Mental illness affects one in five people in the United States, but often, patients don’t seek treatment because they’re afraid of the diagnosis and the stigmas attached to mental health disorders. Left untreated, mental illness can have devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities.
Dr. Kathy Carlson was a college student when she started having what she calls episodes of depression. Because of the stigmas associated with mental illness, Dr. Carlson kept these episodes secret, until years later when they became longer and more severe. Eventually, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Through medical treatment and many lifestyle changes, Dr. Carlson was able to get her life back and now works to erase the stigma of mental illness.
“I’ve seen so many people suffering and I’ve seen them suffer needlessly,” she says. “If there’s anything that can be done to help even one indiviudal, I just want to be a part of that.”
Watch the video below with ProMedica HealthConnect Correspondent Chrys Peterson to meet Dr. Carlson and hear her story.