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Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.

We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?

Please share your stories with us during the month of April.

A bigger obstacle than psychiatric ward staff to the treatment of a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) patient is that of a psychiatric doctor. Why? Because there is still a divide between the people who believe/assert/think/etc that DID exists and people who think it’s humbug and that we’re all faking it. The person supposed to treat you may not even believe you are telling the truth!

So you may now understand my relatively high level of anxiety and paranoia when entering a doctor’s office. Either I’ll be respected and treated as an equal, or I’ll be patronized and treated as though I’m just a vivid actress faking a bunch of crazy shit. The third option is that the doc wants to believe me, but actually has no fucking clue about what Dissociative Disorders are, and, evidently, has no clue how to treat me.

My experience yesterday was something like this: if you put the three options within equal distances of each other and drew lines to find the smack middle, my doc would have been sitting on top of the bulge of the three coalescing lines. She had quite a carefree outlook, vivid vocabulary, mild hand gestures. Naturally she wanted to hear everything explained, again, in detail. Fortunately my care worker was with me.

I stared at my thighs, and at my Adventure Time leggings, as the doc said in a chirpy voice, ”You’re not exactly normal, are you? You’re like a splash of color.” I giggled at this – my leggings and my unicorn hoodie were both so colorful I reckon the eyes of passersby would sting. ”No, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly normal.”

The doc decided I’ll stay till Friday, then try being home for the weekend and then come back for the beginning of the week, during which we’d have my second treatment plan meeting.

I have been given permission to take outings during the day. Physical exercise is very important for me in order to keep dissociation at bay, so I went to the gym today, as well as a walk. It is the time of year I wish I lived somewhere else, somewhere where it didn’t start getting dark after 3 pm.

So here I am, sitting on my hospital bed with my small turquoise HP Chromebook purring in my lap, waiting for my designated nurse to come knock on the door again.