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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One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

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 This post contains discussion of chronic suicidal thinking. There are no actual suicides described or images.  Please read at your discretion.

 

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

I was sitting in the office of my Pain Management Specialist.  Also in the office was a medical student.  I know most people don’t like medical students sitting in on appointments, but I don’t mind.  They have to learn about the patient’s perspective somehow, and because in New Zealand their exposure to mental health, as part of their training, is so small, I think it’s vital that they get all the exposure they can get. Continue reading

Why I Disclosed My Mental Illness To My Employer

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

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

What Are We Laughing At?

Cate

Click to read Cate’s bio

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

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

As Parents Age…

CateThere’s a moment in our lives, for all of us, when we realise that our parents have grown old, and after a lifetime of looking to them, now they are looking to us.  A lifetime of you being their ‘child’, now in some ways, that is reversed.  The only way you avoid this is if you completely cut off all contact with them some time before. Otherwise it’s a stage of our lives that is impossible to ignore. It is a time that can have enormous effect on both our mental health and theirs.  Everything has changed.  Now you realise that you’re finally ‘grown up’. Continue reading

If I Never Had To Eat Again

TRIGGER WARNING: Eating Disorders

CateIf I never had to eat again, I’m sure that my life would be simpler and without quite so many struggles for my mental health.  Take an addiction of another kind.  I was addicted to alcohol and have the choice of whether or not I will drink now that I am in recovery.  For a drug addict they can (and hopefully will) choose to not touch drugs again.  But when you’re addicted to issues of food and weight, regardless of your means of recovery you have to keep pumping 2,000 odd calories into your body each day. Continue reading

Christmas With Mental Illness

CateIn my country of New Zealand, I think it’s fair to say that most people celebrate the occasion of Christmas, and that those who choose not to do so, don’t on religious or cultural basis.  There’s been a few years in my past when I have chosen not to celebrate Christmas, and that has been all about mental illness. Continue reading