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Roxie43 (@roxie43)

Stigma & Mental Illness

Mental Health | Last Active: Sep 27, 2013 | Replies (248)

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I don’t know that this issue will ever improve. I have found that most people are very judgmental and the stigma involved with mental health issues, especially depression, etc. seems to be something that must be accepted. As much as we would all like to see everyone treated respectfully, people simply aren’t going to do that across the board. I have found it is best to keep my own personal problems to myself, in general, I don’t share the fact that I take antidepressant medication or go to see a psychologist for talk therapy. The only people that know this about me are very close to me and only a very few friends that I have know for a long time and that are true friends. Most acquaintances and coworkers, etc. will only pass judgment and use the information against you, if for any reason you are to reveal your personal mental health issues with them. It is best to face reality and realize that this is a very competitive society we live in right now, especially due to the economic conditions and so many out of work. I would not reveal anything of the sort to anyone that had anything to do with my job or a potential job or anything else related to my livelihood. I hope you understand what I’m trying to tell you, it is not out of shame or disrespect that I write this. It is simply out of guarding one’s own mental health and not putting yourself in a position to be treated disrespectfully or judged. Sometimes the less others kinow the better, let them judge you based on your current lifestyle and work ethic. Why give others a list of your weaknesses when it is not necessary. There is no shame in that. On the other hand, if you are trying to help others and you work in a mental health capacity, then by all means share your success stories with your patients. Otherwise, exposing your weaknesses can cost you if people get cut-throat and decide to compete with your over a promotion or some other stepping stone. Life is short, I say live and let live, but keep healthy boundaries with others. Be selective and know that you should only share your negative or weak areas with those that you trust. I’m not paranoid, I’ve just learned the hard way. I once shared very personal information with someone close to me that I really trusted and they used it against me later, winning a court case. That was not fair, but it happened, nonetheless.

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Replies to "I don't know that this issue will ever improve. I have found that most people are..."

Thank you for your post. I agree with you wholeheartedly about not sharing a mental illness at work. I do work in psychiatry and have done so for a very long time and went to graduate school for a degree in social work, My present employer of 12 years, has an extensive history of hiring peers and some in very top positions also have their illnesses. The issue in my situation is that the treatment of certain individuals with mental illness varies from enabling to do very little, the bare minimum to treating others in a very denigrating way so equality around empathy, compassion and stigma/biases is very selective and those that see the negative and hurtful behaviors are often left feeling worthless.
As for me, I am proud of who I am even if someone else may not be. I have a lot of professional experience, I am educated, my peers respect me, the consumers we treat appreciate that I am humble in my success story and I work hard and will go above and beyond for my assigned individuals. However, I am a woman who is chronically depressed, who recently had to surrender to ECT and I became increasingly worse because I felt that I was being emotionally abuse by a workplace bully. What was so hurtful was that when administration is aware that one has a history of an illness and allows for hurtful, unprofessional, corrupt, and intimidating bevavior from a supervisor to an employee and when the employee asks for help and this is not just my case everything concern reported is quickly attributed to a mental illness.
Today, I am 100% in agreement with you about being more selective in sharing my story. Self disclosure should only be considered if it will help another as a way to foster hope and/or unless when is becoming severely incapacitated because at this point a medical leave will be most helpful.
I would just like people to understand that being ignored re; valid concerns and/or being treated indifferent because of a label is discrimination un ADA laws and the employer is the one that can find themselves with a lawsuit.
I have not met one human being whom is perfect. A perfect person does not exist. We all have issues, differences, challenges and I would like to think that we live in a world where people care about how their behaviors can impact another life. Personally, I could never intentionally hurt another person because people have feelings. There is no special treatment being requested…..I just would like to see all people, despite once vocation, treating others in the same manner in which we want to be treated. And is someone is intentionally hurting us that we know that we do not have to tolerate indifference, especially in the workplace.
Thanks again for the wonderful advice and post.
Have a healthy, loving and joyous holiday season.
Sincerely, Gallart

