Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

I, Too, Have a Dream

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

I have a dream that one day I won’t hold my breath every time I tell a person that I suffer from bipolar disorder, that I won’t feel shameful in confessing my mental illness.

I have a dream that people won’t feel the need to applaud me for my courage on writing and speaking publicly about my disease, because the diagnosis of depression and bipolar disorder would be understood no differently than that of diabetes, arthritis, or dementia.


I have a dream that the research into genetics of mood disorders will continue to pinpoint specific genes that may predispose individuals and families to depression and bipolar disorder (like the gene G72/G30, located on chromosome 13q), just as specific genes associated with schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been located and identified.

I have a dream that brain-imaging technology will continue to advance in discovering what, exactly, is going on inside the brain, that a neurological perspective coupled with a biochemical approach to mental illness will develop targeted treatments: new medication and better response to particular medications–that we can cut out that painful trial-and-error process.


I have a dream depressives won’t have to risk their jobs in divulging their condition, that employers will respond more empathetically to the country’s 7.8 million working depressives, that the general public will be more educated on mental illness so that it doesn’t cost this country more than $44 billion each year (like it does now).

I have a dream that families, friends, and co-workers will show kindness to depressives, not reproach them for not being stronger, for not having enough will power and discipline and incentive to get well, for not snapping out of it, for not being grateful enough, for not seeing the cup half full, for not controlling their emotions.

I have a dream that tabloids like “In Touch Weekly” won’t lump allegations of Britney Spears’ taking antidepressants into the same category as her 24-hour marriage, all-night clubbing, and pantyless photos–that our world might be more sophisticated and informed than that.


I have a dream that people will no longer use the following terms to describe persons with mental illness: fruity, loony, wacky, nutty, cuckoo, loopy, crazy, wacko, gonzo, nutso, batty, bonkers, ditzy, bananas, and crazy.

I have a dream that spiritual leaders might preach compassion to persons with mental illness, not indict them for not praying hard enough, or in the right way, or often enough, and that judgmental new-age thinkers who blame all illness on blocked energy (in chakras one through seven) might be enlightened to understand that fish oil, mindfulness meditation, and acupuncture can’t cure everything.

I have a dream that health insurance companies will stop serving Satan, and read a medical report every now and then, where they would learn that depression is a legitimate, organic brain disease, and that those who suffer from it aren’t a bunch of weak, pathetic people who can’t cope with life’s hard knocks.

I dream that one day depression won’t destroy so many marriages and families, that better and faster treatment will work in favor of every form of intimacy.


I have a dream that suicide won’t take more lives than traffic accidents, lung disease, or AIDS, that together we can do better to reduce the 30,000 suicides that happen annually in the United States, and that communities will lovingly embrace those friends and families of persons who ran out of hope, instead of simply ignoring the tragedy or attaching fault where none should be.

I have a dream that one day depression, bipolar disorder, and all kinds of mental illness will lose their stigma, that I won’t have to whisper the word “Zoloft” to the pharmacist at Rite Aid, that people will be able to have loud conversations in coffee shops about how they treat their depression (in addition to the excellent dialogue we have here on “Beyond Blue”).


Mostly, I dream about a day when I can wake up and think about coffee first thing in the morning, rather than my mood–is it a serene one, a panicked one, or somewhere in between?–and fretting about whether or not I’m heading toward the black hole of despair. I dream that I’ll never ever have to go back to that harrowing and lonely place of a year ago. That no one else should have to either. But if they do (or if I do), that they not give up hope. Because eventually their tomorrow will be better than their today. And they will be able to dream again too.

  • http://HASH(0xce80d60) Robyn

    I find your use of Dr. King’s sentiments in this context offensive. Dr. King’s extraordinary message was meant to inspire a nation to end RACISM, and although I feel for your suffering and agree that the changes you spoke of would be nice, I don’t believe you have ever walked a day in the shoes of an African-American in this country. Depression and other mental illness are hard to deal with, yes, but there are treatments for them, help is out there. Last I checked there was still no treatment for being born black in this still racist afflicted country. People with mental illness are not the only ones who wake up with heavier things on their minds then morning coffee, the difference is that some of us acknowledge that our mood might not be good or productive and MOVE ON. There are much bigger issues in the world today to consider. I have read much of your blog and although it’s entitled Beyond Blue, it doesn’t seem as though you are. Many of your posts sound bitter and complaining. I cannot speak for Dr. King, but I myself feel strongly that he would not appreciate your use of his words, it’s not a “celebration” of him, or anything else. His words were meant for inspiration, not for the self serving blog of a whiney white woman.

  • http://HASH(0xce81084) john

    i believe the author was using the “i have a dream” as her own inspiration of looking forward to a better future for those with her condition. i don’t believe she was sullying the memory of Dr. King. dreams are not mutually exclusive are they?

  • http://HASH(0xce81b64) Julie Svendsen

    Therese, You are a beautiful writer and your faith is inspiring. Thank you for blessing my day with your poetic statement of “dreams”. I share each and every one of them and know that God IS there for us and that nothing is impossible to Him. Peace and Hope, Julie

  • http://HASH(0xce83978) anonymous

    I am a black female who suffers from bipolar disorder. I did not find this article offensive as a black person or as a person with bipolar disorder. I felt that the author was trying to say that just like Dr. King wanted all races to function well in society with one another, the author would like for those who considered mentally ill and those who are considered normal to be able to function well in society together. I agree that blacks do have it bad because we cannot change our race whereas those with mental illness can change their condition by taking medication and attending therapy. But please understand that this does not make it easier for us who suffer from mental illnesses. It is harder than what people believe. I think that the author is trying to be inspiring but letting it be known that those with mental illnesses are not alone and should not be ashamed of our condition just like blacks should never be ashamed of our race. People always see things from their own perspective, perhaps we need to try viewing things from others as well as our own; then maybe we could all (black or white, mentally ill or not) could get along better and not judge each other so harshly. May God bless us all because we need His guidance for we do live in a judgemental world.

  • http://HASH(0xce845d0) GinnyKate

    First of all, dear Therese, thank you a million times over for being there and sharing yourself with us all. You are truly a blessing to me and many others I am sure. Keep on keeping Beyond the Blue for us all. I have been trying to make myself write for eons and ages but the comment from anonymous has made me attack the keyboard at last. Thank you too, anonymous, for your words of wisdom and inspiration. Now, over to my personal reactions… Not all those who are mentally ill can change their condition with taking drugs, if the ‘right one for you’ can be found, or by counseling therapy. The only one that I haven’t tried, and will not, and my Psychiatrist agrees, the only thing not tried is electroshock treatment. Yes, oh yes, anonymous, we do live in a very judgmental world. And the worst part of that for me is my own judgment of myself. I don’t want this to go forever, but just a bit of self identity..I am a very senior, senior citizen, living in a retirement complex. After a satisfactory life of joys and sorrows, successes and failures, now I am alone with my 2 extremely sensitive and affectionate cats, and feeling out of control from dealing with fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and lately congestive heart failure, as well as assorted overwhelming ‘guilts’ over the things I wish I had done. Sleep deprivation is a major part of the fibromyalgia picture, and at present I can only obtain an hour or 2 per night of the most restless kind. I am of the conviction that if I could just get several days in a row of good restorative sleep that my hopelessness would come round-about. And then to face the world again. Forgive my lengthiness. Just had to say ‘Carry on’ to Beyond Blue Therese, and thanks to all the commentary people. Blessings in the new year to you all. GinnyKate on a Tennessee mountaintop

  • http://HASH(0xce856b0) Lynn

    Your heartfelt statements are truly admirable, not because of a chemical instability or brain dysfunction, but because you are self confident enough to state your cause. I too suffer from depression, and the stigma which accompanies this is more of a “you should just try to cheer up” attitude, rather than one of real understanding, from the least to the most “educated” in our society! Thank you for your honesty!

  • http://HASH(0xce859d4) aletha

    I am a 43-year-old white woman from Mississippi who’s never met a stranger. I love everything I’ve read from this author. My mom’s family were sharecroppers in Memphis in the 1940’s and lived in a tent. My dad’s family had a cow & chickens & a garden and worked 4 hours before school and until dark after school to survive. My mom was morbidly obese (caused by depression)and my dad was born crippled but never let it hold him back. When I meet someone, I look only at their eyes and remember only their soul and what I learned from them. In MS, many, many African-Americans are now punishing us for being white. Store clerks ignore us, even if we are the only customer in the store. Fast food clerks who were friendly to the African-Americans in the car before us are rude to us. Most African-Americans in MS have a huge chip on their shoulder. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY ANCESTORS WHO ENSLAVED YOUR ANCESTORS. IF I WAS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN, I WOULD THANK GOD DAILY THAT HE BROUGHT MY ANCESTORS HERE, AND THAT I WAS NOT BORN IN AFRICA TO LIVE THE HORRIBLE EXISTANCE THEY’VE SUFFERED THROUGH SINCE THEN. YOUR ANCESTORS MADE AMERICA WHAT IT IS TODAY! LOOK AT MUSIC. THERE WOULD NOT BE SPIRITUALS, BLUES, ROCK, OR EVEN COUNTRY MUSIC WITHOUT THEIR INFLUENCE (ONLY BLUEGRASS, I GUESS). SEVERAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHERS & SECRETARIES I WORKED WITH AS A CHILD GOT ME THROUGH HAVING A RACIST GRANDMOTHER JUST BY SHOWING LOVE TO A WHITE GIRL. IF WE COULD ALL JUST TRY TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND TREAT OTHERS LIKE WE WANT TO BE TREATED, THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE.

  • http://HASH(0xce871c4) EM

    Hello Beyond Blue and everyone else: It took courage for you to write what you wrote, and having courage or not having any is not a black or white issue, like most things aren’t. Many make it such to categorize people, but it’s wrong. God made each of us, even with our “imperfections,” if we want to call them that. In every situation, if we know Him, His hope is that we come to Him for strength and allow Him to work through us to become all that He longs for us to become. But, He also uses others, for when we know Him and learn about Him, we come to realize that we are all members of His body, and therefore each of us has a role, no matter what our condition in life. I think a lot of “depression” today (and not saying such about your condition) stems from feeling alone in a world that has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. If we had more love in this world and more concern from our fellow man, then the trials of life would prove to be less painful. If love reins, then the obstacles we must overcome are at least shared as we gain strength. Is there a cure for the loneliness pain that grips us when extreme selfishness (the greatest mental illness) strips most people of their dignity when the need for giving and receiving love is very real. May we all realize that real sanity is accepting the fact that we are here on earth to learn to love and that means each of us sharing our role in giving to one another.

  • http://HASH(0xce87bf4) Carolyn

    Thank you, That is also my dream and prayer. What can I do to help? again thank you Carolyn

  • http://HASH(0xce88a0c) ROSEMARY KOES


  • http://HASH(0xce8a48c) karen

    Thank you for sharing your dream. It’s a beautiful dream. I feel someone very dear to me suffers from the same. I have a dream that he could take a positive approach in aiding his mental health. I have a dream that he wouldn’t have to suffer from depression anymore.I have a dream that the demons would go away. I have a dream that everyone with a mental health condition would have the courage to take a stance & be determined to find a cure. I have a dream that we all are able to nourish our souls with the love we so desire. Bless you for having the courage to continue on with your dream!

  • http://HASH(0xce8a7b0) Jeraldine J. Parker

    I grew up in the south where racism was not sutle, but blunt and brutal. So, I can personally identify with Dr. King’s message in “I have a Dream.” I admired and agreed with Dr. King’s movement of equality and justice for all, and that individuals should be judged by their character not their race. God’s message is a message of love and care for one another; so, I ask: “How can you love someone whom you feel and think is inferior to your ethnic group?” I don’t feel that racism and clinical depression can be compared. I have suffered from racism in some form, all my life, which somtimes brings on depression. However, I don’t think clinical depression is a racist condition for you can find it in all ethnic groups. There are antidotes for clinical depression; however, unless an individual consciously chooses to think or act differently towards other humans; racism will always be well and alive in this world. Jeraldine J. Parker Gaithersburg, MD

  • http://HASH(0xce8b428) janet

    You just keep talking. You are an angel spreading her wings. You see things from all different angles in this world and I respect you for telling us what you see. Some of us are riding on your wings and you’ll stay in our prayers. Just keep pushin forward. Dr. King would love you and keep you in his prayers too.

  • http://HASH(0xce8c6c0) Jill

    This is the first time I have read your blog and as I read it, I felt supported. Someone I love very much suffers from bipolar disorder and together we work through the challenges. Your message was very uplifting to me and gives me hope that maybe someday your dreams will come true if more people are willing to open their eyes and souls.

  • http://HASH(0xce8d354) Jen

    If only society could realize these dreams. I hear every ache you are asking to be healed. There are thousands in society – millions – who need those prayers to be answered. But, just as the difference between MLK and Malcolm X was seen – let’s dream the right way. I have a dream too. That people who AREN’T mentally ill won’t be manipulated and experimented on for the advancement of science against their will. That they won’t be lumped into categories of hatred and deceit that destroy their well beings for the support of big drug companies. Good therapists and psychiatrists might be tempted to sell out, because – the more patients they diagnose requiring meds, the more money they get from the states, and the drug companies. I want those dreams answered too – but, without labeling other people to further the cause, when there are already those needing assistance. Without generalizations, and assumptions. Thanks for all the hard work you do getting this information out there!

