Being Doubly Shamed in Psychosis

The Bipolar Writer

There’s something strange that occurs in highly stigmatized identities: the shame of being that identity and the shame of wanting to be identified as that identity. As someone with a degree of sustained insight, it was difficult to explain how my life was being run by a bunch of lies. Lies that would make me too scared to shower alone or to shower with the shower curtain closed. Lies that convinced me that I was actively pursued by entities that I couldn’t fully comprehend. And lies that convinced me that my own wife’s miscarriage was part of a curse and that it was all my fault.

Psychiatrists became dismissive when they saw that I did not fit their cookie-cutter description of a diagnosis. “That’s totally normal,” they were deadpan, despite my anxious demeanor, “everyone experiences those kinds of things.” True, everyone gets spooked by shadows… but I felt as though…

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