Stigma & Mental Illness

Posted by Roxie43 @roxie43, Dec 5, 2011

Albeit shameful and ignorant that it is almost 2012, and many of us are still confronted with biases. judgements and disparate treatment, I encourage all to hold your head up high. I know what it’s like to be looked at differently because of a label, diagnosis or even someones inability to look deeper than the surface.
I often ask myself why some folks behave the way they behave and perhaps I will never find an honest answer. I hypothesize that perhaps there is something in me that may remind someone of themselves or that perhaps that, until recently, I had always functioned so well that those with certain belief systems or stereo-types feel that they are experts on who I am.
I recently posted on ECT and the benefits for me as an individual. Talk therapy is also important because it allows us to process, in a safe and healthy forum, the things that people have said or done to us. I recall when I first requested FMLA at work and a person made the comment “If you cannot report to work maybe you should not work”. I was requesting intermittent leave because the stigma and disparate treatment was taking it’s toll and this so called healthy individual was so insensitive.
I know we have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. Stigma is one reason some don’t admit that something ails them nor seek help. We all have to use our voices, our stories, our expertise (on who were are) and continue to raise awareness about the importance of treating others the way in which one would like to be treated, not selective respect and equality but across the board.
Being good to one another should not be based on pre-conceived notions that certain populations are more worthy than others. We are valuable individuals with strengths, creativity, feelings and we contribute to society wholeheartedly and should always be viewed and treated as such!
Have you been treated differently lately? How did you deal with it?

@roxie43

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It is always important to remember that there are people out here that are more than willing to listen, understand and if we can to help. You are not alone and I don’t won’t you to ever feel that you are Take care Piglit

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@roxie43

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I think they hurt others to try to stop thinking about how much they are hurting too. My son has Aspergers Syndrome, and gets bullied every day because he doesn’t fit the mold of most 13 year olds. They think that if they direct everyone’s attention to him, that noone will notice their faults. A stupid reason, I know. I’m proud of you for fighting back. I hope it helps. I am fighting my bad thoughts tooth and nail. I know it’s not the right thing to do, but it’s so hard to keep reminding myself on the really hard days. Good luck sweetie, and I am always happy to talk. Lisa4

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@roxie43

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Thank you Piglit, and I keep trying to remind myself that there are others also struggling and that truly understand what I’m going through. This is my first effort at communicating with others via my computer. My counselor wants me to put myself out there. It’s so hard, but I really appreciate your comment- Sincerely, Lisa4

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@roxie43

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I become infuriated when I hear a child is being bullied because that can impact one’s self worth forever. Please make sure your son knows that the bullies are the flawed ones. As for you Lisa, just tell yourself everyday how much you matter to yourself and loved one’s and never forget that the present dark clouds will soon be filled with the warm sun and you will be surrounded by light. I love the sun but if it’s cloudy and dark get yourself a lamp with bright lights because light therapy can be helpful in improving mood. I tend to go to the tanning shop and it does work.
Lisa, Piglit and my other friends let’s try to have a better day! Thank you for your wonderful discussion’s and have a blessed day

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@roxie43

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Hi lisa . Thanks for responding back. Please always remember that there are people out here that are more than willing to support you through this difficult time. I have got good listening ears and am always here to help in anyway that I can. I can fully understand what you are going through with your son. I have taught many children with Asphergers and they as you know are very special. Some of my most wonderful memories are of the experiences that I have had with these children. My own son was the victim of bullying, both physically and mentally. Hence I had to leave my teaching of many years, as he was being bullied at the school. However, as the years have gone and and he has overcome the difficulties, he has developed into a fine young man. This is the reason why I went into Aged care and found a new career path for myself. When you feel down remember that things always start to look up. Keep the faith, use the inner strength that I believe we all have., and remember that there are people who do care and are always here for you. Stay positive, God bless, Talk again soon Piglit

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@roxie43

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I had such an odd experience yesterday that I just had to share. I went to the eye doctor to see if poor sight could be contributing to my daily headaches and dizzy spells, and the nurse who helped me choose my glasses ( turns out I do have focusing issues) mentioned that she too suffered from headaches. She mentioned the three meds she takes, and I realized that I take the same ones. She also talked about stress sometimes making things worse, and I mentioned my son and his Aspergers, and she looked really surprised and said that she also has a son with Autism! I felt kind of bad for her, as her 9 year old son is low functioning, and my Cody is really high functioning. I felt bad about that, because even high functioning Autistic children can be very challenging despite their great intelligence and good intentions. I wanted to give her my email address and tell her to contact me if she ever needed to talk or if she needed to take a break, as I know how to care for these special children, but my husband laughed and said that I should resist the urge to care for and fix the world. I did at least give her a little useful info about cheaper meds that should save her a little stress. Is my urge to help and fix a character flaw? It’s one reason that I wanted to become a nurse. I feel so awful all the time lately, but when I’m helping, I’m not “Poor Meing”. Anyway, care and prayers to all of you, sincerely, Lisa4.