  • http://HASH(0xce8df80) Anon

    As a fouth year medical student, I’d like to point out to certain respondents that it’s not so simple…. “having the strength to find a cure…” sounds great, until you actually study medicine and find out that there are people who suffer from “multiple drug failures”, i.e., they have drug resistant depression. It is not a personal failing on their part, or lack of effort in finding a cure. It’s a biochemical event; morality, spirituality, and personal resolve have little if anything to do with it. For people with resistant forms of depression, there is no cure. It is not something that can be overcome with positive thinking. If everything were that simplistic, there would be no need for people to spend years of their life, studying medicine, engaging in research, etc. It may help you cling to your self-image and world-view, but it’s not realistic. It’s not compassionate. Above all, it’s not informed. So get real. When you admonish your depressed friend or relative to “find courage”, “snap out of it” or what ever other ignorance you are currently spouting, please realize that you are engaging in the same sort of bigoted ignorance that led people to create “separate but equal” waiting rooms, theatres, and water fountains. I perfectly understand an individual’s “dream” to live in a society free of this ignorance and bigotry. Very often, it is a patient’s own family who inflicts the most emotional distress, and actually create setbacks in the patient’s progress. Yes, PollyAnna, your words, well-meaning, albeit ignorant, actually do more harm than good. You wouldn’t tell a diabetic to “just snap out of it”, because that would ignore the biochemical reality of their disease process. So why approach mental illness with this sort of cruelty and ignorance? Just a thought….

  • http://HASH(0xce8e2a4) Rita

    This is one of the best, most sensitive articles I have yet to see relative to bipolar disorder. I believe we all dream that one day when the topic of mental illness is brought up, in any form, people will stop saying “those people are crazy.” Those who live with it daily struggle mightily to retain friendships and hope many they interact with won’t leave them or their relationship when they find out they have such an illness.

  • http://HASH(0xce8f1f8) Jonathan

    Hello friend. I am an understanding voice.. so dont’ worry… I’m not goig to chew you out for your statements. However; I do want to point out first that… referring to this lady as “A Whiney White Woman” is just as racist as a white person calling you a “Trashy Black Person” Black people can ALSO be racist. THERE ARE RACIST PEOPLE IN ALL RACES and will continue to be until man evolves past such barbaric tendencies. Dr. Martin Luther King would not approve of your racist reactions to this lady’s comments. Instead; as a man of God and a man of the cloth,he would probably try to help her with her problems from a spiritual standpoint. That’s typically what Clergymen in all races do. When you referred to her as a “Whiney White Woman” you were pointing out the color of her skin just the same as if somebody were pointing out the color of yours. You are no better than she is and she is no better than you. As Dr. King said; all men are created equal. Jesus wouldn’t reffer to her as a Whiney White Woman or to You as a Trashy Black Person either. Jesus Christ would only see the PEOPLE.. and NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.. BLACK OR WHITE. White people aren’t the only racists. As I said; there are racists in all races. My message to the black people… I’m one the young generation and I was raised in the idea that all people are created equal and that color doesn’t matter. I’m against racism in ANY form. I My message to African Americans is that I do not appreciate getting blamed for things my great grandparents and ancestors did to your grandparents, parents, great grandparents, and ancestors. I wasn’t the one responsible for that.. I wasn’t even alive to see any of it. I don’t appreciate getting blamed for things that happened 40, 50, 60, and 100 years ago. I had nothing to do with it and still don’t. I DO NOT approve of what my ancestors did to your ancestors, but there is nothing on Earth I can do about it. I consider it offensive and racist when an African American person calls me a racist just because I am a white person. I also consider it offensive and insulting when Black people and Black comics can make fun of and tear a white person to shreds with cruel jokes and there is nothing the white person can say without making the BLack person mad at them. The only thing you could say is that they hurt your feelings. WE ALL NEED TO SEE THE PERSON AND NOT THE COLOR.. THAT IS WHAT DR.KING’S LEGECY WAS. Dr. King wanted to see white and black children holding hands and playing together in harmony. Excuse me.. black and white.. I thought maybe I’d better put black first to avoid a lecture. I don’t think Dr. King would appreciate seeing some of his people act the very same way as the white people he was fighting against. Racism in this World will only stop when we all decide we’ve had enough. You’re the one that brought up race here and so you asked for every bit of this lecture. THERE ARE RACISTS IN ALL RACES INCLUDING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RACE.PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD NEED TO PUT ASIDE THEIR DIFFERENCES AND WORK TOGETHER FOR A BETTER WORLD. PLANET EARTH IS IN TROUBLE ENVIRONMENTALY, AND IN TROUBLE IN SEVERAL MORE WAYS. POWER AND CURRUPTION ARE ALSO MAJOR ISSUES THREATENING THE LIVELYHOOD OF EARTH. THAT ALONE IS CAUSE TO PUT ASIDE DIFFERENCES AND COME TOGETHER!!!! TOO BAD SOME SPACE INVASTION LIKE YOU WOULD SEE IN THE MOVIES DOESN’T TAKE PLACE. THAT WOULD END RACISM WHEN AN OUTTER THREAT THREATENED THE ENTIRE WORLD AND HUMANITY ITSELFWE ARE ALL PART OF ONE RACE…… THE HUMAN RACE!!!!!! As far as the Bipolar Disorder is concerened. Read the Natural Cures book series by Kevin Trudeau. You shoudl also search for as many recouces on natural cures as possible. You may have to go over seas or have some herbs imported from ovber seas depending on your needs. The truth is; there are natural cures for every form of illnes known to man… cures that he drug companies and our politicians don’t want you knowing about.

  • Prophetess Bobbie Jean Clow

    Hello, It was nice to read your blogsite. The information was encouraging and a blessing to know that your dream will come to pass. Prophetess Bobbie Jean Clow

  • http://HASH(0xce915ec) Terri

    Very beautifully written. Having suffered from depression and panic attacks for alot of my life, I found your words very encouraging and very uplifting. Thank you for writing them.

  • http://HASH(0xce91ce4) Becky Vickery

    I am a 47 year old woman who has suffered from Bipolar for many years. I love what you have written because I have the same dream. I always am concerned that my employer/coworkers would find out about my diagnosis and I would be treated differently. This is a real concern that happens daily to people with a mental illness. Thank you for so elequently writing down what most of us dream of…a day not worrying about our destructive feelings and moods. Blessings to you–Becky

  • http://HASH(0xce92008) michael

    I believe Reverend King would have accepted and had compassion for anyone who suffers no matter the cause.I think his spirit drove him to tell us “don’t ever give up hope.” May God bless his spirit and the hearts of all of us as we struggle with our own adversities and have dreams of a better day!

  • http://HASH(0xce94630) Vickie

    Perhaps the author’s use of Dr. King’s famous words could have been timed better; perhaps it wasn’t the best judgment to detract from the day set aside for honoring such a brilliant and remarkable man. However, I cried when I read her words because I live that very life daily. There was not a word I did not identify with. At age 54, I am just beginning to climb out of the deep abyss mental illness created for me. From my age, you might guess that I lived during the 40 year emergence of bipolar and depressive disorders from character deficiencies to their transformation into biologically-based illnesses. The medical definition and treatment of bipolar and depressive disorders have changed, but social attitudes and understanding are much, much slower to evolve. Coincidentally, I worked professionally for 14 years enforcing the civil rights laws that were enacted as a direct result of Dr. King’s work. Many issues of both racial bias and mental illness bias are similar. Both are a tragedy of the human condition and both require ongoing effort to change people’s attitudes about them.

  • http://HASH(0xce950a8) Beyond Blue

    Blesings on you, Therese. I think it was awesome that you segued Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream,” into dream paragraphs on releasing us bi-polars (and ALL people) from discrimination and stigma. Anon took everything too personally; s/he doesn’t realize the “world view” of your DREAM. I agree with Rita that our illness causes us to lose relationships that are very meaningful at the time, through no fault of our own. I have had 3 hospitalizations in 5 different hospitals; most of the friends I met in different stages of my life, are now gone. As soon as the mania displays itself – they are gone. But no fear – it’s not hard to make new friends after all is said and done. Thank you for letting me respond to Therese’ dream, and Rita’s comments. Keep up the great work on Beyond Blue. Your comments are needed.

  • Virginia Piechochiski We should all have such dreams, where the mere mention of a man such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King would send shivers up and down the spines of all children, white and young, black and old, and make them all feel what a loss it would be to lose someone as precious as that. Before she passed, she wrote to me some very precious words to me, and unforetunatily were lost to time, but if you came across them, you would know what they would be. If some day you find them and can share them with me, that would bring joy to my heart. See what you can do. But in the meantime, share the beautiful words with the children of our world through this incredible venue, and

  • http://HASH(0xce96f54) ps

    We all have dreams and we all have issues. To use another’s words to profess a need or desire to improve our health, whether it be physically or mentally is not a crime. It does not demean Dr. King by any means. If anything, it stands to show the respect that is felt for his dreams and therefore he is being honored as such. Grouping his dream with mental health is no different then his dream for common ground between white and black. Dreams and wishes are just that. A hope for a better day to come.

  • http://HASH(0xce97278) sharon

    I do find your version of Dr Kings I had a dream intresting. Some of what you say I do agree with. But Dr King had a dream of people getting along. And stop the discrimation of people of different colors and backgrounds. He wanted Blacks to be treated equal to whites, and the way blacks were being treated stopped. He wanted peace. Were there was violents. Its just so sad that Dr Kings dream in some ways never came true and that he died, not seeing it come true. He was a great man.

  • http://HASH(0xce98198) Sarah

    i love this. anyone who is judging it is exhibiting an extreme empathy deficit. i would add i have a dream that one day we will begin to acknowledge the role of childhood abuse in depression, anxiety and other mental dis-ease.

  • http://HASH(0xce99470) Frankie

    I read your comment with great joy that I could gain an insite into what other people would like from life. I know there are those who find it offensive to write in the style Martin L’ when it isnt racism as the main topic but I cannot upderstand their hast. The burden of Racism and Bipolar cannot even be compaired it doesnt matter what the individuals stressor is it is the perception that makes it unbairable so the dream of stopping racism and the dream of a changing peoples oppions of mental health disorders are just as valid. The writer must of ‘I too have a dream’ feels so strongly about how they would like to change the world the same way Martin L’ did – I think he would be proud of this commitment!

  • http://HASH(0xce8be50) Patricia Booth

    Bravo!!! Absolutely one of the best blog entries I have read. I too suffer from depression and the stigma that goes along with it can be devastating. Your words are beautifully written. I, personally, believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of you as well. You believe in the rights of the mentally ill just as he believed in the rights of the African-Americans. I think it was a perfect allusion to that momentous speech made so many years ago.

  • http://HASH(0xce9a494) Henry

    I have a dream that people will follow reason, rather than superstition, when it comes to health care. That people can be treated by modern medicine, rather than ignorant mythology, with its prayers, icons and shrouds. Please free us from the stupidity of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

  • http://HASH(0xce9be04) Stacey Francoise

    Mental Health issues are physiological and/or biological. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain; the only way you can be diagnosed as a mentally ill person is if you are an addict to a narcotic, or alcohol that has destroyed your soul and debilated your brain into madness. Otherwise, your illness, whether it be depression (mild, clinical or major), GAD, bipolar disfunction or other ailments of the brain as noted in previous writings are illnesses that must be controlled and maintained just as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart murmers, hypertension, etc. and many, many other ailments.The problem with the depressive disorders is that is can truly affect your ability to feel vitality, ambition, drive and can strike at any time. It is not as easily controlled as other diseases and not as easily understood by people who have not experienced the trauma and anguish you have to control on a daily basis even though you look perfectly healthy physically.Dr. King or any other intelligent human being with an emotional IQ would recognize this ailment to be as serious to freedom as slavery. The condition can make you feel like a slave to society where you cannot make a difference, you cannot concentrate, think, study, particpate. Who can support freedom, liberty and the right to live happily if they can barely get through the work day and take care of their family, if they are even that lucky. Dr. King would want you healthy and active and making a difference. Depressive episodes rob you of that quality of life; not knowing how long the episode will last prevents you from fighting the good fight; Dr. King’s fight, the fight against terroism, poverty, hatred, ignorance; not understanding depressive orders is ignorant and unkind. Black, White, Jew, Muslim,…just remember, 40 years ago the symptons of depressive, bipolar or severe anxiety disorder would have put you in an institution with a straight jacket and no freedom whatsoever, so get a grip and give Dr. King a little credit..he was just getting started. Stacey

  • http://HASH(0xce9c534) Christine Lscalleet

    I don’t feel anyone can understand anothers life till they have walked in the other persons shoes. I feel the experience of being Black, White, Yellow, Red and that only names the colors people use, is different for each person. There have always been people that stood out and succeeded even if they were labled a color. That never changes. We all complain, we all have dreams. To be accepted for who God made us to be, each with what ever we thing is really hard to live with. The childen who never had a chance to be black white red etc., their body or their minds were so badly damaged that they would love to be black, white, red, yellow and only have that to over come. Martin Luther King would be very disapointed to see that some people are blind to other people who also share in the dream of equality. Is being black so bad that you can not feel the pain that others have feel dealing with their hard life? There have always been people who suffered. Our lives are but a short span of time. Maybe if we were living God’s plan we would see that suffering is a great teacher. The Devil is happy to see hardened hearts that do not feel for others who are in pain. Pray that the blind may see. There are all kinds of ways to be blind. Matin Luter King believed in God and God believes in all men. He says loving your firend is not doing much, but loving your enemy,those who cause you pain, is the greatest thing. We are to love our enemy. It sounds as if you are in pain and I will pray for you to over come that, with Gods help. I wish God had not made it so easy for us to lable each other, but maybe there is a lesson for us all to learn from our hardships at being different on the out side. Martin Luther King wanted us to be blind to our differences and to only see each other as made by God in God’s image. He wanted us to live as one doing good to all mankind. He would be happy everytime he heard someone use his words, because he would know they also remembered what he had to say and the message would get out each and every time. What we leave behind is important, maybe the only thing that is. Not money, property, things. Martine left a great deal behind. What will you leave behind? Will you be know as having a chip on your shoulder or only able to see your own dissatisfaction with the way things are……. Trust God to provide what he has told us he will give us and go forward in his perfect life, giving him time to accomplish in our lives just what we need. Not what we want, but what we need. Chris just a old heart in a troubled world.

