Mental Illness and Alienation

April 16, 2012 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

I have touched on this before. A couple of times. Other bloggers on have as well because it is important. Very important. It is part of living with--and recovering from--a mental illness.

Living With A Mental Illness Makes Us Feel Different

There is no way around this. And it makes sense. Before you are diagnosed with a mental illness you might have felt "different." Perhaps your actions separated you from others. As a result, you may have felt alienated. Alone.

After you were diagnosed feeling different leads to alienation. You are suddenly thrown into the whirlwind known as Recovering From Mental Illness.

Alienation and Mental Illness

When you are suddenly waiting in line at the pharmacy, sitting in a chair waiting for your psychiatrist, describing how you feel, perhaps charting your mood, your sleep, what you eat...the list goes on. And on. And on. The result? You feel different. You might feel as if the world is a place you no longer belong in; you are suddenly alien to it.

The friends you had before, you might wonder if they will stand beside you if you falter. Your family? You wonder if they understand, if they can, what you are going through.

They cannot. Try as they might, mental illness is alienating. It survives in your mind, playing around with your neurons, and you try to put the pieces back together.

You feel alienated. Alone in your struggle. But you're not. We are not.

Living With A Mental Illness Does Not Make You Strange

But it can make you feel as if you are; living on the outskirts of 'normal' society. Mental illness is an invisible disability and because of this being diagnosed with a mental illness spurs feelings of being alone in our struggle.

But the person who lives down the road, or down the hall, they too might struggle with mental illness. If one in four people, at some point in their lives, live with mental illness we are in large company. Albeit probably not happy company, but company nonetheless.

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, April 16). Mental Illness and Alienation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

wind energy
December, 12 2014 at 2:01 am

Everything is very open with a precise description of the
challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
Thanks for sharing!

April, 21 2012 at 5:23 pm

As someone who has recovered from bipolar disorder (not cured) I know these feelings only too well. I can say that recovery is possible, and it begins by becoming grateful for the unique qualities that make you You. Self acceptance is not an easy road, but there are many people who can help, trust those who resonate with you to guide you forwards.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 22 2012 at 7:11 am

Your comment has really hit home with me and I know it has for other people. Thank you for you positive and unique perspective!

April, 19 2012 at 12:05 pm

This article has a lot of interesting and helpful information. Besides the treatment you are receiving from your doctor one of the best things you can do is to learn all you can about your illness and ways to help control it. I think information like this can be very positive.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 20 2012 at 6:28 am

Hi, Bhealthy"
Thank you for finding the article educational!

Mark Koning (@mark_koning)
April, 17 2012 at 6:25 am

Thanks, I like reading these articles, they make me think..... allow me even to learn some things and make comments. Sometimes I feel like the only person I can talk to is inside my head; so thanks for sharing this.

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