Stigma Via Health Professionals

Click to read Cate’s bio

Click to read Cate’s bio

I wasn’t expecting it from this source.  Actually I had seen this particular health professional about five times and had decided that she knew her stuff.  What’s more, I had decided that she was responding to what I was saying to the extent that I felt comfortable with her.  A big thing.

But I admit I had forgotten a brief moment in my first appointment with her when she responded to something I said with “you haven’t got a mental illness“. Continue reading

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It’s Not Okay

Ruby The past 10 or so days have proved enormously instructive for me.  They’ve provided the kind of instruction I hear tell of from my parents’ days in Catholic school in the 50s and 60s, when one of the nuns would slap a student or turn from a sweet, soft-spoken angel of a teacher into the fires of hell epitomized, without raising anything but her voice. Continue reading

Why I Disclosed My Mental Illness To My Employer

Cate

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It’s a difficult one.  To disclose or not to disclose?  There are plenty of articles around about the issue of whether to tell your employer that you have a mental illness.  I came across a recent one and it got me thinking.  I disclosed in the past but would I do it again?

The article, Deciding Whether to Disclose Mental Disorders to the Boss by Alina Tugend (for The New York Times) got me thinking.  Has my mind changed?

You see, in 2009 I chose to tell my prospective employer that I had a mental illness. Continue reading

In loving memory

SSG

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As everybody knows by now, the world lost one of its finest. A very human, human being. He was a genius and as it would seem, geniuses are often burdened with mental illness. A brilliant comedian that brought countless hours of laughter and tears to my life and that of many others. He fought addiction and depression all his life. And in the end, he lost the last battle.

Shortly after his death, our very own Cate Reddell shared a petition started by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Founder of SumOfUs.org. She signed it and encouraged the rest of us to sign it as well. Continue reading

What Are We Laughing At?

Cate

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In the playground of mental illness there is always a risk that someone is going to get hurt when people start telling jokes.  It’s like everyone has their own limit of what is acceptable and what is incredibly bad-taste.  A few weeks ago UK comedian and mental health advocate Stephen Fry found this out for himself.

He got roasted on Twitter for a joke he made about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ( see David Adam’s comment on Guardian).  The backlash began to hit.  Fry was attacked for joking about OCD  when he “didn’t have OCD”.  Apparently it’s okay to joke about an illness you have yourself but not any other. Continue reading

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

Soul Survivor new

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In a perfect world, all doctors would know that people with psychiatric issues are regular humans, just like everybody else.  They would not look at our diagnosis, our health history, our med list, and automatically assume that we are drug seekers.  They would not automatically write off our symptoms as being “psychosomatic.”  I use quotes there, because the word “psychosomatic” means that the mind is causing a disorder that is expressed by the body.  I happen to be of the school of medicine that believes that virtually all physical illness is caused, ultimately, by imbalances of body chemistry that are initiated in the brain; therefore, all illnesses are “psychosomatic.”  And guess what, folks: they’re real illnesses. Continue reading

Almost Too Sensitive For The Regular World

Cate

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Think Black and White "Image courtesy of [anankkml] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Think Black and White
“Image courtesy of [anankkml] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

I’ve borrowed my title from a good friend.  She struggles like me and when she suggested we were both “almost too sensitive for the regular world“, I finally had the words that I hadn’t been able to find.  How do I fit into this regular world when so much of it grates so painfully against my raw skin? Continue reading

EVER the Twain Shall Meet

JenniferFor a long time, it was as if I lived two lives.

Parallel, and at times, intersecting, but to all those save a close few – totally distinct.  One hidden from the other; one nonexistent except for the shadow it cast on my life.

When I could get out from under it, it was much easier for even me to pretend that shadow life didn’t exist. I wasn’t suffering.  I wasn’t having trouble coping.  I didn’t need help.  Certainly, no one needed to know about it. Continue reading