  • http://HASH(0xce9cac4) Bonita Davis

    Thank you for what you have written. You have helped me understand it a bit better from a personal viewpoint, and I appreciate that. I also appreciate your courage in speaking up and putting yourself out there where people can comment, good or bad. Hang in there and keep up the good work. Bonita

  • http://HASH(0xce80280) Ruth Godfrey

    I feel that the use of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech to convey the dreams of the mentally ill was wonderful. Dr. King’s focus on “racism” was only a beginning in the need to end discrimination in this world. I am sure he would be an advocate of those who have the disease of “clinical depression” or “bipolar” which attacks the mental outlook of the afflicted along with physical symptoms.I have, for the past decade, strongly advocated for an end to the still ongoing prejudice against people who have a skintone not as white as mine. At age 55 I returned to college to study in depth the facts of the “western tradition” and its many harms to other ethnicities. And, while never experiencing what having a dark skintone gives in life – I can say I do have an in-depth comprehension of the wrongs. I would so very gladly, gratefully, enthusiastically – trade and become the darkest person of “black” skintone ever if I could recover from my lifelong Clinical Depression. I cannot remember ever having a day in which the bottomless pit of despair was not a part of my awareness. Not one day in which a thought of suicide did not enter my mind. Some depressions are “treatment resistent” – mine is one of those. I have tried countless medications and therapies for over 35 years – and not received more than surface relief. My depression has caused me to lose the love and respect of most people in my family and friendships. They do not understand that at times I cannot “think happy” – most people consider this a matter of “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps” not realizing that true medical depression virtually removes one’s legs thus they have no feet for boots…I maintain a close relationship with my personal God who has given me the courage to face each day – and who has given me the gift of being able to find reasons for gratitude and at times even joy in spite of the intense pain of daily life.But – I have a dream… that one day, I will be accepted as “good enough”, even as “special” in recognition that I am the person God created me to be… I have a dream… that one day, a medication will be found that will work and enable me to function in life as I wish to… I have a dream that one day……. ALL people who are “different” in any way / skin color, physical appearance, sexual orientation, height/weight, belief system, ethnicity, handicap, and even mental illness – will be given equal aceptance and respect and rights…

  • http://HASH(0xce9cde8) Becky

    Dr. King’s dream was about intolerance and intolerance comes in many forms. I completely understood your parallel here and I know you didn’t mean any offense to it. By the way, for what it’s worth, I took your blog title, BeyondBlue, to mean that you are more than your depression. That while you struggle with it daily, you strive to see, be and teach people to look beyond. I really enjoy your blog!

  • http://HASH(0xce9d59c) Stacy

    Thank You!!! So many people have no idea what it feels like to have to fight just to get out of bed in the morning, and believe me it wasn’t because I didn’t want to it was because like so many others I couldn’t. I dislike when people that never felt what it feels like to be on a 24/7 emotional rollarcoaster say such ignorant things as “just get over it,” beleive me I wish I could! I hope that people out there read your letter/speach and have a better understanding of this disorder and mabey just a little bit of respect for it. Also to that lady who wrote that Dr.Martin would have a problem with this letter I really don’t think she has the right to say how anyone else would feel. I also don’t think that this letter has anything to do with being white or black or if someone is whiney or not. I don’t think,I may be wrong, that God put you on this earth to judge anyone else. So, I guess you didn’t listen to the elders in your family when they said “If you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all!”

  • http://HASH(0xcea1218) Mysterious Stranger

    Vitamin B, anyone? Take the super kind in tablet form, and you’ll be right as rain… take for three weeks before you feel the effect… it heals and reforms your brain structure.

  • http://HASH(0xcea1508) HASH(0xcea1460)

    Again, Bravo, for your beautiful, earnest, and honest portrayal of the world of depression. The Dr. MLK context is extremely fitting for anyone who is searching for hope and change in this world’s injustices, just as those who suffer from this debilitating disease. When you reach the other side of the wellness fence and can see the side of disease you were on, then you know finally realize how crippled you were from this disease, its effect on you and those around you, and how much damn time has been lost on this earth because of it. I hope the author’s words give some insight into depression to those who thankfully do not have to experience it themselves. Although I am doing well now, I still suffer from the aftermath: obesity and an eating disorder, a mended marriage, a stalled career, a lack of friends, etc. I have always said I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I will certainly forward this message of enlightenment on so that others can understand the disease and ME. THANK YOU!! -Nancy

  • Dr Fabricio, General Surgeon

    I know about depression. I would like that the people realize that all is in their mind, which in fact things like “disease” do not exist, that we created our state of dissatisfaction, that already the answer is in the air. Everybody in the world knows that to smoke affects our health including at effective level.. Have we stop smoking?, everybody knows that to eat pork is bad for our blood have we stop doing that?, what abut destructive feelings? everybody knows what s going wrong with the world, but do they know what s going wrong within them? What is beyond all of this? Stop feeling like a victim, play the game, You are not alone. A hug. P.D don t misunderstand me.. I know about your good intentions.

  • http://HASH(0xcea1bd0) Sue Anderson

    The article was informative and heartfelt. It is difficult to have dialogue about anyone’s particular suffering. I do believe that the comment by the Black female who also suffers bi-polar was extraordinarly compassionate. My prayers are with you.

  • CoolMum

    Your blog is very touchy, honest, courageous and beautiful. To share with you, I have two recommendations: I like Stephen R.Covey’s two famous books (you may have read them already)– ‘The 7 Habbits of Highly Effective People’ and ‘The Eight Habbit – From Effectiveness to Greatness’, in there one thing impressed me most is what also struck him in a big way –> between the stimuli and the response, there is a space (that’s your own choice) to respond (in a way you like) to whatever people say or act upon you, not to be victimized by any other outside influence! Do not feel victimized by your health issue. You are already contributing to the society by writing on your blog! Solute to you! Also, you may try natural health & nutrition super antioxydants, such as OPC-3, Multi-Tech or B-complex, Cognitin (for brain cell health), and certainly high-quality OmegaIII Fish Oil! Or you may first do the ‘NUTRIPhysical’ (see my homepage) to customize your dietary formula for your health need… This is just a recomendation, since many people feel much better after taking a while. Be Well and Happy:)

  • http://HASH(0xcea54fc) Teresa. u.k.

    I have just read the reply from (anonymous), and would just like to share my humble opinion. I was sad that someone with your valuable insight and empathy was unable to reveal your indentity. If i had half your eloquence i would be proud to own it. I believe the more we experience the wiser we become, you obviously experienced your fair share. Keep up the good work.

  • http://HASH(0xcea5834) Teresa. u.k.

    I had to laugh when (jonathan)in his reply or rebuke to Robyn, stated he ‘was not about to chew you out’, then went on to do exactly that (in my opinion). I’m sure that wasn’t his original intention, but it shows how we get carried away with our emotions. I also am not convinced that i witnessed ‘an understanding voice’.

  • http://HASH(0xcea6084) Tracy

    People do not need to get upset because this lady wanted to say what her dreams were about. Sure, Dr. King did in fact have a dream to end Racism but, in entirity did he not have a dream for understanding of others and respect. Then shouldn’t we show respect to this lady for her thoughts and appreicate her thoughts as I am sure Dr. King would have done himself. As for the lady who wrote this, I have this dream too hun. I have this dream too.

  • http://Whatisournationcomingtoo. Dee

    As an African American Female. I feel that the very person that quoted these i have a dream sayings copied off of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. God gave Dr.King his vision because he was on a missionn sent by God. You will know when ever God give someone a dream, because that dream will come to pass. I think the family of Dr. King should sue this person for copying the very words over and over again, i have a dream simply because you could have said something diffrently. I find it annoying because people do this kind of thing to take the power out of something.

  • http://Whatisournationcomingtoo. Dee

    After understanding your writting i would like to apologize for my misunderstanding through my letter. I’m praying for you always.

  • http://HASH(0xcea809c) Marcie

    I believe it is unfortunate that, instead of simply commenting on the lovely, and heartfelt “…dream” writing, I need, 1st, to waste time rebutting Robyn’s angry, bitter response to it. Sounds like it is YOU who is being self-serving–have you seen all the responses to YOUR response? You are certainly getting loads of attention. Did you get any of the correlations, Robyn? Did you really have to turn this into how, no matter what, black people’ll always have it harder, no matter what a white person is going through??! Yes, I am white, and don’t feel privileged. I’ve been scorned, my whole life, by what is supposed to be my very own race, WHITE PEOPLE…AND people of color!! Just for being different…and not limited to serious depression. Go figure. I am not convinced you have earned more of a right to your pain than me, or anyone else, Robyn. I am so sad you had to turn this into yet another black vs. white issue. This is the very thing that keeps us sparring with each other. I’m sure this wasn’t the “Beyond Blue” writer’s intent, and believe you missed out on many of the beautiful messages she way trying to convey.

  • http://HASH(0xcea8780) Marcie

    What a lovely set of wishes…! I have had serious depression, well before I was aware enough to get treated. I strongly believe, that the stigma, more than the depression, itself, has caused me great strife, in every life stage. Only now, am I getting a semblance of self-esteem, and feelings of gainig small successes. I can’t imagine also being bi-polar, because, my depression, alone, (or, more truthfully, the stigma to it’s repercussions), has had devistating social consequences for me. Though my mother loved to constantly claim how “with it” she was, was/is the worst offender of keeping the stigma alive. Sadly no original family member has the least bit of empathy. It’s funny, because, I think they believe that if they’re not getting therapy, they don’t NEED it…HaHa! Besides (in their limited minds), I’M the sick one… God knows I’ve tried, but, I can no longer have any relations with family, because of the shameful–and SHAMING–way they treat me. I’ll continue to be sadly aMAZED…it’s the 21st century, right?? But, most people still react to any sort of mental imperfection (forGET the valid brain diseases!), as if they’re in the Dark Ages!! In this realm, I feel the human animal has a long way to go… Yes, I can’t wait either, for your dreams to come true!! Thanks for your thoughts and validation.

  • Buckmeoof

    Go for it my friend. Dream all you so desire. Isn’t this what Dr. Marthin Luther King Jr. wanted?

  • Larry Parker

    Dr. King was against discrimination in WHATEVER form, although he felt (understandably and correctly) that discrimination against African-Americans was the worst and needed to be combatted first.
    But I’m sure Dr. King smiled down from Heaven on you writing about the (virulent) discrimination against those with depression. You gave a living example of the power of tolerance (and the threat it poses to the powers that be). And given that, none of the combox criticism matters, IMHO.

  • Margaret

    Once again, Therese, i am struck by thesimilarities we share! Those dreams are worthy ones, and hopefully will somday replace the NIGHTMARES which we each face daily in our struggles to be understood/accepted/validated.
    I have one more drean which you didn’t mention:
    O have a dream that one day NO child will suffer the kind of repressive, dysfubctional, painful childhood that leads to por self-esteem and that ALL parents will realize the effects of their words and actions on those little ones God has loaned( and entrusted) to them here on earth! In my view, that would go a long way in helping make those other dreams you so ably wrote about be realized. I remember bery clearly being asked (Screamed at) “What is WRONG with you?!” In fact, thoere were few days I didn’t hear that even into adulthood from my alcoholic father.
    I honestly remember being a child and wondering what WAS really wrong with me, and believe with all my heart that much of my depression throughout my life has hinged on being lred to believe that I was somehow lacking something my sisters all had been born with but not having the slightest idea what it was or how to get it for myself.
    Fortunately, I had a highly spitiyual and loving mother who tried very hard in my teens and after to neutralize the damage I suffered, but even so, my emotional/mental illness has haunted me and has (in hindsight) been at the base of many of the self-defeating choices I’ve made throughout my life. The damage done to children through these kinds of comments is immeasurable, and many kids don’t have even ONE parent who nurtures their psyches. I shudder to think how much worse I might have become had I not been blessed with one parent who made sure that I always knew her love was unconditional and that she didn’t see me as flawed. As an educator I encountered many such lost children in my classroom who were simply starved for just a crumb of validation,yet unable to accept it when it was offerred. I urge those of you who pray to remember all of those needy children in your petitions (God knows who they are)
    And thanks again, T, for providing those of us who read your blog daily with a place where we can not only be heard but also share with one another You’re tops in my book!!!

