If there was something I could do as a health activist, it would be to raise awareness of various illnesses and erase the stereotypes associated with them. That depressed people aren’t really trying to get better, or are lazy, that people with fibromyalgia or other types of chronic pain are whiny or lazy, aren’t doing enough or are just giving up. And that people with dissociative identity disorder (formally multiple personality disorder) aren’t all psychotic, broken people who just go on killing sprees and can’t live normal lives. And that above all, these people aren’t weak. They aren’t weaklings or cowards who give in without a fight and just accept their fate. Because damn it all, we fight to not just exist and live out miserable half lives… We fight to live a full, meaningful, happy life with a sense of gratitude for what we do have, something often left out in societies focused on obtaining or achieving MORE.
I don’t know how I would do it if I had an unlimited supply of money. Perhaps public service ad campaigns, TV, radio, billboards and other public venues. Maybe even have an educational series on public tv that’s also online for those without tv… I think a collective of informative books would be nice, ones that didn’t make all or nothing statements, because each person and situation is different.
I think the way I would do it now would to be to pick an illness, and find what people who have it say about it. Gather well written blog posts, medical articles, facts, figures, graphs, lists of treatment options… Even maybe some comics for those who struggle with the illness, so when they read can laugh and say, “yeah aint that the truth” because we all need to know we aren’t alone, and we need to laugh. Life gets so serious and sometimes…often, downright depressing. Which doesn’t help anything quite frankly. I’d also have resources in the back, listings of medical associations, research funds, support groups, blogs, forums… Even merchandise that helps fund research. I’d gather all of this up and make a book. I’d sell it everywhere, and profits would go to finding a cure or better treatment, or those who have fallen in a time of need and could use a hand.
And maybe I will… But its gonna be one hell of an undertaking, but most things that are worthwhile are 😉
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J