Mental illness is a disease just like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Unlike those other diseases, mental illness is looked upon much differently. Anyone dealing with a mental illness, like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and many others often feel ashamed of having a mental illness. Dealing with being bipolar for example has it’s issues that can disrupt your life completely, especially if you are going through a manic phase and you’re not thinking clearly. The family of a person dealing with a mental illness face a lot of obstacles. They often time have no idea when that family member is going through an episode until it is where they can see it. It is much harder for a wife, husband, mother, father, brother or sister to deal with a person suffering from a mental illness. I feel like society as a whole make dealing with a mental illness difficult because when other’s find out someone has a mental illness it’s like you have the plague. These are my own thoughts, but I have known people that deal with depression and bipolar disorder and it hurts to see someone you love deal with the up and down feeling they have from this illness. There are medications for these diseases; however it can take a lot of trial and error to finally find the correct combination of medication to help control the depressive side of the illness and the manic side of being bipolar. What I find most startling is that the African American population I think have the strongest stigma against those with a mental illness. Why you ask is this such an issue with the African American population? A lot of African Americans think that it’s more of a spirit within that person that’s cause them to have the problem. African American people believe that the person is going through what they feel is some type of mental illness is because they aren’t spiritual enough and that perhaps one has turned their back on God, therefore this is their punishment by God. I am sure there are other cultures that shun their people that deal with some sort of mental illness, but the only way society will understand mental illness is to become more educated on the subject. I wish more people would take time to talk to someone that deals with a mental illness and try and understand how it affects their life and their families.