All Up In My Mental: 4th Perspective by Michael Tenorio

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hi, friends! It's a new year, and it's time to finally share a new perspective on mental illness, metal health and overall awareness of the two. Let's dive right into the fourth perspective, shared by Michael Tenorio -- I've linked the IG he shared with me but I was unable to successfully locate his current account--please reach out and let me know! I tried to DM you to let you know I'd be sharing your piece today! Thank you for allowing us into your world!

Q: Do you know anyone with a mental health condition? If yes, who?
A: Yes, several people, including myself.

Q: What were your preconceived notions about disorders such as bipolar 1 & 2 or schizophrenia?
A: I was diagnosed with anxiety, clinical depression, and anorexia around the ages of 14-16 so I had a pretty early exposure to mental health issues. That being said, I never had any encounters, to my knowledge, with people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia I would encounter from one particular displaced woman around where I lived at the time. Like most people, the first words that came to my mind were "crazy" and "manic."

Q: Has that changed over time, and why?
A: Definitely; mainly by a lot of self education. Reading new articles in scientific journals, having people come out about their mental health struggles and sharing their stories, etc. I became curious about other mental health disorders because of my own. It was almost like these functioned for me as gateway to studying other mental health disorders.

Q: Do you think depression and anxiety are less taboo topics now?
A: I agree with that sentiment. With TV shows and film sharing more stories about these disorders. Also, there are so many people coming out on social media and even celebrities sharing their stories. These people, these influencers, are paving a way for the rest of us to come out and seek support. Sometimes, even having a close friend of yours admit it is even more influential.

Q: How about schizophrenia and bipolar, in comparison?
A: Bipolar disorder seems to be is ahead of schizophrenia in the public discussion. Schizophrenia is still a fairly taboo subject. It's like the elephant in the mental health condition room. I hear the least amount of information about schizophrenia. I hear more about serial killers, which has a much more serious connotation, than I do about schizophrenia, which isn't as violent, but just as serious.

Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: Bringing awareness to these issues is incredibly important. Sharing personal stories to show to others that you are not alone, that not one story is "better" or "worse" than yours, that all these issues are valid and you are allowed to feel the way you feel, and that there is a culture and a community around you to support you. It's just good to know that.

If you'd like to take part in this series, anonymously or openly, please take a look at the survey here or feel free to reach out to me directly via my contact form.

Photos Captured + Edited By: Melissa Catahan

You Might Also Like