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Do you or your family get a lot of stigma because of your MH conditions?

Gajolene

Gajolene

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small town Ontario, Canada
Do you or your family get a lot of stigma because of your MH conditions?

Just wondering how many others have to deal with stigma from family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and professionals and how it effects you in life. (n)to stigma.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Aug 17, 2012
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The West Country
I have noticed it on lots of different occasions and in various forms, from various people.

On a day to day basis, I don't notice it so much but that's because i'm not surrounded by people and i'm often alone.


My extended family i've noticed have treated me a bit iffy.

I've noticed it also in some of my friends too. There's a general wrapping me up in cotton wool attitude and i've had comments about am I really ready to do this or should I really be doing that because i'm 'vulnerable'.

I have to say, I did notice your comment in the Describe How You Feel thread and it has reminded me of a time when I felt the police made a big issue of my mental health problems when I reported something to them once.
It felt like I was basically being accused of lying and making it all up because i'm "crazy". :unsure:
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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small town Ontario, Canada
Maybe because our town is fairly small we get it daily, JD the most as his is more outwardly visible,stores have refused to serve him, people avoid him, lots of smirks, laughing behind the back, people he once considered friends turned cruel and verbally abusive. Just to name a few. JS gets looks and avoidance, fear because of past incidents in public. I have avoidances from all who once were friends. People won't consider hiring me because of my past anxiety issues. We all withdraw and just stay home now. We only go out for banks and shopping and avoid neighbours.

We've also had stigma with police and with medical staff in the ER at more than one hospital and family does not communicate with us anymore. Quite depressing when I already cope with depression surrounding our individual conditions. I fear just giving up one day but still struggle to get out and try to find friends who can not be afraid of us and accept us as we are. It's very hard doing this with no real life friends. I really didn't need that visit this morning, has definately triggered some bad flashbacks. :BLAH:
 
C

cherbear

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My Sister is very patronising but then we have never been close . My Mum tries to understand and is very helpful and sweet most of the time but at times she can be very cold for instance " I can't do anything about your mental health problems Cher , what do you want me to do speak to you in a sad quiet voice and pretend I'm sorry " and has also mentioned to my other half about whether I should be committed . Luckily my other gave me the heads up so I'm refusing to go to England to visit my family at the minute and only texting my other half is dealing with the phone calls . The rest of my family and friends are great it does not phase them . My Dad and younger Brother have bouts of depression and a lot of my family works in the health system so they are pretty understanding . Have found on occasion some Doctors at Hospital and some ambulance crew are pretty accusing . Fortunately the hospital has a great psychiatry team though and they are not afraid of telling them to improve their manner to people .
 
L

lizyorange

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A lot of times. The most recent one was when one of my mum's friends knew I was suffering from depression and sa. She started to b****t about how I should go out , face people and stop looking in the mirror because I'm so "obsessed" with myself. The last one made me laugh, like sorry I look in the mirror all the time because I'm afraid I look ridiculous. I still don't get what's going on with me but that doesn't mean you have the right to speak that way about a whole story. I remember crying so hard.
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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small town Ontario, Canada
I think my family aside from my brother has no idea what PTSD is aside from the old stereotype WW2 era style shell shock. I,ve been called weak, a whimp, a lier, a drama queen, attention seeker, in my childhood a crybaby. They still think you can just buck up and get over it and forget it. Needless to say I gave up trying to get support or any other understanding from them many years ago. One family member thinks by caregiving for my sons I'm throwing my life away and that I should cut them loose and force them to deal with scitzophrenia on their own and just walk away.

I will always be their when my boys need me no matter how hard it is, or how sick they are whether I'm in relapse and ill myself or not. It's unconditional love something our family never had growing up.
 
A

anklebiter

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Aberdeenshire
My aquaintances have been so negative towards me since I confided in them about having bpd. At the time, I had no idea that there is such a stigma attached to the diagnosis. I have been judged and lost so many people just by being honest.
Last week I told a professional that I happened to run into, that I was attending an open lecture at uni next week and was looking forward to it, his response was "yeah whatever" then when I bumped into an old aquaintance and told her the same thing, she asked me if I was only going because I am feeling empty and needy. She also once said to me that she has never seen me display bpd rage in public so I must be letting it out at home. Actually not everyone with bpd is angry but of course I couldn't possibly be telling the truth.
I am also a member of meetup, people there do not know of my past or diagnosis, they treat me well. I'm sad that if I want to stay in their favour I will never be able to tell them the truth.
It's lonely and frustrating.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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since the disability discrimination act i haven't been refused serviuce in pubs, now the bar staff tend to not notice me, there was that time when i shook a kid harrassing me and the parents called the police, they asked me if i was drunk they then asked if i was on drugs i said medical drugs they asked what for i said schitzoprenia, straight to the cells, got very confusing when the police dr said i was sane

One xmas my sister and her husband come over from malta, i'm opening my xmas present and it's this massive hookah, the husband says hasshish, seems i'm not schitzoprenic i'm a hasshish, i think it was seeing that waterpipe caused the ppolice to ask if i was on drugs

Maybe some of it is paranoia, god knows i've been sensitised to it, i have to make an issue of it to get the benefits, and feel it gets around sometimes feel if i'd been sectioned, i'd have a legal right to help, and wouldn't have to make an issue, it's not nice been out as a schitzo
 
T

TheTigerThief

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A little bit, mostly from my own friends. Often when I'm telling a story about something I've done they'll look at me and say "Really? I didn't know you like, could?", or if I'm telling them about something I want to do, they say something like "Are you really sure you should do that?", or "But you can't even ..., how are you going to do that?". I find it quite offensive in both scenarios, because when I manage to do something difficult I try to see it as a success and a step in the right direction. It feels quite rude and belittling when I get remarks like that. When I talk of my goals and dreams, it would be nice to have some encouragement. I'm never quite sure how to respond when people say things like that to me, I kind of just laugh awkwardly?

