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Glenn Close strives to spread awareness about mental illness to end the associated stigma
Posted in Depression, Mental Health, Treatment - 0 Comments

Not many are brave enough to reveal and share about mental health problems running in their genes. It takes a lot of strength and innate courage to act responsibly and offer the much needed support and care to your loved ones when they confess about the demon called mental problems troubling them. The realization that mental illnesses are common and can affect anyone came to actor Glenn Close when her sister and nephew were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, respectively.

In a recent interview with CBS News, the American actress, singer and film producer revealed how she was unaware about mental illnesses and their prevalence in her earlier years. Recalling her famous role of an obsessed woman in “Fatal Attraction,” Glenn shared how she was completely ignorant about the fact that she had been essaying the role of an emotionally distraught character in the movie.

Explaining her ignorance about the possible emotional disorder that shaped the behavior of Alex Forrest, the character essayed by her in the movie, Glenn added, “I’m always amazed that when I was researching that role, that no one brought up the idea that she might have a mental disorder or that she might have a behavior triggered by something in her past. I think if I was offered that script today, I would certainly look at it from a totally different point of view.”

Need to get necessary help to prevent other complications

However, Glenn realized the pervasiveness of mental diseases when her sister Jessie Close told her about her worst nightmares. Jessie was diagnosed with symptoms of bipolar disorder at the ripe age of 50. Shocking, yet true! Jessie had been showing signs of extreme behavior all her life, while people around her suspected her to be only violent and wild. Jessie revealed how she found it difficult to sleep at night and a voice that kept ringing in her ears provoked her to kill herself. She finally found relief in 2003 when she sought mental help with the support of her sister, with whom she had also shared how suicidal thoughts were troubling her.

Explaining how lucky she felt when her sister got the necessary psychiatric help, Glenn said, “I never knew how close. Many people who live with bipolar disorder have deaths by suicide.” In fact, it was only after she got to understand mental health problems that she chose to reach out to people with mental illnesses across the U.S. and spread awareness about mental health conditions. Battling with depression for the past many years, Glenn had experienced mental problems up and close. To make people understand that mental problem is just a disease and that people should not shy away from seeking treatment, in 2010, Glenn along with her sister laid the foundation stone for a non-profit, “Bring Change to Mind,” which is involved in creating multimedia campaigns and arranging events to inspire people talk about their mental health issues.

Voicing awareness about mental issues

Glenn encourages those people to come forward who prefer to keep silent about their mental conditions, fearing the backlash from the society and the associated stigma. She motivates them to join the group and share their emotional turmoil with others in order to feel accepted, which is the first step to saving their lives.

The organization also focuses on students attending college and high school considering that mental problems are common in that age group. Discounting the myth that all people with mental illness are violent that stems from incidents like the school shooting in Florida and other U.S. states, Glenn said, “The biggest majority of people living with mental illness are more preyed upon than preying upon. But it does seem to be that somebody who does one of these terrible acts is suffering from some sort of mental disorder.”

Need to come together to help people with mental illness

When asked about some reliable strategies to tackle the widespread menace of mental health issues haunting the U.S., Glenn pointed to the ardent need of more reliable funding to take care of mental health problems and their treatment. People with mental illness are usually forced to remain aloof, with the society mostly ignoring them. It’s time Americans realize that the problem of mental health is not a singular problem, but an issue that needs attention from one and all.

People need to be aware that mental illnesses are treatable just like any other physical disorder. To know details about suicidal ideation treatment for women, get in touch with Sovereign Health that provides treatment for addiction, mental problems and dual dignosis. Call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online for further information.

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