“In 1993 I was hospitalised. I had been having depression on and off. After being misdiagnosed a few times, I finally found a doctor who diagnosed Multi Personality Disorder, which can be managed through medication and counselling.
Compared to many kinds of physical disability, mental disability isn’t so obvious. It can be made worse by isolation and failing to be picked up, therefore remaining unnoticed or undetected. As I became aware of other people with similar disabilities, I felt less isolated and more of a sense of belonging.
People with disabilities are definitely not equal in this society. We don’t have a strong enough voice, and our rights are abused almost totally. The gross discrimination we experience is made worse by media stereotypes of mental disability as dangerous and violent. Multi Personality Disorder has been sensationalised in recent movies and television series.
Anybody seen as different faces discrimination, and this goes for all minority groups. People with mental disabilities are regarded as stupid. Those with physical disabilities are treated like they’re not there or get shouted at and often have decisions made for them. Of course, many of these conditions are interchangeable.
Capitalism perpetuates this intolerance of difference in order to pit one group against another. This way, it can foster competition in the workforce and keep down everyone’s wages. People with disabilities are always at the mercy of social opinion that values profits over people. In societies where profit doesn’t exist, we are respected as much as anyone else. In Cuba, conditions and supports are far superior. Some Indigenous societies view their disabled people as having special powers; they hold important roles in their groups. I think that socialism is the only answer.”