  • Deb

    To Terese..
    Thank you for such a beautiful blog today…I share your dreams…
    and to Anon….
    I wish what you wrote could come up on every computer screen in the world…maybe then people would start to become more educated about mental illness. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Cathy

    To Marcie and her comments. I to have been abandon by my family including my own daughter because of my chronic depression. They all think I am crazy and they are better than I am. Some of them are alcoholics and have made a mess of their lives and their childrens because of the drinking and how they treated my nieces, nephews, cousins. The alcohol trail goes way back as far as my father’s grandfather, and I am sure much farther than before him.
    My couselor told me I had to “divorce” my family because of the anguish it was causing in my life.
    At first I felt better, but now I am still lonely and longing for family, and the holidays are very hard. I have three grandchildren that I use to be a part of their lives until four years ago and now, my daughter has yanked them away except for when I have birthday/christmas gifts for them. That is all she thinks I am worthy of.
    My grandchildren beg to come stay with me/or I spend the night with them and it just breaks my heart to know I can be apart of their growing up. It’s the worse feeling in the world. I hate this depression that has been placed upon me..I only pray God would take me now, for without my grandchildren there is nothing to live for.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for that message it was very inspiring. I suffer from depression and I pray that some day god can heal us all of this illness. We have to continue to talk about the problems and seek gods wisdom. I pray for the children to who suffer from mental illness. I pray that we can become better educated and informed about the disease.
    God Bless

  • John A Busch

    I really appreciated your blog today, this was the first time I found this part of the website, and I’m glad I did. Have you ever noticed that those of us who suffer from depression or BPD, like myself-type 1, rapid cycle, seem to be more intelligent than the rest of the “normal’ people? Probably because we spend most of our time thinking about how to save the world…little humor. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 29-30. I just wish they would have seen it earlier. I can look back and see the signs plain as day. But, oh well, on we go. One day we will be able to control these conditions with technology instead of these poisoning meds they fill us full of. The first time that I was hospitalized, all they wanted us to do was sleep, then when we were done with that, it was nap time. Dope us up, keep us sleepy, no problem, right? WRONG.
    I personally am working on a couple of ideas that will help control our mood swings without PharMeds, like I like to call them. Only a matter of time, then therapy without meds.
    I’m building a prototype right now, but with my procrastination, and then the crippling thoughts, I’m working slower than I used to. But, I have been noticing an improvement in myself. yeah. Talk about a babble, whoa. Have a great positive day, and remember, this too will pass.

  • Gergana

    Thank you for the posting. I’ve been depressed all my life. Thank you once again.

  • Gergana

    To Deb: I do agree that this wonderful new manifest should be on every computer screen in the world.
    I am 41, female, Bulgarian, living in Bulgaria.

  • Dana

    You hit the nail on the head… Congratulations! I am amazed to read such honesty and complete fact! Thanks for helping understand myself a little better and realize that I am NOT alone and my mental illness in itself does not define me.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    John: Hippocrates made that same observation hundreds of years ago and wrote about it in a famous document called “hippocrates’ Lament” where he questions why the “best and brihtest of many professions all seem to suffer from BPD.(Yes, it’s been around THAT long!) Fascinating reading if you can find ir!

  • Nancy

    As I have read this post for the first time today, I am impressed with Therese’s ability to incorporate the concept of dreams to hopes for the best in the world of mental illness. It’s beautifully written and expressed. How sad and pathetic of a woman that 1st comment followed by a bitter, hateful woman by the name of “Robyn”, who could or would not see the forest through the trees. Her comment was and is exactly the perpetuation of narrow-mindedness and venom that keeps the cycle of hatred going.
    The mentally of us versus them in the sense of color, creed, religion and illnesses. The haves from the have nots. I personally witnessed reverse discrimination as a “middle class white girl” in my hometown high school. The African American students, or Blacks as they wanted to be acknowledged back in the ’70s attempted to create a more devisive environment than anyone with the school. I could greatly expand upon this topic and the facts to support it; however, I won’t grant it the waste of words and thought.
    Therese – I think that to dream of the possibilites is to hope as I previously mentioned, and oh how badly I need to keep that spark alive and flicker within, especially when I get to the point of despair. What I truly love is that you did not incorporate fairy tale, mindless points. They were all so well thought out.
    I am going to print this out for the days that are both good and bad. To hold on to the dream(s) when the “black dog” is nipping at more than my heels requires that I draw upon the strength of those who have gone before me and along side of me in this journey.
    You are a continued blessing, Nancy

  • Norma

    Thank you. I have been so embroiled in a situation that has sent me teetering on the edge of the event horizon of the Black Hole that I completely lost focus on being sincere with myself. I am not weak, unworthy or flawed because of my illness. The fact that we live with depression and fight the pull of that Black hole is a testament to the real strength within us all.
    Thanks again for the ray of sunshine.
    Sincerely, Norma


    I feel the same.I hope one day I can wake up not saying oh no not another day.I wont to wake up what a wonderful day to be alive.

  • Wendy

    This is a powerful mother of a message! And look at the honesty and depth of response! Your words have lifted a weight from others and you will be thanked many times over.

  • mary

    I am so glad you exist.Thank you for understanding and stating so well how I feel.

  • tiffany

    AMEN! I also have a dream, “I wake up” from this INSANITY, called my mind. lol. I really enjoyed that. Thank you so much. I think about my life and ironically the only way to escape complete INSANITY, is to wear the label “BIPOLAR” or as i understand it “walking time bomb”!
    God Bless, and PEACE & HOPE to all, especially the mothers.

  • Phyllis

    What a wonderful group of dreams that cover the whole gamut of the misunderstandings of depression and,in particular, bipolar disease. I thank you for your insight and hopeful vision.

  • susan

    Thank you for this. It was just what I needed to read today.

  • Anonymous

    oh BB, this is hopeful and i still celebrate you and kay jamison ( the unquiet mind-love her book)we celebrate because it is hard work and people who love us dont know how to help us and giggle will try anything even feeding us omema-3 and john’s wort until we turn blue!

  • Nurse4

    You hit the nail on the head Therese!! I’m printing this one out for my collection. Keep up the wonderful work for all of us. You lift me up.

  • vincenza fabbrizi

    I have a dream, that my son will stop blaming me for all of is problems.
    I have a dream, that this uge lump in my chest will disappeard and i will see my 24 years old son,smiling again and taking care of is 4 children.I need help.

  • griselle

    I have a dream that my mood swings would dissapear every time my period is near.

  • valerie

    Brilliant, Therese! Brilliant! And Bravo!!!!!!!!! Oh, and AMEN!!!!! Valerie

  • Mary Fahren

    Wonderful, inspiring site. Thank you, as i too suffer with depression. Cannot abide it when people tell me to “snap out of it” as that is impossible. Mary

  • SeashellNancy

    Therese…Thank you so much for the things you write here on your blog. When I read the first critical comment I felt so sad that
    someone felt they needed to say such unkind things to someone brave enough to speak openly about her mental health issues. As I read the
    rest of the comments, my sadness about the negative comment remains, but what an important discussion you have inspired. Your light shines so brightly…I pray it’s brightness will always be vivible to you.

  • Anonymous

    Therese: This is beautiful. I believe this is some of your best writing. Thank you, thank you, and yet again thank you for all you do and the way you do it.
    What a wonderful piece to read just before I meditate: You rock.
    (sorry i gave your last guest a hard time…)

  • chatter

    i didn’t mean to be elusive in my post, usually my name “chatter” just comes up.
    anyway, it was just me, thanking you for a wonderful post. i even printed it out to send to some key people in my life.
    you are a remarkable lady: merci beaucoup.
    chatter (as in chatterbox in chicago)

  • Larry Parker

    I think my comments of August 9 still stand, Therese :-)

  • Laura

    Dear Theresa,
    you are so awesome in your descriptions of bipolar disorder, and what my dreams are, too, regarding my mental illness. I have faced quite a few discriminations due to my illness, and I don’t get angry about it any more, I just realize that so many people are ignorant about mental illness, that I actually feel sorry for THEM!
    Keep up the wonderful writing, and inspring those of us who have a daily battle with this illness.

  • Lisa K

    Thank you for so eloquently saying the things I’m thinking but can’t put into words. How hard it is to have to explain to my boss and coworkers that I have to be very careful not to get stressed because i have a “chronic illness” and so that’s why I take an extra day off once in a while, and why I have so many doctor and (therapist)doctor appointments to go to. why do i resent the lady I work with who takes every Thursday off because she has chemo for her cancer. Why does everyone know what the pink ribbon stands for but no one ever asks me what my silver ribbon stands for? Sorry, guys, guess I’m just feeling sorry for myself. That blog makes me angry…. and sad….but thank you for saying it.

  • zana

    Bravo!! Insert standing ovation here for you, Therese, and for all of us BB’s. We are the civil rights speakers for our daily struggles. Let freedom awareness, compassion and freedom ring.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    thank you for running this post again; it moved me even more than it did last year and is SO appropriate a way to honor Doctor King, much more so,IMHO, than taking the day off from school or work, especially given that so many (if not most) of today’s children really have NO understanding of who he was, the fight he took upon himself, or WHY he’s honored with a national holiday. I find that tragic, especially considering that it hasn’t been all that long ago!
    Your dreams are also mine, along with the same addition I think I offered last year, that NO child suffer the pain and humiliation of neglect or abuse which so often lays the groundwork(Coupled with the biological component, of course) for the onset of depression and/or bipolar disorder later in life by causinging PTSD as an additional stressor. I wholeheartedly endorse Zana’s statement that we are the civil rights peakers foe our daily struggles, and YOU, my dear, are our (at least one of our) activist(s). I also believe that Doctor King would support our cause were he still among us today. I’m fairly sure that I remember reading that he, too, spent time “in the abyss”, and even if that’s erroneous, he was all about fairness and equality for ALL people. Frankly, considering the times in which he was raised and the suffering he endured, it would be nothing less than miraculous if he DIDN’T suffer from episodes of depression!
    What a tribute to him that you phrased your goals in the format of his most famous speech! You are an AMAZING leader, my friend, AND i thank G-d for your presence in our lives and your willingness to step up to the plate and speak out for those of us less able to be the leader and better suited to simply be “soldiers” in the army. We love you, we’re blessed to know you, we LOVE and APPRECIATE you! Few of us know what it’s like to have been to the mountaintop and seen Glory, but you’re leading us there one step at a time!Here’s praying that our journey ends sooner rather than later and that at lest SOME of your beautifully expressed dreams become reality before this time next year!

  • Kay

    Yes Therese…..and everyone else……I too dream of a time when mt first thought in the morning is my mood and whether as a result i will be able to do the things planned. and a day when i am asked out and will say “Yes” immediately without having to worry as to whether my panic and anxiety will permit me to go where i wish to go. If only all these feelings will take second place in my life…or better still not feature at all. If only…!!!

  • griselle

    I too have a dream that someday people will be more compassionate towards those that have some type of mental illness.

  • michele

    I also dream that one day people mean it when they say “in sickness and in health” and don’t turn in run at the first sign of trouble.

  • Shakil Qureshi

    Interesting piece. It says it all for many of us. I pray for all of us that go through these things that one day we finally find the peace that we all deserve.

  • Faith

    I am completely in support of your dream. This is what I do daily – I am a social worker who works strictly with persons with the major severe and chronic mental illnesses. I have student interns from a local university who do their placements at my agency and your message is the one I try to impart to them. Hang in there.

  • Valena

    I share your dream. Thank you for posting it. My husband has Bipolar Disorder. I hate the stigma. Even my family judges him based upon his actions when he is symptomatic.

  • PJ

    Bravo, Therese! This is perhaps the most articulate and compassionate piece I’ve read by one of us to those who don’tunderstand, care, or belittle the extra-sensitivity we have to our emotions, surroundings and relationships. I have been treated for dysthymia and major depression (with periods of hypomania) for 20 years. Not much has changed in the perception of the general population. Insurance is much worse in its coverage of psychotherapy, cynically jumping on the bandwagon of “organicity” to promote the cheap, pills-only cure. (Although, paradoxically, antidepressants and the people who take them, are still seen as shameful,except for that small window of time when it was really hip to be on Prozac).
    You have said so beautifully what I have been attempting to say both personally and professionally all these years. You have not only a dream – you have VISION! Not to mention a hilarious, sharp-edged wit! Thank you for all you do for us. Ditto for the usual suspects (I mean posters).

