Stigma

Stigma
The negative stereotyping or stigma associated with mental illness is significant. I have touched upon this subject in several places and it deserves mention again here. There are many anti-stigma campaigns running every year and hopefully, these are beginning to have a positive effect. My daughter feels the impact of stigma much more than I do because I can correct people's perception if I encounter stigma. For my daughter, it is still such a blow to her self-esteem, that she does not always have the confidence to overcome it. She does a lot of public speaking and tries to enlighten people how damaging the stigma can be.

Manipulation

Manipulation
I used to think that much of the time my daughter was manipulating me. This was something that took me some time to understand: when was it the mental illness and when was it manipulation. The answers came as I learned more about things like cognitive deficits, and when I began to understand more about mental illness in general. I recognized that mostly there was no overt attempt to manipulate me, and while there may indeed have been some attempts, it was no big deal if I went along with them most of the time. I would do a quick assessment to determine the cost or impact, and if neither cost or impact were significant, I would not waste energy and risk losing trust by second guessing that it was manipulation. If I was subject to manipulation, I’m satisfied that it was mostly unintentional or unplanned by my daughter. Maybe it was lack of confidence, ability, or a cry for help and not deliberate intent or manipulation.