Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrities fight against the stigma of Mental Illness

Today I was watching my favorite morning news program and Dr. Sanjay Gupta was interviewing Lakers player Ron Artest. Artest went onto to say how his life has been changed by the therapy he sought from a Psychologist. Artest is best known for punching out a fan at one of his games and he said he has anger management issues, but with therapy he has learned better ways to cope. He also sold he championship ring for $500,000 to start programs in the community for therapy for high risk kids. He says one day he would like to be a role model and I think he is on the right road. It just shows you when you turn your life around you can change so many lives and you never know how that can change the world. This was on the heels of the story the of Eric Ainge announcing that he has bipolar disorder. Ainge was a Quarterback for the University of Tennessee and a fifth-round draft choice with the New York Jets. Eric also talks about his heavy drug use which is not a surprise because a lot of people with mental do self medicate. While Eric and Artist will have a life long battle these two men should be commended for having the courage for coming forward and this might empower others to seek help.

I would also like to mention Glenn Close who is huge supporter against the stigma of mental illness. Glenn Close has a sister, Jessie Close, who has bipolar disorder and Jessie's son Calen Pick has Schizo-Affective disorder. When Glenn Glose was on Good Morning America she said "Mental Illness is just part of the human condition" and added that we should "talk about it as openly as cancer or diabetes." She has also started her own non-profit organization called BringChange2Mind. You can find other information on her organization at her website at