How has stigma around mental health affected you?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is how stigma affected my mum. This affected me because of the awareness mainly from my childhood, but still parts as an adult.
My mum has paranoid schizophrenia and having the title schizophrenia is enough, because of the stigma I remember around it. The stigma may not be as bad now as in my childhood, but I believe it’s still there, like any mental illness.
I remember as a teenager that schizophrenia would get bad press in the newspapers. It gave those with this condition a bad name, making it look like they were all dangerous, or violent if you had this condition, when it isn’t true. This condition would always be mentioned in the bold part of the newspaper when someone with this condition killed someone. I remember seeing this making the front page at times. This was newspapers in that time trying to give a sensational story line that sold their papers, not realising just what damage you were causing. I remember feeling really angry how the newspapers did this.
Thankfully now, newspapers have to watch how they word things, but I feel the damage from those days is still there. Do you?

People with schizophrenia are not violent people, but they can be a danger to themselves. But there are some people who will be quiet by withdrawing into themselves, as in my mum’s case.

I don’t like the word schizophrenia. But when I came to not liking this word, I don’t know. I don’t know if I hated this word when understanding my mum’s condition at a young age, or if it was the bad press if the newspapers.

But as I say, I think there is still stigma around mental health and because of this, it’s not something I will bring mum’s mental health particular condition into a face-to-face conversation with someone and mum is wary to do the same.

As you know I suffer with depression and anxiety. Depression has been good but anxiety shown itself since last year, as I blogged about. The past month or two, anxiety has not been too bad.
I have experienced stigma with my own mental health, things like people saying “chin up,” is not exactly helpful. Also, when you start talking about how you feel to some people, you realise from their responses they don’t get it after all as you first thought and that I am expected to snap out of it. Snapping out of it is not easy as you think.

It’s bad enough when people have to deal with their own mental health day in and day out, but when you receive unhelpful comments, cruel remarks, or just plain ignorance, that can create as much damage as the illness itself.

We have come a long way since when I was a child, but there is still more to be done. The royals are doing good with their Heads Together campaign I think.

How has stigma around mental health affected you?

Why do people NOT observe the rule, don’t phone?

Utility provider for my gas, now I am in the process of leaving them for another supplier that can provide customer service, is trying to phone me.
They have been informed by myself several times I am deaf and that email/chat is my preferred choice of communication.
They have also been told by my landlord when he had to intervene, to help get my gas sorted because of cutting me off from chat. They were obviously still asking to speak to me, or phone, because he kept reminding them that I don’t hear in the phone. (Whoever was on that end of the phone were thick, or deaf, to not understand clear instructions from my landlord.)
They don’t try once to phone me, they have tried a few times, regardless that I have them now blocked.

The charity that is collecting my furniture, they require a phone number, so the driver can contact me when he is half an hour away. I inform them to make sure the driver knows to text.
I had an unknown mobile number phoning me. I cancelled call and texted and it was them. They have done this before; phone, when I have given clear instructions to text.

Why do people ask for phone number, when you clearly tell them you don’t have one? Or because you say that is not my form of communication and explain why, that they still ask?

Even HMRC are not fully accessible. They don’t provide email as a choice to contact them and as I seen on Twitter, they don’t accept DM via there, due to security. But you can send a query via Facebook private message. That led me  to apologise butting in on this conversation, but I asked HMRC how can you say sending a private message via Facebook, is anymore securer than via a private message on Twitter? I query because I am deaf and you don’t do email, which is my preferred method. Whether HMRC will respond to this question, is another thing.

Businesses everywhere are stepping up, but HMRC are in the dark ages still, because they don’t do email. The same reason, because of security.

Where I now live, the doctors I have registered at, at time of registering, I discovered they were a little bit more accessible than my old doctors. Providing something that other did not and that’s emailing me, if they need to contact me.

It’s a simple request, when I say my phone number is for text only. Please don’t phone. Yet they try to phone?

But it’s not simple to those that I tell and it’s frustrating.