  • Deb

    THANK YOU! I, Too, Have a Dream! This could not have been written better. Hit the nail right on the head! LOL

  • Caroline

    I have told many people about this site & Beyond the Blue. Today, after reading your take on MLK’s amazing speech I am again reminded why I keep coming back for more of your heartfelt spiritual nourishment. Thanks doesn’t come close.

  • Dawn Clough

    I have a dream that parents of children, adolescents, and adults who suffer from brain disorders and addictions will be given the same kind of open and loving support as those parents whose children suffer from heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer.
    And that we don’t have to hide our stories, and that we can openly and loudly proclaim “halleluia” when our children make advances…and we can be comforted when they don’t….And that we don’t have to be patronized, or victims of false sympathy…and that we ourselves don’t have to be “analyzed” to death, a la Freud, and accused of bad parenting.
    I love your dreams, Therese, and thank you for shouting them from the rooftops! May those who have brain disorders, one of the last groups that it is openly OK to discriminate against, may be set free at last.

  • Julianne

    Thank for putting all the thoughts and feeling of people with bi-polar disorder and their families live through evey day. I have forwarded this on to my daughter’s siblings so that they may better understand what my youngest daughter lives every day of her life. Bless you for all you do.

  • Sweetspirit

    I have a stepson that deals with bipolar and my father was bipolar and these people are very articulate,smart and loving. We all deal with things beyond our control sometimes and no one dealing with bipolar should never be ashamed, the first step is admitting it then getting help, the real crime is not getting help. Bipolar sometimes may feel like it is who we are but believe me it isn’t, it is a chemical imbalance that can easily be treated with the proper medication and never let anyone make you feel bad about it either because it just shows their ignorance on the issue. Most human beings fear what they do not understand. So to those of you who deal with this health issue, God bless you and know that you are wonderful and important.

  • Sunshine

    Living with a depressive, I know this is his dream too. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.
    Peace and blessings.

  • mln

    Jan 21, 08
    Deaar Fried, You are loved and accepted. You do not have to be perfect. People like you just the way you are. There is always hope for all who suffer from mental illness. I share your hopes, and honor you. Love, MLN PS May Jesus always guide your very welcome and very worthy life, and be waitng for you always at your destinations, having prepared the way for you, every day. You are loved, MLN

  • m

    You are love friend, just the way you are. God and I will alwwys love you the same, regardless of any illness (physical or mental0. You are worthy. You do not have to be perfect. You might be surprised but many people feel the same way you do, and that some of your dream is already reality in out society — you are just not aware of it at this time.. The stigma is alredy being changed in this very day and time. I love you, MLN

  • mlm

    Dear Friend, You may be unaware, but your dream is already reality, partially. Life is getting much more improved for those of us who suffer from mental health. Love, MLN

  • Eva

    And I hope that you see your dream will become our reality. Thank you.

  • cyjordan

    WHAT A DREAM, ONE THAT I PRAY WILL COME TRUE. HOPEFULLY WITH REsearch, our children and generations to come won’t have to share our experiences with bipolar.

  • Crystal

    I love this article. I share the same dream from a sufferer of Major Depressive Disorder (No, I’m not an Andrea Yates, I get tired of that too) and I also have Anxiety and Fibromyaglia. I don’t use my illnesses for attention or to be considered a hero. I wish people would all see us for our worth. We are all human beings with some kind of disorder in this life. Others are just a little more noticeable. Thanks for sharing with the world.

  • Courtney A. Walsh

    As a fellow biploar author/speaker I can totally relate to this. My book, Lipstick and Thongs in the Loony Bin was my answer to breaking some of these stigmas and taboos down to open up lines of communication and understanding.
    I share this dream.
    Mental wellness for all. It is a reality we should all strive for…and in the meantime—we’ll keep on dreaming each other forward into a future where labels and diagnoses do not limit or define us.

  • Lisa Clay

    AMEN to that! I have someone in my life who fits all of the descriptions of Bipolar disease but has not been diagnosed. Yet we both know there is something wrong. It is quite alot to deal with. It even ruined our marriage and ripped our family apart. Yet I still find myself wanting to help and not walk away like all of his friends did. Thank you for the inspiring message.

  • Mik’ Taylor

    Thank you! I too needed to read this today.
    It helps me not feel so alone with my brain. That others suffer from the same feelings; and have the same issues.
    No one knows how one truly feels, unless they have been in the same place.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Bret

    It is a great dream… to bad it is just a dream and I still have to live like this. Life in my brain sucks and the only thing that has ever made it better makes me unable to have sex. Which do you choose? Doesn’t seem fair, but I have accepted the fact I will just be screwed up the rest of my life.

  • Kathy Heimer

    I too have bipolar depression, and I too have that same dream. Just lately I was turned down for life insurance from a company, because I had to admit I have bipolar depression. So my dram is too that these companies will wake up and see depression isn’t something we choose.

  • kathy

    Sounds like you have your own issues. We all have dreams. People with mental disorders are faced with people like you who are sooo
    intolerant and unwilling/unable to see/feel /understand anyone else’s pain because you’re too wrapped up in the color issue. Thank God you are black and not tortured by mental illness.

  • theresa varesi

    Thank you and may God Bless you

  • Anita Aasen

    incredible, powerful it says so much. I have been struggling with depression like my mother before me and well…you said it all. Thank you

  • barb

    I feel in love with a man who is bipolar. I tried sooo very hard to deal with his disease, but he put me on such a roller coaster ride, mentally…I just couldn’t take it anymore!! Accusations of things he thought, but said I did, making an excuse for everything that happened and never taking the blame for anything, one minute we would be laughing the next he would be screaming at me…I turned me into an emotional yo-yo!!! Any ideas on how to deal with these things? He refuses to take medication, but he is on social security for his bipolar disease.

  • CLeo

    Therese, again! Thank you for this manifesto.
    I have found that the best way to cut to the chase is to be open about it. Many are still too uninformed (trying not to call them Ignorants) about mental illness and/or disorders that fall in that catch all title.
    It’s really sad to see that people who should know better…don’t! Some are conversant in any subject under the sun, some have advanced degrees, yet mental illness or even just plain depression is a taboo subject to them.
    A few weeks ago I told a woman that has been making a point of talking about “When I was in college” and “my sorority sisters” etc. that I was bipolar, even though the latest diagnosis states that I’m “mildly bipolar”. She’d no reply. This is a woman who is a “Know it all” I just wanted to see her reaction. I haven’t heard from her since then.
    Many are afraid of pushing away friends and acquaintances by being opening up to them, well, don’t be, because this is a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff, though sometimes we are educating someone on a subject they know nothing about or do but are ashamed to talk about it because of the stigma attached to mental illness.

  • Mandie

    Thanks for calling it like you see it. I wish more people would think like you in that perspective.

  • Misty

    I am so glad to have read this today. No one fully understands what a journey it is to just get through the day sometimes. Thank you so much for your words.

  • maria

    I liked the “I too have a dream” article. I am happy for the person who is well enough to acknowledge that he/she has a mental condition and that it will not go away or get better without medication and treatment of some type or other. The sad and tragic part is when the loved one is so sick they refuse to even admit or think that they may have a mental problem, thus making it harder for them to seek and accept medication or treatment of any kind for their mental problems! For the last 20 years, my children and I have had to bear the pain of living with and watching my husband suffering from this vicious illness and feeling desparate many many times when he refuses to take his medication or seek the medical attention he so desperately needs!

  • CLeo

    BTW, the first poster is off the mark by a million miles! It’s not offensive to have a dream.
    Dr King would have understood and join Therese and the rest of us in trying to dispel the deep seated prejudices stemming from mental illnesses, but of course Dr. King was an enlightened being, a humanist that advocated for all humans, not just for those of his race.

  • KHM

    Thanks for this it is so true and so many people do not say anything.. Thanks..

  • suzan

    Thank you.
    hearing this from someone else is a relief, because you feel so alone.
    I thank God for my strength.

  • CLeo

    Yesterday I heard/saw a Psych. person on tv saying that “You can’t begin to treat a mental illness or make a proper diagnosis until the patient is off drugs and alcohol” this regarding Spears (sigh! I’m so sick of hearing about her).
    I truly agree, because it wasn’t until I stopped drinking alcohol (and I wasn’t an alcoholic, just a 2 glasses of wine with my meals person and 2 or 3 while at a party person)that I began to see myself and think more clearly about my behavior. I cleverly attributed it to others or to my very animated self.
    In cases where the person is deep into drugs, even into prescribed drugs, and heavy use of alcohol it’s difficult to accurately diagnose a condition.
    Spears needs to stay out of the limelight and the attention she so desperately craves and hates at the same time.

  • Greg Porter

    Thank you very much for your honesty. your ability to articulate is very refreshing. I to hope one day church leaders will educate themselves about how bipolar, depression and other debilitating mental disorders henders some from seeing the world as they do. We want to see and feel as others but usually can not. Thank you, and God bless.

  • Mary

    GOD BLESS YOU! My heart goes out to you. I am the mother of a son who was diagnosed with schizophrenia several years ago. He lives with his dad and me now — and each day we see and feel his pain and despair. His once upon a time friends have all “disappeared” – as well as his beautiful wife and son!
    No matter how hard we try to uplift him and give him reasons to live, we can never remove that stigma from the “outside world” that has set him aside as “a loser” and convinced him that he really is!
    My husband and I are both elderly — we, too have a dream – that before we die, our son will one day experience acceptance and respect from the cold, cold world that simply doesn’t understand how painful it is to be labled “mentally ill” and rejected at every turn.
    Thank you for “listening”.

  • Mildred

    Thank you for that comforting read. I have battled depression and feelings of low self worth since I was a little girl. My mother did not want me from the day I was born, and made me feel oh so inferior, while her other kids were wonderful. It would be so wonderful if we had a group in Canada that would be supportive of me, but we don’t so I have to try to stand on my own. Thanks so much for giving me the only support I have. Mildred Johnson Box 2606 Rocky Mtn House, Alberta Canada

  • Stardustiam

    Your dream is so beautiful I could cry. Cry out of happiness and hope. When we all work together, I can see your dream manifesting and giving us the power to make the changes that are needed, to make us first class citizens. We have so much to offer the world. And your dream can give us the strength to do what needs to be done. Your dream is just what I needed to hear today. You are a blessing to us and to the world.

  • Bev

    Therese…………. I read every word very carefully so I could concentrate on what you were saying. My mind was having flashbacks of some of the same experiences. My Mother was diagnosed as having Paranoid Schizophenia in the 1940’s. I was the youngest of 4 children. We all suffered emotionally, but in different ways.
    Oldest sibling was a nurse married to a doctor; drinking, pills & obsessed with her good looks & how bad others looked; all still a problem at age 74. Her 3 children choose to live with their Dad & had a more stable life. Although they all show signs of depression at times.
    Next sibling died of anorexia at age 31. She started her “pecular behavior & severe diet/exercise” at 16. That was in the 1950’s & most doctors didn’t have a clue how to help her & she wanted NO HELP. I felt relief when she passed away & believed she really was in a better place. I think she is one of my Guardian Angels. She really didn’t want to live & didn’t want help. She controlled her life as well as her death. I miss her; she would be age 73 now. Next sibling, age 71 & a former marine later a building engineer; thinks things through logically; not in a down to earth way, so he doesn’t relate to people he thinks are not as bright as he. Of course, he isn’t always right on target with others. He has had a roller coaster marriage & 2 kids; ages 20 & 22. Life has been rough for them but things look great now.
    Okay, sibling #4 would be me. I felt sad & cried a lot as long as I can remember. I wanted a normal, loving family AND they didn’t live at our house. I loved going to girl friends homes & hang around with their families. At the time I didn’t know all the families felt right & happy to me. I suffer from chronic depression & still at 67 want it to GO AWAY. I know that I am the biggest critic of my illness……..
    Has it gone away yet??? Growing up with a mentally disturbed Mother & an emotionally distant Father……….Has it gone away yet??? …. is tough on children……….Has it gone away yet???
    My counselor says it far better having Depression as Paranoid Schizophenia. I will give her that!!

  • Belinda Yarrow

    This is a great article. I forwarded this to family and friends in hope that they may better understand me. Thanks for printing this article.
    May God Bless your day.

  • Dianne

    Amen to that, Therese! Great article for MLK day!

  • marilyn

    therese that realy hit home i am going to share that with others.people truely dont realize what its like to tell people about the depression.i get made fun of alot and jobs are cruel when it comes out.hopefully someday we wont be labled and people will understand and will get treated fairly like people with other illnesses.i think more people suffer from depression than we know just dont deal with it keep up the great job you do blessings marilyn

  • Larry Parker

    As conservative Christians are fond of saying at Christmas, let’s not forget the “reason for the season,” either.
    As we speak (write), I am in an ongoing debate on another Bnet blog with a man who claims African-American slaves had a much better life than non-plantation owner whites in the antebellum South.
    On Martin Luther King Day.
    Honestly, sometimes people make me sick. (Oh, wait, bad metaphor for BBers …)

  • Stardustiam

    Therese, your dream moved me to the point of tears. Tears of hope. Your dream is my dream, too. I never had been discriminated against until I contracted mental illness. I never knew a way out. But having a dream is something to work towards, something to put your hopes in. Working together, with your inspiration, we have the direction to make changes in the world. I needed to hear this today. I feel light, instead of depressed. Thank you for sharing your wonderful dream. You are a blessing to us and to the world.