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@roxie43

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Happy Holidays to All,

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Hi lisa, I replied to this and somewho lost the message. So I’ll start again. Take no notice iif it reappears. It is such great news about your glasses. Hopefully this will help with your ongoing headaches. You know I am a great believer that when we are on a low ebb with things, that we need to take a little step back. Take time out just for you. Go shopping, a lovely long walk , maybe a coffee somewhere. Something that you enjoy doing just for you. In relation to your question as to the character flaw. No you don’t, You are a very kind, caring soul who likes to help and care for people. This is who you are and a wonderful character trait to have. Try not to be so hard on yourself and take time for you.Remember that I am always hear to talk to anytime, and help if I can. God Bless Take Care. Piglit. Things will get better in time

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@roxie43

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Happy Holidays to All,

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Thank you piglit- I’m sorry, but I smile every time I type in your name as I grew up feeding piglets on a farm, and they were a lot of fun, though I bet that’s not what you are going for,LOL. My screen name is much less interesting as I am Lisa, and I have four great kids. Anyway, I digress big time, and I apologize for that. I have a bad headache and often try humor to get through instead of meds. I like your suggestion of trying to do a few things for myself, though I find that hard to do. My mom was a 1950’s housewife and mom to 10 kids, though I never see the other nine. They aren’t interested. Mom was also my only real friend, and I’m afraid I got my nature from her. I don’t know how many baby rabbits and squirrels she raised. Unfortunately, she passed just 18 months ago from Alzheimer’s, and I miss her so
bad.I think that has much to do with the depression, though she would look at me and say “You are a great mom to four beautiful children, and they need you, so do what you have to to be there for them every day, and don’t ever let them see you cry.” You know what? I am talking way too much about me. How about you? Do you also struggle with depression? I am pleased to listen anytime.You All have been so kind to me! I thankyou again. It’s made a real difference for me. Care and prayers, Lisa4

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Guess I was wrong I am not alone in this shameful behaviors of others.

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@roxie43

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Hi Lisa. Great to hear from you again.I originally came on the Mayo site to see if I could find people that have FactorVLeiden. I was diagnoised with this approx two years ago. Prior to this about ten years ago I developed a clot in my left leg and P ulmornary embolsis on both lungs. The clots have continued to recoccur more the past two years, and I have had a total of about 6 dvt’s in my right leg, two prior to Christmas. I am on comaudin for life and still seem to clot on it. I am lucky though because the clots as staying below the knee. My anxiety has been with me from a very young age and my depression, set in later in life. Unfortuantley i cant’ take any medications as it interacts with the warfarin. Over the years I have had developed to be able to pull on my inner strength which I tell myself daily is strong everyday. At the moment I am on a low ebb as I am off work with an infection in my vein . Luckily, no clot. I am so sorry for the passing of your Mum. I can fully understand how you feel. I am a Aged Care worker. I only work with people who have high care needs. I go into peoples homes and care from them. I help alot of people with Alzheimers, parkinsons, dementia, strokes. Remember you are in the early stage of grief. Live of the memories that make you happy, By the way it’s okay to cry sometimes, we all do. I’m glad Piglit makes you smile. My name originated from the Winnie the Pooh character by A.A. Milne, such wonderful stories, my real name is Annie. Thanks for the listening ears. I have more than gone on enough about me today. Take care, will talk soon, always here if you need me Piglit. Keep smiling.

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@roxie43

Looks as if this issue is not a problem for readers?? That’s great…any ideas as to how to improve acceptance and minimize judgement on the East Coast……
Happy Holidays to All,

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That was a blessing in itself because its another perfect example that you are not alone. When we least expect it something greater than us reminds us that people every where on this earth have challenges but we can still be kind and big hearted and support others. How amazing you pick out your glasses with the help from a stranger that you had things in common with. Why do you think so many people who work helping others also aye in treatment?
Have a wonderful evening and you should feel proud

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@roxie43

Looks as if this issue is not a problem for readers?? That’s great…any ideas as to how to improve acceptance and minimize judgement on the East Coast……
Happy Holidays to All,

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As always, so happy to hear from you. My favorite character is Eeyore. I love Winnie the Pooh! I am so glad that you were able to tell me about yourself, and though I admit that I am not well versed in your health concerns, I will look it up. In the mean time, I am familiar with reaccuring problems. I started having problems with depression at 12 years with attempted suicide. The doctors were able to help eventually, but it’s been back a couple times since. I also have a problem with my blood pressure spiking anytime it feels like it. I worked in a nursing home also, and I loved it very much. I had to stop when I missed a day due to horrific morning sickness and got let go, People deserve to be cared for like they still matter and are still people, instead of a burden. Inner strength seems to be what really helps us get better, as the extreme amount of meds I’m on don’t seem to be helping much anyway. My inner strength is all that gets me from one day to the next, and I recharge mine with my super supportive husband’s help, a surprisingly great counselor, and now this message board, as well as a lot of prayer. Each day is a struggle. I’m so glad there’s no clot this time, though an infection is hard enough to deal with. I hope it heals soon, so you can get back to your patients. I bet they are missing you. I am also out of work due to my illness. March makes almost 10 months. It’s tough to just rest, but that’s what they all say to do. I thank you for your caring responses, and I am always here for you with listening ears. Sincerely, Lisa4

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@roxie43

Looks as if this issue is not a problem for readers?? That’s great…any ideas as to how to improve acceptance and minimize judgement on the East Coast……
Happy Holidays to All,

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H i Lisa Thanks again for your kind response. Isn’t it funny that we are in the same kind of fields of work. I do miss my clients as I see them everyday. However, I am struggling with things at the moment as you know. Anyway I know I will be fine, and will rely on my inner strength as I always do. You take care of yourself as well and I am always here with my listenening ears. God Bless Piglit.

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@roxie43

Looks as if this issue is not a problem for readers?? That’s great…any ideas as to how to improve acceptance and minimize judgement on the East Coast……
Happy Holidays to All,

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Hi lisa How are things going? Haven’t heard in a while so I thought I ‘d just check to see if all is okay. My leg is slowly getting better and hopefully I will be back at work soon. I’m sure in time that things will get back to normal for you too, and hopefully you will be able to get back to the work the you enjoy. If not in our field of work there are always different avenues that we can look into. Anyway had better go, and get a few things down. Take Care Piglit. I’m a great beleiver in taking one liitle step at a time, it seems to work better than the giant ones.

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Hi Roxie 43,
I agree. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

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