One of my doctor’s called me today asking for information on how to become a patient at the National Institute of Mental Health (part of the parent organization National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, Maryland, where from January through May of this year, I had been a patient. This call is the result of an office appointment I had two days earlier where I caught the doctor up on all the fun happenings my Bipolar “friend” has introduced me to thus far this year.
Apparently, my doctor has a friend who has been in a local hospital for the last week where the friend was newly diagnosed as Bipolar. Although this friend is far from stabilized, the doctors at the hospital have decided she will soon be discharged. This woman, on the brink of psychosis (educate yourself…it doesn’t mean becoming a mass murderer!) is going to be sent home to take care of two special needs children, when she will not be able to care properly for herself. But there may be an option…!!!
Having discussed my recent trip to “Chalet NIH” during my recent appointment with the good doctor, she thought of me and what help I might provide in helping her friend receive placement at the NIMH! I was overcome with joy (well…not really joy as I am trying to pull out of a depressive episode at the moment…but joy looks better than ok-ness) because by simply opening up and sharing my experience, I had perhaps made appropriate medical help accessible to someone who desperately needed it.
All I had to do was open my mouth. All I had to do was share.
How often do we have the chance to help someone by simply opening our mouths and sharing? How often do we fail to do so because we fear the stigma that surrounds the subject we want to share? I will certainly admit that there is a slight chance (100% chance) I will sorely regret this blog 20 times today (that is if anyone reads it!), as I will be embarrassed that someone reading it will define me as crazy, foolish, or just plain weird. But in a time where what I do, both physically and mentally, is excessively limited by my illness, the least I can do is sit in my favorite, cushy chair…oh…I meant my husband’s chair..and “cyberly” open my mouth.
What difference can we make today by opening our mouths and sharing?