  • cynthiajschmitt

    This is a wonderful article. I had a friend who has bi polar disorder. I loved here deeply. It is difficult to watch her struggle as a parent. She threatens suicide, gets her kids ready for her suicide then, realizes or her husband does, that her medication isn’t being effective.She ends up back at the hospital. I wonder about her ability to parent these children. They are so traumatized by her actions. I have watched her children mimic this behavior. They have everything they need monetarily.
    she asks me for honesty and when I offer very sensitive honesty, if it does not agree with her she has been known to go into rage. I finally had to end the relationship because of her attempts to hurt me and my child. I am sad for her. and I am afraid of her. I also share this dream you speak of…and I pray it will be a reality for all soon. Peace.

  • Deborah

    Thanks so much for expressing ho wit feels to deal with a Bipolar Disorder and the discrimination that goes along with it. I am so tired of being told you could feel better if you wanted to.
    Thanks again for saying what everyone feels that has a depression disorder.
    It made my day!
    God Bless You !!

  • Stephanie

    These dreams are also mine. I have struggled with depression since I was 12 years old. It is not something I can snap out of. It is not something that goes away just because life is good. It is not something that goes away just because I trust Jesus with my very life. It is not something that is fixed by a better job or a bigger paycheck. It is not something that I can make disappear if I just wish, pray, and hope hard enough. It is something that is always there, and has been for the last twenty years, either lurking just behind the door, or covering me like a heavy down blanket. Sometimes I am drowning in it. Sometimes I have a floatation device that keeps me out of its swirling eddies that can swallow me whole. Still, it is always ther.
    Over the past year, I have experienced broken relationships and severe physical illness. In all of this, I tried desperately to keep the depression at bay, much like keeping ravenous wolves at arm’s length. I was powerless against it, though, and it nearly took my life. Physical illness, I can take. Devouring depression, though…it’s a slow and painful killer.
    I am doing better now, but it is hard when people just don’t understand. They say, “You have so much to be thankful for. God saw you through your cancer, and you are going to start a new life soon!” or, “It wounds God to see you this way. He has given you so much, and there you sit feeling sorry for yourself”, and so on.
    I, too, dream of the day when I may wake up and think about breakfast and the day ahead, rather than feeling overwhelmed that I even have to face the day at all. I am told the medication will bring me to that day. I don’t believe it. I’ve been waiting for that day for twenty years.
    Maybe someday…But for now, I am following doctor’s orders. And, waking up every day and uttering the prayer, “God, just get me through today.”

  • care52

    Thanks for your message of courage and hope. It is helping me understand my son, who has bi-polar disorder.

  • Joseph14

    I cannot recall reading a more refreshing and inspiring article than the one you have personally written. As one who suffers from depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, I can identify somewhat with your situation.
    People in the United States who don’t suffer from these disorders might actually have them and never confess to them. People always think those who take medications for such disorders are “completely crazy”, but they’re not.
    I applaud your courage and your wisdom. It is very refreshing.
    Perhaps, someday, people will see mood disorders in the same categories as the common cold, influenza, or migraine headaches. Until then, it is good to get the news out.
    Again, an excellent written journal entry.

  • claire

    i thank you from the bottom of my heart for this lovely read,i am so glad to know that i am not alone.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this article

  • Terry

    Thank you. That was truly beautiful and just what I needed today as I’m dealing with the depression of bipolar disorder.

  • Anonymous

    Halleuah!! I’ve been wondering why these things aren’t happening in the present for years! Although I do not have bipolar or any form of depression, I have studied Psychology for years and been able to see “the truth”. I think that at least taking Psyc 101 should be a part of life– maybe when you go to vote one should be given a textbook and then next time you vote tested on their basic knowledge of Psycholoogy. People would surely get along better once they understand where another is coming from!~~Angie, Whittier, CA

  • Margie

    Dear Therese..Wow what a great read. Since I have found you and your we sight I hav felt so much more comfort knowing there are others out there with the same disease. My mother suffered from depression most of her life. She never stopped searching for help and would try anything. She also suffered from colitis which can be caused from anxiety. I too am now a member of this organization depression and finally the colitis. But reading your information and the responses from the other people here has helped so much. I am wondering if there are others that have a problem with the colitis after bouts with anxiety anbd depression and what they do when this occurs. Just having you around makes my world a little brighter. You are such a good support..thanks margie

  • Deb

    I have a dream that you will run to your maker on this matter with a God fearing Doctor that will help.I dream that you wont feel it necessary to tell people that your are Bi-polar.It is none of their business and people are cruel.Hold your head up, be strong in the most powerful Diety,Your God,your Father in Heaven; who sent his son Jesus who loves you very much.This is my dream for you.God Bless You!Your Sister in Christ Debbie+

  • lori wallace

    I as well have biopolar disoder, my mood has to be stablized.
    People make fun of me, and call me crazy.
    I am just like everyone else.
    Lori Wallace

  • Mionca

    Try to escape from this ,these are great dreams don’t be ashamed at what you are .Everyone has problems some people just deal with them better than others.You can be a person that’s not ashamed because everyone has problems they just never talk about them.

  • Elsa Flanagan

    Your great thoughts comforted me tonight, I just wish I read them earlier in the day. I am extremely depressed right now about not being able to find a job. My family is literally starving to death. We live with my daughter who just purchased a house in May. She works but just barely makes the house payment and a couple of small bills. I know that my depression is temporary not a bipolar diagnosis. Depression hurts so much. My stomach is tied up in knots and I’m so anxious, nothing helps to comfort me. I’m trying to get help with foodstamps but because my daughter works they may not approve us. I understand how depreesion feels and it is difficult to even get out of bed to find a job. Every day searching and not finding a job makes it worse. Bless all of you that are depressed right now and I pray we will find a way to live happier,healthier lives.

  • jan harden

    Dont count out the factor of family influence and the way we were raised and treated growing up. Familys want an answer a rational way to deal with our emotions. So they came up with brain disease and chemical imbalance. My family abused me and drove me crazy. That counts too. Saying its a brain disease just like diabetes is not entirely true. It takes them off the hook.

  • m oliver

    Thank you for the insperation… Just being diagnosed with bipolar, after years of thinking I was a double personality or just a plain WING-NUT!!! I am 49 years young. My family (siblings & mother) just don’t beleive in taking meds. For years I refused to take any meds. Now that I have Diabetes etc. that made my life a living hell… I really just wanted to die. Now I’m in therapy and take my meds and check my blood etc… I feel like almost a whole person. My 18year old daugher was just diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, & DEPRESSION…She takes celexa. I take lexapro,clonapin & lamictal, plus all the crap for diabetes (including 2 insulins), hypo-thyroid, & colesterol. Seems like a drug store in my cabinet. So thanks again, sometimes it,s good to know you’re not alone. People who don’t have any kind of depression or anxiety have no idea how it feels; and they will never understand the agony the we go through every day of our lives. Walk a mile in our shoes, I say…

  • mercedes

    wow, this story made me cry, because i have that dream too, i have a child with mental illnes and sometimes i feel so bad about the way the people see my child or talk . I have a HOPE! one day i know your dream and my dream will become true.

  • anon

    Wow. Um, I think the author of this beautiful expression of her feelings was only trying to make a parallel between Dr. King’s dream to end discrimination based on race and her dream that there would one day be an end to discrimination based on mental illness. People, writers, authors, do this all the time. It’s a literary technique. It’s also a type of metaphor. I don’t think we could say she’s done anything wrong because she fully acknowledges Dr. King’s influence. What a shame that one person has changed a large portion of these comments and discussion into a debate on racism when the focus should be on mental health. And what a shame and an irony that, as evidenced by “Robyn’s” hateful speech and critical words about the author’s race, Dr. King’s dream has still not been realized.
    I did appreciate these sentiments because, as a person with bipolar disorder I could completely relate. Thank you for this insight and expression. I am sure you spoke for many of us when you wrote this. It helps to know someone understands.

  • Karma Kane

    Wow, very well said, I certainly concur. Things are better than in the 60’s when my father was dealing with these issues, fortunately I was taught never to be ashamed; I been waiting for an enlightened world and just the knowledge that I am not unique in that respect is a comfort beyond compare.

  • Kay Spurling

    I like the dream. It is not my experience that others will understand. Being bipolar (with very deep depressions) and diabetes. I believe at this point that all would be happy is I just died and put them out of the misery of having to deal with me.

  • Dolores

    Thank you. Well said

  • Kat

    Amazing, the words my adult son has used over and over. He could have written that well stated epic directive. NOW, if we can get some real interest and some real involvement our world can surely be better.

  • Karla

    Thankyou, you made me cry… my significant other is dealing with depression, and thanks to your words I feel that I understand him better!

  • eddie

    This lady has written a beautiful and wonderful article about being bi-polar. Please don’t turn it into a racial circus and start talking about how hard it is to be black in America. That is a story for another place and time. The Rev. Dr. M. L. King would not have cared one bit that she used the headline “I have a dream”, he would have probably taken her by the hand and prayed with her. Thank you for your article, it was very touching and very much needed. I’m praying for you.

  • snooky325

    Your gutsy, i like that especially in identifying the untimate culprit SATAN! Ignoring him is bad ignoring GOD is worse. It is proveable the most brilliaqnt minds [wise] have the most trouble in the spirit. Bible says with much wisdom comes much sorrow. The paradox of life is the more you understand the more you seek simplicity! You have crossed the line into being an advocate of universal truth, very Christ Like i like that. Now, keep throwing those monkeywrenches after all you are a monkey-wench thrower!

  • joanna

    At least you have a dream. I unfortunately live in reality.

  • Angee

    I have Bipolar, Fibromyalgia, Gastroparesis, Degenerative Disc, Arthritis in back, Spinal Stenosis, and the list goes on (unfortunately)!!! I feel validated after reading this, and that I am not alone! Living one day at a time is the only way I can make it. Even then…each day is just another part of the puzzle that I have to work on! And it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s down right exhausting. There is always HOPE! NEVER GIVE UP…

  • Gayle

    I too dream that one day I will wake up from this nightmare, that my head will behave itself and I will once again appreciate life.
    Absolutely wonderful – Just what I need to hear today. Thank you


    Teresa = how very inspiring to those of us who need acceptance, tolerance and understanding. I believe that you blog is in part helping to actualize parts of that dream by informing people and giving people a platform for expression about mental illness.
    Let me take this oppurtunity to thank you for what you do because you have inspired me to start a blog – the subject matter is different, but I was definately inspired to do it because I so enjoy reading you. Mine is spiritual and Christian articles, political articles linked up with THE POLITICAL MACHINE – Posts by Tommy Christopher, political articles are written from a Christian and biblical perspective, also Saturdays are recipes, Sundays poetry – I encourage guest poetry and comments.
    Visit me at
    By the way, I had no idea there were 7.8million depressed people. I always learn from you, Teresa, Thanks and God Bless You,
    Lady of Light

  • patti

    Kudo’s to you, someone who can make others feel as though they aren’t the only one with issues. To give them inspiration and know that there are many who care and show that they do in little ways that may be hidden but are still there in other ways for constant support and love.

  • sanaa

    why would you feel ashamed?accepting and admitting is a courageous thing on ones part,there should be no need to feel so.and the fact that you deal with it makes you a strong person.
    so don’t hold your breath and don’t feel ashamed.

  • Jodee

    I am new here and have been reading your column. I, too, am bi-polar and have lived with it since 1982. After a kazillion medications they tried me on, we come to the conclusion that anti-depressants don’t work right for me. They make me worse. i told my mother-in-law about my diagnosis, not knowing at the time how people would react (or i would have never told anyone).Her reaction was “Mike Tyson is Bi-Polar and just bit the ear off of someone!!!” For years I lothed her for that comment and would not go anywhere near her. I learned a valuable lesson.
    So, I have the same dream you do. It’s hard being judged by those who don’t have a clue. Love and understanding is what keeps me going. It took years for my family to understand. But they do now, and are very supportive. That makes me better! If the whole world could understand this, maybe people with this wouldn’t feel like they are “crazies”. I take no medication as they all made me worse. Only when everyone I loved began to love me back and understand my illness, is when I began to get better. If I go into a deep depression, my family knows just how to get me out of it–sometimes. If they can’t , they understand.
    Thank you so much for writing this column. Keep them coming as I feel there are alot of people out there feeling the very same way. Thanks again!

  • Christy

    I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for saying what we all want to say, thank you for letting us all know that we are not alone in this battle, and most of all, thank you for just existing! You are a blessing!

  • Doris Mahala

    I was diagnosed in July of 2004 and have had medications played with and increased, and stopped. I have been called drama queen, queenb: I think that you all know what this last one means. I have struggled for years with this and have only begun to understand this thing called bipolar. Sadly my daughter was diagnosed first and then when I decided that I could no longer cope with trying to obtain a double assoc. degree and the death of my step-father who was a 4 time tourer of Viet Nam and exposed to Agent Orange, I decided to go to our local mental facility and seek counseling for depression. That is when I got the news. I also do not understand why at the age of 50 I no longer have the desire for sex with my husband, we have been together for almost 22 yrs. married for 19 yrs. come this August. He seems like he understands most of the time, but he makes me feel guilty at times because I am not interested more and try to overcome my lack of desire. I don’t know if it is the medication or the disease or my age or a combo of all the above. I have noticed as well as he has that my energy and drive has wained since being medicated and I can’t stand the way I feel with it and I can’t stand to live a daily life without it. What is a person to do? Yes, I am in one on one counseling as well as the medication. Is there something that I can do? Can’t take Cymbalta, Lamectial has been increased several times, Effexor has been increased,stopped, and reinstated. This is so crazy. Also the Provgil which is for my central nervous system apnea, and the daytrana for my adhd and the cost is so high and medicade will not pay for it. Private insurance will not insure me and have asked for help with the cost and have yet to receive a reply. The cost of my medication per month reaches over a thousand dollars and I have to be very selective on what I get as samples from my doctor and what I can afford to buy. I would not wish this on anybody.

  • Anu Bose

    Thank you for this beautifully crafted message.

  • larry

    I wish everybody dreams come true

  • kevin

    I wish too their were more understanding about mental illness, in which we have in one shape from or another. I’m going to send this to many of my friends who really dont understand mental illness. not sayin its going inform them but maybe understand me better. thanx

  • Tina Shea

    wanted to let you know I have bipolar disorder to and I get judged all the time, they say that its all in my head and to snap out of it. I hate that. I’m not allowed to take my neices anymore because they say I’m loony and I have six kids and they have been fine. I most give all the credit to my husband he has put up with alot in the last 7 years. I was a single mom of three and thats when I found out about it so things were a little rough for a while before I met my husband and know he helps me alot he even stayed with me when I took about 43 pills of my anxiety meds that was scarey he took care of the kids when I was in the hospital for two weeks so I hate being judged by people too its really hard to tell people when your so afraid to be judged or if they don’t say anything in front of you, you worry about what they say after.

  • phyllis dearmond

    You do know you touch so many peoples heart when you write about depression, bi polar, whatever the disease may be. I too want to help people by taking your letters to the Centerstone Mental Health Center that I go to in my hometown. That is if you do not mind. I feel that if I read off your letters, it will help someone somewhere! You are in so much depth, I enjoy what you write, It reminds me of me, trying to get people to understand what goes on in my mind. However some just refuse to try to understand, you can do it yourself if you try hard enough is what I have always heard from my family. It seems to hurt worse when such words come from your family. Again, I really APPRECIATE your writings. Please do not think that they are going un noticed. I find them very POWERFULL, very INTERESTING. I praise the Lord for people like you who take a stand for us. Not many people like us would do it. Please do not be offended when I say, (people like us)! That’s how other so called normal people look at us! Again, Thank you for writing.
    phyllis dearmond

  • Anonymous

    This in response to ANON, a 4th year medical student who said, (paraphrased) “sometimes the family inflicts the worst damage”
    Yes and a million times YES! Also the friends or coworkers. Everyone has to be extra careful not to let emotional vampires sap their strenght. If those around you are contributing to your unease, if you feel you must get better for their sake and not for your own well being, then it’s time to make a decision and to put some distance between you and those who through ignorance or just misunderstood nosiness sap your energies.

  • Lynne

    God bless you Therese, and bless God for your being in this world! I was having another “bad week” and you helped pull me out of the abyss! I echoe your prayers and dreams and hope I can pay it forward to someone else in need. Thankyou from my soul!

  • Staciey

    Thank you for the message. It really touched my heart and the hearts of depressives. I believe all or most of what was in that passage will come true one day.

  • Patrice

    Thanks for giving such an eloquent format to the problems associated with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health maladies.


    Theresa You’re dreams are inspiring and having this blog is one way to make some of those dreams become a reality. I now have a blogsite too.
    Lady of Light

  • Debbie

    This woman who has been a daughter etc. is a very strong woman. Myself, having bi-polar, PTSD, and OCD, I find more help hanging with people who are real people with real issues and real answers!!! Opinions are everywhere but support and love will abound if we choose to leave the opinionated and their opinions to themselves!! We are who we hang with! Unfortunately, for people like us, negative people can be detrimental to our treatments. Learn to treat ourselves like we want other people to treat us and then treat other people this way!! For all those out there with different sorts of mental illness, physical disabilities and the list goes on, consider yourself hugged!! Always remember(like my grandaughter wrote about me in her class:Nana;sweet, nice, helps me clean, strong, brave and caring!! And even in my manic phases she loves me

  • Debbie

    This woman who has been a daughter etc. is a very strong woman. Myself, having bi-polar, PTSD, and OCD, I find more help hanging with people who are real people with real issues and real answers!!! Opinions are everywhere but support and love will abound if we choose to leave the opinionated and their opinions to themselves!! We are who we hang with! Unfortunately, for people like us, negative people can be detrimental to our treatments. Learn to treat ourselves like we want other people to treat us and then treat other people this way!! For all those out there with different sorts of mental illness, physical disabilities and the list goes on, consider yourself hugged!! Always remember(like my grandaughter wrote about me in her class:Nana;sweet, nice, helps me clean, strong, brave and caring!! And even in my manic phases she loves me


    really so nice, after read it i have become your fan. really so nice keep doing this great job. i will wait for your next article. take care

  • Starfighter7

    Wed. January 23,2008
    Good & Very GOOD Encouragement!! It is an apparent reality that
    my condition (Bipolarity&Depressiveness)stems from my Mother & Father.
    It appears that my dad in his Choleric/CHOLERIC/Sanguine , and my Mom
    in her Melancholic (enabler) Sanguine [Combined ] so in Making my Melan-
    cholic/CHOLERICness which I chose to further ‘extrapolate in the ’60s’
    through the Usage of Psychedelics & amphetamine Usage. Hmmm. ‘Cause &
    Effect(s)…I guess ! Thank God.. For the BLOOD Of JESUS CHRIST that
    Cleanses US FROM ALL SIN!! >Even inter-generational

  • Agnes Mshai Mwakidedela

    This message came at the right time to me.May God bless the work of your hands and my He use you to encourage more people who have lost hope or are down that road of giving up.I just cant help myself but share this message with dozens of family members and friends who were giving up on my mentally sick brother.Thank you very much

  • Rhonda Waterman

    Thank god for you. Wish more of us would be more understanding.

  • Samantha Baker

    I have been dealing with Bipolar disorder for years when in 1997 I had finally had enough of the pain and tried to commit suicide. I am taking new medication now and I have also been diognosted with Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome due to a car accident that I had in 2006. I am angry that I am so stressed out and doped up that sometimes I can’t even think clearly. I also have epilepsy so taking the bipolar and anxiety meds are dangerous for me as well. When are they going to make medications without so many side affects? I would also like it if I wasn’t considered a liability to employers because of my health problems. I need for the dream that you and all of us that heve such disorders would be able to be looked at as the people that we and not the conditions that we have.

  • tomorrow’s promise

    Well written. I share in your dream, and will believe that one day it will be the truth.

  • Kathy H

    Thanks for revealing alot of how I feel nowadays. I just wish I had health insurance, and was able to access new doctors for getting myself back on medications for panic disorder, and my depression. So much of what you said is so true!! Kathy.

  • Patty P

    I think your dreams will come ture one day, there are just so many people that don’t understand yet just what it is like to live the way alot of us do. I lost my part time job because this Dr. that did my urine test for the assited living place i got a part time job at. He only gave me 3 days to get back to him and I did not get his messages until later the 3rd day after 5 pm. So he wrote a letter to the company that hired me part time and put is as I take illegal drugs and they had to let me go. How in the world are people on disability to get a job when you have someone putting in your record you do drugs. So I know where your coming from and If I was to tell them I take meds for Biploar boy I know this Dr would burn me but he didn’t see that in my urine test I guess. Thank God.
    Anyway I am with you in your dream for this one day to happen. We are no different then anyone else really if you think about it.
    Take Care,

  • Ken

    That is a wonderful dream. Unfortunately society will have to change to help and understand.

  • Karen

    I am praying right along with you. If only family and friends could understand, that would be a huge step.

  • Dee

    I can’t believe how well I relate to every post I’ve read of yours so far. Thank you for this amazing source of support and encouragement!!

  • LeAnne

    I hope and pray that all your dreams come true. Thank you for all of your articles.
    I’ve suffered with depression since I was eight. I believe it was when I first realized how having cerebral palsy would impact my parents’ lives as well as my own.
    Now, I’m nearly 69 years old. Yes, I still have depression off and on. BUT,my parents taught to never give up. And I HAVEN’t.
    My Life has been full with two great jobs, being active in the disability community and a 19 year marriage that wasn’t great and ended in divorce. I wrote a book of my life in poetry, called YOU WALK PRETTY.
    I now reside in an Assisted Living Facility where I keep active. I believe and always have that GOD has a purpose for each of us with or without a disability.
    Keep writing.

  • Jodi

    awesome. and thank you. we should all pray for this and it will be.

  • AnnMarie Cunniff

    I feel like you are dreaming my dream. I too wish the world would stop patting me on the back for whatever accomplishments I achieve while under the cloud of my mental illness. Although I never want it to be used as an excuse for something I am not capable of doing, I, also realize, that there are circustances where others need to recognize that mental illness surfaces when it surfaces and people must accept that. In other words, if I had a broken leg and you could see it you would understand it, but because you(in general) can not see my disability it does not mean that it does not exist. And because it exists, there are times when I will not be capable of doing certain things because of a minor or greater relapse.
    If you have not lived in the diseased mind, there is no way to completely understand how it functions, although you can say that about the mind period. No one knows what goes on in the mind of another period. I do not care how much education or knowledge you possess, if you have not lived in MY MIND you cannot know what takes place there. I have learned not to be embarrassed by my illness, but I have also learned to stand up for myself when there is something I am unable to do because of a relapse or an “incident” that triggers a relapse.
    What you do is of great service to many (I know I am patting you on the back) but even if you did not have an issue, I would still be saying the same thing. What you do is of great service to others with or without a mental disorder. You are high functioning…as I have also been told I am, and that makes it a murkey place to live. When people see that you are capable of functioning well under most conditions, they tend to discount you when you are in relapse. The murky place, the place where we are misunderstood. What solution is there for that place? Even though the broken leg is healed you still walk with a limp.

  • Chanda

    This is AWESOME! Thank you for finding all the right words I’ve been searching for when I think about, talk about, and live with depression. Thank you for blessing me with this today!

  • Kimber-lee

    I too have a dream much like yours I have battled depressed since i was an early teen and my Mother suffers with bipolor disorders , and it just so happens that my on- again off – again boyfriend does as well something sent me in here to read this article today and i thank you Therese for writing them .

  • paula

    This is so good. I have a social work class I am going to share this with. But I have suffered from depression. In 2004, my 19 yr. old daughter that suffered from bipolar took her life. So when people ask me I get the response.Oh, how do you make it. I would rather they respond with I want to help you with suicide prevention or let’s find a way to treat this better, not poor, pitiful you. I hope that your dream will one day be realized.

  • Valerie in Dayton, OH

    As you can see from the nickname, I’ve had problems all my life. The worst started after I had to have surgery from an injury at work. The surgery failed and now I have bipolar, severe chronic depression, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, hypothyroidism, Celiac Disease (caused from depression and stress), Suicidal, etc. The list goes on. If I weren’t on meds, I would have already killed myself. It hurts to even write about it.
    My family does not understand at all. They stay away from me. I’ve lost all my friends. All I have left are my dogs and they are my life now. If I didn’t feel pain everyday, I would think I was already dead.
    I’m going to print out what you wrote, Therese, and send it to all my family. My own children don’t want to be in my life. Unfortunately, I know my son has it too, but won’t get help. I haven’t spoken to them in over a year. I call and leave messages and tell them I love them and they never return my calls. Just once, I wish they would just answer the phone and talk to me. I do believe if my children were around me, I would not be as bad as I am. They just don’t understand.
    I wake up every morning wishing that I hadn’t. It would be so much easier to just go to sleep and never wake up. Evidently, I am here for a reason. I just need to figure out what it is.
    I’ve been so overwhelmed finding out that their are others like me. I didn’t realize there were so many of us.
    God Bless Us All!

