January 16th 2015

People who struggle with psychiatric disorders often face stigma directly and indirectly, which only exacerbates their suffering. This stigma appears to arise from misconceptions and misunderstandings about the nature of psychiatric disorders. There are ample examples of things going awry in the lives of those with psychiatric disorders, who often portrayed in the media as being dangerous, frightening, or simply incapable of leading meaningful lives or contributing to society. there are sparse examples of those who have overcome psychiatric symptomatology and have built lives worth living. In DBT, we often teach our patients to identify examples of people who have overcome pain and suffering so that they can gain hope that they, too, can overcome their own suffering.

One prominent example is Dr. Marsha Linehan, the founder of DBT, who, in 2011, disclosed her own extensive struggle with both psychiatric disorders and life-threatening behaviors early in her life. The link to her story can be found on our program's resources page. More examples of those who have overcome emotional dysregulation are sorely needed.

The link below connects to a TED talk by Elyn Saks, who describes her own journey to overcome Schizophrenia on her path to becoming a chaired professor of law, MacArthur Fellow, author, and speaker: