Dancing in the Doghouse: People with Mental Illness Have New Ways of Telling Their Story

Society has put the mentally ill in the doghouse. Many are rapidly finding new vehicles for reducing the stigma and reaching out to those who suffer. How we see the mentally ill is changing, and it’s all happening right now: in real time.
By: Alisa E. Clark
Oct. 22, 2009 - PRLog -- Society often puts the mentally ill in the doghouse: they’re disfavored and unpopular in many circles. All around us are people with mental health issues. They’re often tired of hiding and tired of being misunderstood. Many are rapidly finding new vehicles for sharing their story to reduce the stigma and to let others know they are not alone.  

Technology has given the mentally ill a powerful voice which reaches far beyond previous borders. On-line chat rooms are filled with the voices of those afflicted with mental disorders and the people who support them. Videos addressing the realities of the disorders of the mind are a click away. Free social networking and micro blogging networks are everywhere. Print on demand allows just about anyone to become and author who changes the perceptions of the mentally ill for a larger audience. The day to blow the stigma wide open has arrived. Today the voices of the mentally ill can reach the world.

Attitudes about mental disorders are being brought to the public’s attention at an increasing speed. It is becoming more and more unpopular to view these disorders as character flaws. Words like lunatic, deranged and crazy are now politically incorrect. These changes are coming about greatly due to a technological revolution. People who once had no voice are now empowered.

People who once marginalized the mentally ill are getting a new education. Television advertising normalizes depression, anxiety and other disorders. Doctors’ offices are pumped with information on emotional disorders and the drugs and programs that help those with them. Magazines and newspapers are everywhere and are filled with the stories of those who are ready to speak. Bookstores often have a section set aside for mental health issues: something never heard of in the past. People want to change the stigma. Everywhere you can hear their voices.

A simple internet search reveals endless websites, books and materials aimed at providing support and a new understanding of mental disorders. A fresh and bold voice on the subject of mental illness can be heard in a new memoir titled Dancing in the Doghouse. The author writes about her own struggle with mental illness to reach out to those who need support and those who might want to learn more. This is just one example of what’s changing how we look at mental health issues. New books, articles and websites are being created every day. The number of new vehicles for changing the stigma is becoming countless.

Today you might find the mentally ill in the doghouse but you can hear them in there: they’re sharing, they’re bold and they’re dancing in there. No longer will the voices of the once marginalized be silenced; there are just too many ways for their voices to be heard and understood. People are sharing their stories and they are learning how to reach the world with each and every one. Never again will the mentally ill hide, be marginalized or misunderstood. Today they have new freedom to dance in the doghouse.

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Journey on Canvas invites readers to share their own journey through the venue of spiritual autobiography. Check out suggestions for beginning a journal to tell your story as well as read excerpts from a spiritual autobiography at www.journeyoncanvas.com

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