  • Evelyn Mulder

    i too have weird dreams alot. I dream of babies in nothing but diapers running around my mom’s house with guns shooting up the place. i dream i get up out the bed, my spirit comes out of my body, i look down at myself. then i go into the living room hearing some kind of comotiom outside and i look out the window and there are babies in diapers running around with guns shooting up the place. police arrive and i go to check on my children and my mother. i look up and a dark stranger( for which i cannot see his face)is standing in the kitchen. i say please don’t hurt us. he turns around and goes out the back door. i put my children back to bed and return to my body. i also dream there is my dad’s car in my mom’s driveway and i go to put something in the back seat when i realize the hood is up. i walk around to front and the car turns into an airplane and my brother-in-law is doing something to the engine, he just looks up and smiles and continues doing whatever he is doing. then i wake up. i can’t quite figure out what’s going on on with my dreams

  • GodSalvation

    Greetings. This is GOD’S dream, too. GOD Bless us all! Amen

  • Amber

    That was enlightening! Finally someone who shares te same dream. I have often wondered why our healthcare(canadian)system was so uncaring. Well I think I know why.They don’t realy understand, anyway I loved this piece. Thank-you

  • Sharon, Toronto, ON

    Beautiful. A wray of warmth has shined into a dark place. Thank you for shining beams of light and hope into my cup. I don’t feel alone, espcially in the fight to speak out and speak up.

  • sarah jane

    I have never had the internet but now I do and it has really helped finding this web-site.I keep thinking I can get better on my own that if I really wanted to I could get better(especially when everyone that you love tells you so).Luckily I have a mother who is just like me,well I guess it isn’t lucky but you get the drift,I watched my whole childhood as she did nothing but sleep and tried to kill herself numerous times and I was the only one who was there to try to stop her.I was scared to go anywhere so I missed alot of school and it was hard to keep friends,my whole life was taking care of her.After a time I realized that all I was thinking of is killing myself and seeing things the way she did anyway it helps to talk to someone about it.It’s hard for me to talk to my counselor and pychiatrist because I have severe social phobia and I get in the office and just think what is the point anyway.I just tell myself maybe tomorrow things will be better and I do alot of praying.Sarah Jane!!

  • Annie Turner

    My dream is also taken the styma of depression lumping it all together with other mental illnesses. Also just because you’re depressed you want to commit sucide. Yes, there are some but not all — like me. I think of dying naturally; hopefully in my sleep while dreaming of my loved ones that have passed. I enjoyed the article.

  • carmen

    A mother of a message? NO WAY, THE MOTHER OF ALL MESSAGES!!!!!!
    THANK YOU, THANK YOU….. And by the way ( go to my comment in “Depression: It’s Spiritually Incorrect”)
    I forgot, I’m also bipolar. Sometimes, not all the time, I go from the highest point on earth, the Himalayas (I just came from there, I actually visit the region this past summer) to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea (I am also planning to go there, this summer, God provides). So, you see, sometimes, my life is like a roller coaster: physically (I actually travel a lot) and emotionally. Carmen
    I am successful, gorgeous, joyful, emotional, sensual, sexy, attractive, loving, giving, caring, youthful (66 years and 6 months young), healthy ( I went up the Potala Palace, in Lhasa, Tibet, 14,000ft. above sea level,
    like a champion, and I was the “senior citizen”)…………..and humble, of course!!!, all those previously mentioned “attributes” are not of my doing, I AM A WORK OF GOD IN PROGRESS.
    This was one of my down days, and this high is natural, not induced, reading this site does that for me, even when the circumstances are the same.
    People must understand that taking meds do not make you “numb”, you still have feelings, accept them
    but, don’t let those feelings rule your life all the time.

  • Bridget

    I have a daughter who is mentally ill and would love to share this with our local paper. Who do I give credit too and can I even do that?

  • Annie Turner

    Thank you for putting into words how I feel about myself. It was written as though you were reading my throughts. Keep up good job enlighting us into a positive future.

  • Seema

    Thank you for stating so eloquently what I am not even able to say to myself

  • Lynn

    I have my dreams, too. That people would acknowledge that I went through some pretty traumatizing things, and recognize my PTSD. That they would acknowledge my Transsexed Condition and help me to fix that. That people recognize that I’m scared and that I need help overcoming my fears.
    But I’ve come to the conclusion that these things will never happen. It would be nice if they did, but they won’t.
    I just wish people would open their eyes and actually see what’s going on around them instead of just pretending the whole world is their perfect little cornucopia that they insist on believing it is.

  • Pili

    It sounds like a nice dream…but I’m afraid it won’t happen in my lifetime (I’m 25).

  • Angela

    Oh, I felt this to be so heart warming. I suffered many years with bi-polar disease. All of the ups and downs, Pulling my friends and family into my dark tornado. My wish is that our nation will look at mental illness with an open heart, and open mind. Educate ourselves.
    Like many other illneses mental illness is treatable.
    For me, life is great now. I am taking a medication that is working wonders. I have a great support system, my dad, my step-mom, my sister, my children, and my wonderfully patient and loving husband.
    I have a “dream” that we are all holding hands in peace, love and harmony.
    Angela Clarkson

  • Cyaegha42

    I thank you for sharing your dream, and thank all of you who responded in much the same way I am : I share your dream, too. And I pray that it comes sooner, rather than later. God bless.

  • marilyn

    do you think this world of judgemental people will ever be accepting.i not only fight depression but i lived in a an alternitive life style my whole life and now chose not to live like does the battles ever end.Thankfull theres places and people like ohere that gives us some hope and encouragement..
    so we must keep fight thanks to everyone who stands by me in this battle.may God bless each of you.

  • Your Name

    I try to deal with my depression with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, talk therapy, getting enough sleep & staying positive, when I can. I don’t let people see me at my worst; not even family. I usually DON’T BRING UP the subject of my mental health problems with strangers.
    I will keep pushing along day by day. God has allowed me to turn my worries over to him & if I dont'; He reminds me! I get a lot of positive feelings when I can help someone or volunteer somewhere. I haven’t been at a place that I go out of my way to volunteer. I am dreaming of the courage to venture out into the world & get back to helping others in some small ways.

  • DoubleGoat

    I deal with the emotional disorders that come from having Fibromyalgia such as depression and anxiety. My way of dealing with it is being free as possible in discussing it. So free that when I gave my daughter a wrist band with the words “Fibromyalgia is real” on it…she said, “There are people who doubt it?”. I do pray that someday the world can be less judgmental regarding all differences and realize the blessings that come with each one.

  • Leslie

    Absolutely beautifully and perfectly said.

  • linda marie

    It defies my imagination that anyone would stomp on your dream, Teresa.
    I stand with you, as I am sure Rev. King would. His (and yours) is a dream of inclusiveness — not a contest to see who has the worst life.

  • Catparent

    DoubleGoat — you said it right. The more we stand up for ourselves and our fellow sufferers, the better things will get. Sometimes I think I may have been afflicted with FMS and depression just so I can use my outgoing self to help others!

  • Your Name

    I dream of less stigma to mental illness, too. To look at me, you would NOT know I was bipolar, so why should I be treated any differently? Is my blood not red? Are my eyes not blue? Treat your neighbor as yourself, and try to understand, please??

  • SuzanneWA

    Jeesh, I can’t get used to running out of TIME when I write my little notes; thus, leaving off my name. I wrote the above, Therese, whether you get THIS one or not!!

  • Your Name

    Thank You!!!
    I share that Dream also.
    It has been a very hard lately for me, I didn’t know if I would make thru this one, yet I seem to be okay for now.I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO REACH OUT TO ANYMORE. I live in North Fla. in the county where there is no good support. So Thank You for putting into words My Biggest Wish & Dream

  • vicki

    I share your dream, for all of the people that I know who suffer from the various forms of mental illness. My mother suffered all of her life. She suffered numerous ” nervous breakdowns, had shock treatments which really messded up her mind and memory. To this day she is physically and mentally disabled. I also suffer from depression and anxiety. This has led to chronic fatigue syndrome. We need to pray and reach out to anyone who will listen and make them understand that this is an illness just as alcholism is an illness!!!! This needs to become more than a dream it needs to become reality!!!!

  • Your Name

    I recently had to “come clean” about my anxiety and depression to a superior at work. After the initial meltdown and major embarassment, I felt a sense of relief, of a weight being lifted. But that was momentary, for now I’m paranoid that it will “get out” and ruin my reputation as a successful top performer. Living w/ anxiety, depression and panic attacks is bad enough without having to be fearful of sharing the diagnosis. Mental health is as “real” and as important as physical health, if not more so. I trust that the stigma will someday be lifted, when medical science can validate the biology behind the chemical imbalance(s) that affect millions. But until then, yes, I dream of the day we can be who we are with no other explanation required.

  • Your Name

    AMEN! May that dream become a reality, and sooner rather than later. In the meantime, may we cope, and our friends support us. They don’t always “get it” and I don’t “get it” either, but I got it, and I can’t just wish it away. Thank you, Therese, for your dream.

  • Karen

    Amen to that! My daughter and I have suffered from this for years. My husband still thinks a person can “get over it!”

  • Amy

    Wow, that brought tears to my eyes (good ones). What a powerful and true post.

  • Day by Day

    After being passed over for promotion because I broke down in front of my boss about my upcoming divorce and struggle with depression, it can’t happen soon enough. Compassion and understanding does not exist in corporate America no matter how well you perform. Also don’t forget about the inability to get life insurance or volunteer for certain organizations when you check the box yes for “Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness like depression”.

  • Cathy

    Hi, I’ve met a really good guy on-line. He has disclosed his illness and some of my friends are telling me to dump him. I really care about him and would love to get married someday. We are both almost 50 years old. He has been on medication for years and sees his counselor faithfully. He himself is a counselor. Can we have a good relationship? I want to dream of the day when I can love this man for who he is without being judged.

  • Your Name

    Amen I totally agree with you and wish for all those to come true someday as well. The best was waking up and not first wondering what kind of mood you are in and instead get out of bed and be able to pray and be thankful for the blessings we have and not have to wake up and first thing look at our mood and what we could be in store for the rest of the day!!!

  • Your Name

    Bravo, for writing about how people are treated at their work place. I too have that same dream that you have just written. I just believe that I have a  place in society just like anyone else. I to have biplar disorder and I talk about my illness, am very proud and happy to tell everyone about my illness and how to work through it and know that I am just as good as anyone who doesn’t suffer from any kind of mental illness. Take care

  • Jen

    I loved this I too have that dream that I wont squirm when I tell people I suffer from Depression that they wont look at me as some freak. I am on the way back from hell and studying after 8 years of nothing I.m 50 now and rebuilding after the darkness really got me
    remember everyone there is a way bck and it can happen and try and not let others effect you because of the stigma and there ignorance .
    Jen xoxo

  • Joan

    This is sooooo awesome. Kudos to the person who wrote this for you speak to and for the many people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses and feel shunned by ignorant people. I am going to print this article to encourage those I know who suffer also from mental disorders. Thanks for your help and concern.

  • Linda

    Yes, you can have a good relationship! I have been with my Husband for 39 years. Our Daughter was diagnosed first, they are both very caring, wonderful people. There is never a dull moment in this household, it helps to have a few tranqulizers for myself, just in case.

  • learning to heal

    I have been a victim of a lot of this unfair treatment, I know how it feels to be staired at when at family functions because they dont understand. Depression and other disorders are viewed as taboo in my family so I suffer in secret. And holding a job Yeah that is one thing I wish I could do, instead I am fired because a panic attach “Disrupted the flow of the work place”
    I am glad that others are standing up and saying this is not our fault and we really cant control these things, the fight is just starting for all of us but like racism, sexism and all the other prejustices around us, it will always be there, like the ugly scars on my arm, always there to remind you, you cant hide your past, all you can do is learn to deal with it.

  • Lenore Sword

    This is so awesome! I especially love your admonition to “New Agers.”
    Thanks for this!

  • Lisa

    I loved this….. Im bookmarking it so I can share it with friends…… I too have these same Dreams…. One day….. maybe.. Thank you for posting!

  • Jamesm

    People always talk about the dream that MLK had (which has NOT come true!)
    The never talk about the nightmares that MLK had:
    1) He thought he would be killed;
    2) One of his other nightmares was that the USA would spend even more on WMD than they were spending for Vietnam. (This nightmare, we’re in the midst of it!)
    So I am glad everyone here seems to be feeling better, but you may be falling into the trap set by Satan (see revelation 18:23 and Isaiah 47:12-13)
    From the bewilderness–thanks for coming!

  • Leah

    This is awesome!!! I was diagnosed w/ PTSD 15 years ago, and the depression that accompanies it is overwhelming at times. I truly do find myself feeling very alone. Anti-depressants and anti-psychotics did nothing but make me a hostile mess too. The only relief I have found for depression is the antioxidants that come in fruits like cherries and berries. Still, I think it is wise for anyone suffering with depression to speak with their doctor about the best treatment for them. Peace to all.

  • Glenda the good witch

    Post this again everywhere today!!!Wonderful!!!!

  • brighteststarr

    wonderful & absolutely so open and such touching reality of being bipolar and having mental health issues!thanks for bringing our issues to the for front cause we all have isssues and they need to be out in the open, god bless you for your sincere honesty!

  • Patricia Groshong

    Thank you. I didn’t know this existed until I subscribed to The Happiness Project. WHo doesn’t want to be more happy or just happy? Thank you for making this public. I write in my journal all the secrets I’d like to share with a human. The ups and downs of life. The unhappy from a past I cannot change. The constant fluxuations of emotion that despair me to no end. This blog you have is incredible. I wish your book was out now. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for all this you’ve done. It’s like sharing a day with you and others, a life you might say. And that helps alot.

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