What Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy Teaches Us About the Stigma of Mental Illness

On Tuesday, Angelina Jolie became the face of preventative mastectomy. In a beautifully worded New York Times op-ed, the actress said she opted for a double mastectomy after learning she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer, adding, “On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

In the hours following the publication of Jolie’s story, others came forward with their own stories, and the media coverage since has been non-stop. However, when a similarly famous actress, Catherine Zeta Jones, came forward with her diagnosis of bipolar II disorder, it made only a news ripple compared to the crashing wave of coverage Jolie’s disclosure has received. Don’t get me wrong — Jolie’s announcement is hugely significant and part of a much-needed conversation. But mental illness should be afforded the same level of discourse. Perhaps talking about mental illness isn’t as fascinating as talking about an actress’s decision about her breasts, but talk about it we must — and unfortunately not even a courageous disclosure made by a beautiful and famous actress like Catherine Zeta Jones is enough to get that conversation started.

Hop on over to Sojourner’s to read the rest of today’s blog post!

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3 thoughts on “What Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy Teaches Us About the Stigma of Mental Illness

  1. Please read a bit of my blog about my healing our schizophrenic son with music. When I accomplished that healing of another one of his long episodes of severe schizophrenia a second time, I became determined to figure out how and why music could do that. In the process of my research I discovered that no doctors, psychiatrists, or neurologists had noticed some of the aspects of schizophrenia as I had, probably because I had learned to reduce Dan’s meds to minuscule amounts and then withdraw it completely when he improved. His symptoms were more obvious than for a person who has been heavily medicated; today, most but not all doctors insist on damaging levels of “medication” that suppress some symptoms but do not cure the problems, often worsen them, and cause peripheral damage. In particular, those chemicals harm the delicate mechanism of the middle ear’s muscle. I cannot condense my 450 page book and other writing here, but I have defined the entire range of human behaviour, normal and abnormal, in terms of the ability of the ears, especially the right ear, to process the higher frequencies of sound in speech and I have have described the neurology that explains that process and why it breaks down when the ear is damaged. From dyslexia and autism to bipolarity, depression, schizophrenia and even epilepsy, there is a tremendous amount of research and clinical experience already published that backs up my discoveries. My writing is scholarly, but readable, and I quote those resources. I have helped a number of other people of a wide range of ages to correct their dyslexia, bipolarity, depression, and other “mental” problems by stimulating their ears with high-frequency sound, i.e., music listened to with headphones. The cure for mental illness is within reach and it is inexpensive, pleasant, drug-free, and requires very little training. That may not be good news to those who have invested heavily in other strategies for approaching “mental” illness. However, hundreds of practitioners of the Tomatis Method have been proving the effectiveness of music for altering unwanted behaviour for half a century. Daniel has defeated his most severe addictions and he has gained increasing self-control in most areas of his life. He has had no signs of schizophrenia since the end of November 2008 when he regained left-cerebral dominance and could be taught how to take control of his behaviour by learning how to protect and exercise his ears. If the cure of the mentally ill truly interests you, please contact me for further information.

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