Early this week I posted a trailer from the interview I did with SeaTread Studios on my Facebook page along with a new video of an opening they created. Since the posting of those videos my friend list has dropped considerably.
I use Facebook almost exclusively to network with other writers, and 90% or more of those writers don’t know me in person. When I post to Facebook it is usually a status update about a rejection or acceptance I received for a piece of writing I submitted, and occasionally I will post a link to an article that I had published.
There are some things about my diagnosis that I have posted on Facebook but I don’t do it often, and people who have recently accepted me as a friend, would need to scroll way back to see any reference to mental illness.
I have read from many writers on my friend list that they lost many followers and friends on Facebook when they turned their profile picture into a rainbow in support of marriage equality, or if they posted something in support of the new interpretation of law.
I also read that many people lost friends around their reaction to the shootings in Charleston.
So, I was aware that some people won’t associate with you when you support LGBT rights or an end to racism, but now I also know that there are people who won’t associate with you if you have a mental illness.
I wonder if it is just schizophrenia though, because I often see writers post about their struggles with bipolar disorder (many of the people on my friend list write about this) and I have never seen them post about losing friends and contacts over it.
All I know is that we have a long way to go in terms of acceptance, tolerance, and equality in this country and it isn’t just a fight for the LGBT or people of color. The mentally ill are discriminated against too.
If there was a new law about the treatment of people with a mental illness would millions of people change their profile pictures in order to show their support?
Sadly, I think we are the last and the least; an overlooked, misunderstood, stigmatized and marginalized group of society who often has a hard time discovering or using our voices.
For me, silence is no longer an option.