I think more is known because I utilize a program just in case I need time off. The doc completes forms and they are mailed to headquarters. I often wonder if this information is shared with the individuals that would like to feel superior.
If you had to take time for yourself would you use this federal and state program so that your job is safe or would you be dishonest about why you took time off?
I once met with an affirmative action officer and I’ll never forget her advice
She said “don’t tell these people your business”. With this she let me know so much! What I don’t understand is why if my work is quality work, on time and I’m passionate about it people have to focus on other things.
I wish I could share all the derogatory and demoralizing comments that have been said to my face.
I was frozen just looking at the person/s. Then they are cowardly and deny ever making the comments.
I don’t known if you have heard that words hurt more than being struck. If, I was anything like them I could say so much about them but I’m not so I humble myself and internalize it all.
However, there will be a time and place where my voice will be heard. It’s coming and all that I have held in for over a decade is going to be released oh so eloquently.
Imagine someone who bullies everyone and NO ONE LIKES telling you in a condescending voice “WELL YOU HAVE SOME STRENGTHS”.
I have to be the better person and swallow it…..but….where does someone get off even contemplating talking down to a peer? You have all heard that everyone has skeletons and when we all use the bathroom no one’s poopie smells like flowers…..am I wrong?
Now if I am not airing out your dysfunctional past why would a person target someone who has genuinely tried to be cordial and respectful?

I’m sorry, I have so many unanswered questions and I pray I can ask them all soon. I will feel eternal and internal peace when I can look straight into someone’s eyes and ask why?

What I don’t get is that if people are not people persons why do they bring their baggage and release it onto innocent people?

I would have to agree with one of my friends….the helping profession does not always attract the nicest people.

That’s an issue just like any other but we are less than for actually addressing ours???

Just thinking aloud because your post was excellent and made me do a little soul searching.

Many thanks for your honesty,

Unfortunatley what you have said Roxie is so very true. In the professional world and as you know I too work in it, the politics in the systems are unreal. If we could stand up and voice our opinions and be heard it would be great. In your situation you will be able to do this and you will do it humbly and your head held high. I have been in situations when I have known that a certain duty of care had occurred. Reported this to a supervisor. It was an agency worker that had come in to do a relief and denied that the neglect had ever occurred although it had been documented. Where do you gO? when your supervsior states that the person was never there. I felt comfronted by this and felt powerless by what she had said. I was speechless. Many people do not want to say you were right and I was wrong they prefer to go down the easier avenue and deny all. Alot of the time we are not heard and comments which are hurtful are just swept under the carpet. Ask all the questions that you need write them down and let your voice be heard, It is so important that if we have the opportunity to do this that we do. If nothing else you will feel better by just as the saying goes getting it off your chest. People who feel that they have the power to belittle people in my opinion are the powerless ones and very insecure, Unfortunately the honest ones as many of us are and always will come off us the underdog in many situations. They say that honesty is a virtue and I have and always will live the rest of my days by this., regardless of what people say or think of me. Thank you Roxie for your words of wisdom once again. Take care Piglit

God bless you Piglit. Cannot believe we are same height…..with heels we are some tall chickies

God Bless you Roxie. It is a bit unbelievble and it great too be a tall chicky at times Isn’t it?

Thank you for not judging me and always being kind and supportive

Always will be here to support you in any way I can. I would never be judgemental not in my nature as you know. Thanks for being there for me too Piglit

Lisa dont be so hard on yourself. There is not a person in this world who’s days are great 100& of the time. You’re trying and that’s what matters.

So proud of you for tryingtoo Lisa everything will be okay. Remember one little step at a time

Hi Lisa ….we appreciate you as well!

I am sorry for your experience. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted.
I would hold individuals accountable by suing each one seperately. Did you know that? Cruelty to a disabled workers gives us the right to sue individuals. Do they possess any credentialing? Oh boy if they do.
Do not let this go. If you let this go they will continue destroying lives. Do you have legal help? I read all posts and this sounds insane excuse the pun.
I wish you strength to fight back my chum.

thanks for well wishes. I cannot or rather don’t feel comfortable discussing legal matters at this point. I’m more invested in my recovery now.

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