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?

Blog post re-share: Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

I would like to share this post with my readers, from The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

I also agree with the first commenter in that blog post too, by Alanpenrose5654.

Do take a read of this blog post and the comments. Also, if you are not already following this blog, I totally recommend you do.

I hope that all of us in the mental illness blogging community have the same goals–to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I believe that to keep the fight going and maybe educate those that have never walked a day in our shoes, it is imperative to share your story. We are all unique, and though we may share similar symptoms of our collective illnesses, it is how you deal and your past that might help future mental illness sufferers.

via Why Those of us That Can, Must Fight — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

Blog post share: “Shhh… That is stigma,” by Susan Walz.

A blog post share, called “Shhh… That is stigma,” by Susan Walz, at The Bipolar Writer. Susan Walz writes to share how damaging telling someone to Shhh can be, when talking about your own mental illness and not feeling supported.

You will find her post here: https://jamesedgarskye.com/2018/05/27/shhh-that-is-stigma/

Post share: Debunking the myths by The Blurt Foundation

I felt I needed to share this as I have heard some of these be said to, like for example that “depression is a choice,” when actually this is not true. Depression is not a choice, because if it was, we would not want it. So to debunk these myths and to help spread awareness, this is why I share this post, that will take you to The Blurt Foundation post.

https://www.blurtitout.org/2017/02/17/depression-debunking-the-myths/

Day 21 of the #blurtselfcareathon – Talk

We need to talk about mental health, to help break the stigma. Talking about mental health, should be as easy as talking about a broken bone.

Over the years, because people talk about mental health more openly, it has got better, but there is still more way to go. Little things happen around the world, that show we are not quite there yet and treated the same as a broken bone for example. There is still stigma in the workplace, for example. There are still times we feel we cannot speak to certain people about it.

Just because mental health is different to a broken bone, doesn’t mean we are not in great pain with it.

Anyone can be affected by mental health at sometime in their life, whether you are rich, or poor. Mental health affects us all differently, so you cannot compare. But those of us that have some kind of mental health difficulty can show empathy to the next one, because we feel that pain.

I hope by me blogging and sharing my own personal experiences, it helps the next person, as well as spreading awareness. I am aware my blog does do this, as I have been told several times in some way.

Please don’t treat someone with mental health differently. We don’t expect you to understand, but just listening can help. Listening is the most important tool.

#blurtselfcareathon #theblurtfoundation #mentalhealth #selfcare

Invisible illnesses do not make invisible people

Something I came across Facebook and I wanted to share here. There are many illnesses that are invisible, but because they are invisible, it does not mean our invisible illness are not easy. It does not make them any less.

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Just some examples of invisible illnesses are:

  • mental illness
  • dyslexia
  • hearing loss
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia

As I have mentioned, this is just a short list and there are many other invisible illnesses.