People with various forms of mental health conditions have been talking back to stereotypes and stigma for a long time, but this Mad People's History and these mad people's words tend to be overlooked by mainstream society and pop culture. Occasionally glimmers of our actual experience will work their way through to small presses and independent bookstores, and at other times bits of reality will creep their way into mainstream movies or television, but for the most part, stories are told about us by others, the same way kids will tell scary stories around a campfire. Be afraid of the dark, the crazy man in the woods will get you.
However, more of us are banding together in order to talk back. We're forming blog carnivals and group blogs to talk about our experiences both inside and outside the mental health system. We're writing graphic novels and web comics that talk about our lives. We're making films and taking comedy shows on the road and writing books. We're forming societies, supporting each other through our difficulties, and celebrating our successes. We're getting proud.