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A Letter to President Obama

Posted on August 25, 2015 in Advocacy Stigma

Dear Mr. President:

I live with bipolar disorder.

Recently, you called the Republicans in the Senate “crazies”. While I will admit that they are out of control, you put me — a Democrat — in an awkward position.

Every day of my life I live with an illness that affects my mind and draws prejudice to me. I hear that I am violent even though statistics show otherwise; I hear that I am unable to think and reason; I am left out of society by unemployment and ostracization. People fear me because I am mentally ill.

You have been a great supporter of people like me. Your health care plan made it possible for the dysfunctions of our brain to receive the same right of treatment as the dysfunctions of our liver, our colons, our pancreas, our kidneys, our thyroid — to name a few. Our privacy is protected under HIPAA. These are all great things.

But when you call your political opponents “crazy”, you use my diagnosis as an insult. You add to the stigma that I must deal with from many quarters. And you put me in the same pen as the most destructive political movement since the decade before the Civil War.

I am crazy. The Republican Congress is willful, destructive, and evil. Please make the separation. Do not paint them with the brush that I already must wear.

Sincerely,

Joel

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