Facing stigma and discrimination, overcoming hardships such as abuse, homelessness and traumatic memories can be difficult, but it can get better. Finding inner strength and connecting with the right people or local programs can make all the difference. Visit www.Up2SD.org to view personal story movies created by San Diegans to inspire, offer hope and challenge stereotypes.
“I grew up in rural Michigan and you didn’t discuss such things as depression. Many suicide attempts, in many forms, marked my twenties and thirties. In retrospect they were cries of desperation that went unheard and unnoticed. The more I drank, the more suicidal I was. The alcohol and drug problems clouded the issue, but eventually I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic depression.
For years it was: I am Bruce, my diagnosis is… The label defined who I was. Now the diagnosis is secondary to whom I am as a person. I have been sober for 14 years; and I am proud of that! I still have bad days, but they are not quite as dark as before. I can show up for my life and take part in it!
Everybody knows someone that has a mental health problem, whether it’s mentioned or not. Show them the same compassion as you would for someone with diabetes or a bad heart. And if you haven’t found the help you need, there are new medicines, new treatments and new programs all the time. Don’t give up hope” – Bruce
Watch Bruce’s story at: www.Up2SD.org