Right Words in the Right Place – Overcoming Stigma

If one looks at the jour le jour (Day by Day) page for Berneval


One sees listed medications. One is for HIV+ the other for a mental health condition.

I thus avoid a clinical label and it is up to persons to search out what these drugs are meant to treat.

For the longest time, I remained silent about my condition except when conversing with colleagues who had a child or relative going through something similar. The revelation suited the context.

Lately, I have realized that my self-discipline in recognizing stress patterns in myself and others has arisen from recouperating from bouts of mania and psychotic breaks. I have grown to understand a way of “coming out” that makes sense to me and isn’t just the rehashing of a clinical label. I have experience. Why deny it?

I now feel more comfortable simply stating in passing whenever appropriate that I had experienced psychotic breaks, further explaining that “break” is not quite the right word to describe “a voyage to the outer reaches of being human” and to add that I am glad I got to come back.

I own this language. And I can grow to be as casual (or not) about it as dropping my lover’s name into conversation.

It has been a long journey to reach this point. I am indebted to people who have shared their stories with me and to those who have pushed the discourse of neurodiversity. It is good not to think in deficit terms.

And so for day 2737

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