emergency Department for a Bipolar Disorder-related incident. You pulled me out of your class upon my return to talk to me because I appeared ‘depressed’. I told you about my condition, but I did not anticipate your reaction.

You started talking about my illness as if it is not “psychiatric”. You called all psychiatric drugs, from SSRIs to mood stabilizers, bullshit. You told me that medications are harmful and unnecessary. You even sent me an email with the link to a “friend” of yours that is a therapist, suggesting that I try therapy instead of a medical approach.

Let me tell you this: you do not know my condition.

You do not know how much I already struggle with medication adherence.

You do not know how much I hate having to rely on a medication just to be stable, to have an appetite, to focus… to be more “myself”.

You do not know that I probably wouldn’t have been in the hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday if I hadn’t stopped my SGA a month ago.

You do not know that I am slowly but surely becoming more and more manic, more out of control.

So, don’t tell me that I don’t need medicine.

Sincerely,

A severely mentally ill Bipolar 1 student