The experiences of her bipolar, and how she’d, used her experiences, to help others who are experiencing similar trials in their lives, offering them the support she worked so hard to get, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
When Yun Lee was twenty-one, because she had the self-mutilation wounds on her wrists, her school reported her as “attempted suicide”. Since that day, she was labeled as “person of interest” by the local offices of sanitations’ system of “suicide watch”. Lee was placed in psychiatric care, and psychotherapy, but this was, a despairing process of her to experience.
Three years ago, Lee gathered her own journal entries and used the pseudonym “Lin” to publish the book, “Note of Psychological Illnesses”, criticized how the psychiatrists only see the illnesses, and not the patients. Using a pseudonym, because she didn’t want to announce to the world that she has bipolar, she said, the society expects those “who help others to be mentally stable”, that the notes of her self-mutilating process were nowhere NEAR okay, if she disclosed that she’d had these encounters, it may impact her jobhunting process.
Until two years ago, she’d started writing under her real name. Because she and other psychiatric patients like her, set up a “Taiwanese Psychologically Ill Association”, a support group from the angle of trauma medicine, to help the voices of the psychologically ill patents get heard, to change the unfriendly system.
“Homosexuals also came out together”, Lee had been out of the closets for many years already, the experience of coming out as a lesbian was from her “Crazy Persons’ Movement”. She’d called herself “crazy”, and, embraced the blemished identity of being psychologically ill, like how some of the homosexual persons called themselves “queer”.
Lee pointed out, the psychologically ill persons’ reasons for not “coming out” is same as the reason why homosexuals couldn’t, worried that they may lose the connection with the “normal” people in the world: “When you’d become nothing in the society you live, this, is how it kills us, not the illnesses themselves.”
The writer, Hsu was thirty years prior to Lee, and back then, the talks of homosexuality, mental illnesses, were even more, tabooed.
Two decades ago, as those who had depression were afraid to go get treated, Lin penned down, “Goodnight, Depression”, to describe his own experiences with depression. After his book was published, he’d received a ton of reader responses, and showed his passage to the psychiatrist treating her/him, and, another had placed his publication on the nightstands, to remind her/himself, that “I’m not alone.”
In 2009, Lin left his final note on his blog, ignited a discussion on the boards. Hsu knew, that he didn’t WANT to die, and the reason he’d published that final note was because he was in too much pain, that he couldn’t, take it anymore. “Maybe, I’m, making an example of myself, to the other people with psychological illnesses, that if you can’t take it, seek out help.”
Writing, showing up, these are, all, signals of S.O.S., a need to be, understood. Lee often received calls from others with shared experiences as she, “They felt that I understood what they are going through.” But even IF we have the same diagnosis, that doesn’t mean that I understand what another individual is going through, that I can, empathize with them. “Every patient is an island”, with varied reasons of what drove us insane, and we are all unique, in the expression of our, insanity, but, “being together is enough, at least, we won’t, feel, so alone in this.”
And so, this points out the importance of having that needed social support when you’re in trouble, but, even if there are supports, people don’t normally seek it out, because, they’re all still, socialized into thinking, that, mental illness is bad, that if I come out of the dark, people won’t understand me, and so, they keep on, suffering on their own, without knowing, that all they need to do is to, reach out, and, help will come to them, and besides, that very first step out, is always, never easy, because you don’t know how the outside world will see you, and nobody wants to be labeled as, CRAZY, so that’s why, all of these sufferings, are going, unnoticed.