As for my family, my Dad doesn't really cop anything as he works in the community support industry. My mother, however, is a different story. I don't think she actually gets any stigma from people about me but she sure thinks she does. She is very set on appearances and cares a great deal about the family's reputation and would snap if anything were to jeopardize that, hence her years of denial about my illnesses. I know she talks me up at her workplace and whatnot, but if I can't live up to her ridiculous stories she gets really fired up. Honestly, any stigma my mother gets from my condition is probably all in her own head.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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A little bit, mostly from my own friends. Often when I'm telling a story about something I've done they'll look at me and say "Really? I didn't know you like, could?", or if I'm telling them about something I want to do, they say something like "Are you really sure you should do that?", or "But you can't even ..., how are you going to do that?". I find it quite offensive in both scenarios, because when I manage to do something difficult I try to see it as a success and a step in the right direction. It feels quite rude and belittling when I get remarks like that. When I talk of my goals and dreams, it would be nice to have some encouragement. I'm never quite sure how to respond when people say things like that to me, I kind of just laugh awkwardly?

As for my family, my Dad doesn't really cop anything as he works in the community support industry. My mother, however, is a different story. I don't think she actually gets any stigma from people about me but she sure thinks she does. She is very set on appearances and cares a great deal about the family's reputation and would snap if anything were to jeopardize that, hence her years of denial about my illnesses. I know she talks me up at her workplace and whatnot, but if I can't live up to her ridiculous stories she gets really fired up. Honestly, any stigma my mother gets from my condition is probably all in her own head.
you can say that your protected by family
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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small town Ontario, Canada
She is very set on appearances and cares a great deal about the family's reputation and would snap if anything were to jeopardize that, hence her years of denial about my illnesses. I know she talks me up at her workplace and whatnot, but if I can't live up to her ridiculous stories she gets really fired up. Honestly, any stigma my mother gets from my condition is probably all in her own head.
you can say that your protected by family

That's not being protected Rambo, it's being hidden like a dirty little secret. My mum was the same. It was all about the appearances, We had to appear to be perfect christians, we were not allowed to discuss or tell people that my brother was gay, you absolutely did not divulge anything about dad's alcoholism, or any true family goings on. You could neither complain or ask for any personal assistance in any way. It's absolutely a horrible way to be raised. The only one being protected was mum and selfishly at that.
 
Sparklypurplepaws

Sparklypurplepaws

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Lincolnshire
Do you or your family get a lot of stigma because of your MH conditions?

I've received stigma from my childrens school - I get 'that look' in the playground from teachers and they often call in other services to help is as a family, when I think if they didn't know about my mh issues they wouldn't be concerned at all. It doesn't really bother me to be honest - I just see it as them protecting the children, and if they're doing it with me they're hopefully doing it with others. I do often think though that they think I can't be a good parent with mh issues. Sorry a bit of a rant there! What was the question?
 
BlueBerry

BlueBerry

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Edinburgh
I've described this many times before on the forum, but I used to have a very close circle of wonderful friends who I loved like sisters. However, my MH started to get worse and worse about a year or so ago and they didn't know how to deal with it. I told them I was just having a rough time and I didn't go into detail.
My friends slowly but surely began to shun my company more and more and did their best to avoid me, giving me excuses if I ever asked them about it.

They began saying really cruel things behind my back to a lot of people at Uni and in our social circle. Derogatory names realting to my mental health like "freak", "creep, "weirdo" and "psycho". After I cut ties with them they renewed their rumour spreading and now I can't go anywhere in Uni or town without people giving me nasty looks. People I knew who were once good friends or acquaintances look at me like I'm dirt.

Just today in Tesco I walked past a guy I used to be very friendly with, so I smiled and said hello and he just glared back and mumbled hi. I'm sick of seeing contempt and mistrust in everybody's faces.
People my age gossip so much... the rumours of me being crazy have just spread around like wildfire. Rumours began by best friends that I loved like family.

Nobody's ever asked me how I'm doing or what exactly I'm going through. They just glare and sneer and keep their distance. I feel like I'll never escape the stigma.
 
U

ubolt

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Feb 5, 2015
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Oz
I found the stigmatism a bit tricky. It's funny, everyone who is close to me in my life was surprised when I told them I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I never acted 'weird', I just internalized everything and suffered that way because I was too afraid to speak. The friends who were close to me were very understanding, more so than my family who don't actually take it seriously or really believe it. I went overseas with a girl from my high school who I hadn't seen in about ten years. It was a snowboarding trip to New Zealand and I told her a couple days into it. She was upset that I didn't tell her beforehand and was frightened because she thought I would be unpredictable or hurt myself or something. It made certainly made me rethink things. I'm the same person I always was, it was pretty disappointing. A couple of housemates thought that schizophrenia meant a person had multiple personalities. I nearly laughed, it's incredible the misinformation that's out there.

A lot of the time I feel it's better not to speak about it openly, but I think that's sad because the stigmatism adds a lot of guilt and shame that I'm sure a lot of people have experiences, and really, on top of managing the illness I don't think we should have to deal with that too because of someone else's problem. I do believe that overcoming it however, makes all of us better people for it. :)
 
vanish

vanish

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The biggest group of stigmatizing people in my life are my family. I have always been the black sheep, but when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, they just simply shunned me. I am not allowed on my parent's property. I have never done anything to them to warrant such a reaction either. Holidays and Christmas and such are a very lonely depressing time for me because I am alone. I usually go to those community Christmas dinners and help out to make me feel better. I can't stand people playing happy families because no matter what I do, I am not accepted by my family.
 

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