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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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

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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

Blog For Mental Health 2014: The Prologue

RubyIt’s official, loves.  2013 is over, 2014 is here.  We’ve all survived one more trip around the sun on this wild, spinning ball we call a planet.  It was a rough year for many of us, but it was a great year for a lot of us, too.  Whether you feel you had the former or the latter (or maybe a bit of each), you should be very proud of yourself, because you did make it through, and that’s not always as easy an accomplishment as one might think.

In any case, I’m proud of you, and I’m grateful for you, too. Continue reading

Mental Health Exclusion

GravatarI am in Australia and feel very fortunate when it comes to public health services. When we opt for Private Health Insurance in Australia, it is so that we can get additional cash back on selected services and also more easily afford non-Government medical practitioners and hospitals. Private Health Insurance is also priced around age and services you would like covered, not around your medical history or risk (even though there are eligibility periods for certain claims). But you don’t need Health Insurance to get good medical care in Australia, as is the case in other countries. For that I am grateful. Continue reading

The Addict In Me Is Not Scum!

CateMy first day at University (College in some countries), as a 31-year-old, turned out a little different from what I had hoped.  It was a big thing I was doing, heading into study as an adult, after about four years of mental illness.  I was pretty anxious, and that showed when I found myself sitting in a Chinese language class rather than the Psychology class I had enrolled for.  I made a quiet escape, knowing full well that while learning Chinese might be interesting and even useful, I knew I would never pass.  Languages and me have never gone together. Continue reading