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My Label

Transcript

A Medical bracelet is a little metal band that, in beautifully engraved writing, labels the wearer. If you look around my left ankle, you'll see my label. I used to wear it around my wrist, but it seemed like an invitation for people to stare and back away. It's not the "allergic to Codeine and Aspirin," that causes the strange response, it's the "Manic depressive and Panic disorder." When people see my label, they usually nod and say, "oh, depression.  Did something happen to you to make you sad?" Or, "it's ok, keep smiling and things will get better." I really don't know how to respond, because nothing happened to make me like this, and I do smile and it doesn't change it.
When I get a panic attack I usually end up on the floor hyperventilating and I cry. Sometimes, if it's a bad attack, I hear things that aren't there and I yell things that don't make sense to anyone else. Once when I was away from my family and friends, I flew into a raging panic attack. The people around me didn't know what was going on and understandably got very scared. An ambulance was called and on arrival they were told I was having an epileptic fit. After much confusion, they contacted my guardian who explained what was going on. When I got home we decided it was time to get a Medi-alert bracelet, in case that happened again while I was on the road.
I wear the bracelet because it makes things easier in an emergency, not because I want to advertise that I'm different. It has helped me several times having that tag, and it's saved a lot of confusion in times when I'm unable to explain myself. Unfortunately there are still a lot of people around who don't understand my illness and are scared of me when they find out. I just ask that I be treated the same as someone who wears a bracelet saying "diabetic," or "allergic to shellfish." And if there is an instance where I need help, don't back away when you read my label.