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Mental health discredited, has this happened to you too?

Has someone discredited your experience with mental health?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
I

imtotallyfine

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Apr 4, 2020
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USA
I was thinking back to past experiences where (a few) people in my life (who know I have anxiety and a history of self harm) have discredited my experiences with mental health.

For (metaphorical) example:

Someone will say to me: "I had this experience happen to me and you think you are stressed out? Wait until you experience what I'm experiencing one day. You think you have it so hard."

or

"I know someone who had a similar experience to you but it was worse. So your situation isn't really a big deal."

I've never known how to respond to these situations, usually my face feels hot and I want to cry. And I have a moment where I feel upset and angry where I want to defend myself but often times I don't because, now I feel my experience with mental health is something to be ashamed of and isn't valid.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced this with their mental health and felt comfortable sharing how they reacted/coped. How did it make you feel? Also, do you think its better to stand up for yourself in these situations or not react?
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Feb 27, 2020
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Nashua NH
I was thinking back to past experiences where (a few) people in my life (who know I have anxiety and a history of self harm) have discredited my experiences with mental health.

For (metaphorical) example:

Someone will say to me: "I had this experience happen to me and you think you are stressed out? Wait until you experience what I'm experiencing one day. You think you have it so hard."

or

"I know someone who had a similar experience to you but it was worse. So your situation isn't really a big deal."

I've never known how to respond to these situations, usually my face feels hot and I want to cry. And I have a moment where I feel upset and angry where I want to defend myself but often times I don't because, now I feel my experience with mental health is something to be ashamed of and isn't valid.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced this with their mental health and felt comfortable sharing how they reacted/coped. How did it make you feel? Also, do you think its better to stand up for yourself in these situations or not react?
My father has a very difficult time with the concept of mental illness and doesn’t believe I have it.
I find oftentimes men have difficulty accepting mental illness or empathizing with those who suffer with it. I just accept my father’s limitations but he hasn’t accused me of anything stupid like your friends have. I would definitely confront them to try to get them to understand your position. I would let them know that due to your diagnosed illness there are things that you struggle with more than others and that if they were in your position perhaps they would understand then leave it at that.
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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Joined
Oct 16, 2019
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Location
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I was thinking back to past experiences where (a few) people in my life (who know I have anxiety and a history of self harm) have discredited my experiences with mental health.

For (metaphorical) example:

Someone will say to me: "I had this experience happen to me and you think you are stressed out? Wait until you experience what I'm experiencing one day. You think you have it so hard."

or

"I know someone who had a similar experience to you but it was worse. So your situation isn't really a big deal."

I've never known how to respond to these situations, usually my face feels hot and I want to cry. And I have a moment where I feel upset and angry where I want to defend myself but often times I don't because, now I feel my experience with mental health is something to be ashamed of and isn't valid.

I was wondering if anyone has experienced this with their mental health and felt comfortable sharing how they reacted/coped. How did it make you feel? Also, do you think its better to stand up for yourself in these situations or not react?



You don't need to justify yourself. Nobody has been in your shoes or know what you've beem through. For you something that seems small could have been as traumatizing as something 10x worse for somebody.

You need to just ignore these people who obviously just have a need to feel superior when in reality are just showing off ignorance. Treat them how you'd feel if a child said something to you about mental health. Obviously youd give it no regard because they're are ignorant of such things.
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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Jan 22, 2012
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I have a former drinking buddy who is a functioning alcoholic - he holds down a fairly responsible management job but spends all his time off drunk who thinks that because I walk around and talk normally there is nothing about my Schizophrenia and Depression that holds me back, I also get offered a job all the time in the local convenience store despite the manager knowing about my diagnosis due to being polite and socially skilled but the stress of a crowded busy shop or a difficult customer would take me about 45 minutes of meditation locked in my flat to deal with. Unless people have experienced MH problems they just don't understand it. A close friends father couldn't understand my MH problems, he was a successful business man who in his fifties suddenly experienced depression due to suppressing the feelings he had over the premature death of his wife to get on and provide for his kids, after the depression hit he began to understand what I was experiencing.
 
Mario82

Mario82

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I can't even begin to wonder what it must be like to have no mental health issues. The brain is so complex and mental health affects so many people. Of course with some there is nothing wrong with their brain chemistry - it is environmental factors such as bereavement or job loss which see them go to the mental health service and once time passes and they get a job or they feel better they are discharged and things get easier again. For those of us with messed up brain chemistry I don't think 'normies' can truly understand what it's like, and to be honest I can't blame them. I can't understand what it's like to have some kind of debilitating physical disease and wouldn't pretend to, so no surprise that people who have no history of mental health issues can't empathise with us. I just wish there wasn't so much stigma still.

There's a self-fulfilling prophecy there as well. I feel sometimes like I can't do the things any 'normal' person does, like lose my temper or get in a heated debate, or shout at someone who is annoying me, because it is interpreted as my mental illness affecting me, rather than just me being human. The truth of course is everyone loses their temper sometimes, not just those who have mental health problems. I feel like I have to be perfectly mannered otherwise it is a case of 'there's that mentally ill person playing up again, has he took his meds'?
 
Ghost_Owl

Ghost_Owl

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It is sadly common. Sometimes I am not so polite in conveying things that basically invalidate your entire existence in a dismissive way and do nothing to help with the pain you are in. Here are a few of my tactics.

Blunt Approach.

If you want to be a bit harsh in conveying something. You could ask them if they have been set on fire before? You could ask them if people on fire count their blessings? Or do they seek a source of water (Professional help.) and scream in pain while on fire? (Depression is like being in pain it is just an invisible fire. Like fire it kills people if left to burn.) If I kick you in the shin, do you think you can concentrate and appreciate what you are doing right now?

People have it worse nonsense.

A more odious one is when people say where there are people worse off than you. Sometimes it is meant politely as in take stock of what you do have. There is good evidence that taking some time to be appreciative of something genuinely helps. Other times it is just meant dismissively.

My retort when it is dismissive. So I need to be starving orphan before how I feel is valid? How does that help me in the now? Are you asking me to appreciate that there are starving orphans in the world and I am not one of them? So you want me to be grateful over someone else's misery? Knowing its worse for another neither helps me in the now and also proves things can get worse and do! How is this helpful? There are also people worse off than starving orphans so should starving orphans also be thankful they are not as bad off? Does being aware there are people worse off help the starving orphan from starving?

My Method against my father.

My father in the early days was at one point acting like I was choosing to be a nightmare spawn of satan amped up on speed and pcp. After getting fed up of being blamed I decided to treat his diabetes the same way. When ever he took out his insulin I told him he needed to value cake more. Has he tried making some effort to eat more cake? Maybe the dangers of sugar are not real and live only in your head? Maybe he has been eating the wrong cake and just needs to find the right one? Or that his attitude towards cake and reliance on a needle is a choice he is making. Plenty of other people eat cake just fine, why can't you? At some point he lost his temper at me. My response was, yeah annoying isn't it. That is what you sound like. A breakthrough conversation happened after that though. I love him for sticking by me and trying to understand.
 
Mario82

Mario82

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Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
3,781
Location
UK
It is sadly common. Sometimes I am not so polite in conveying things that basically invalidate your entire existence in a dismissive way and do nothing to help with the pain you are in. Here are a few of my tactics.

Blunt Approach.

If you want to be a bit harsh in conveying something. You could ask them if they have been set on fire before? You could ask them if people on fire count their blessings? Or do they seek a source of water (Professional help.) and scream in pain while on fire? (Depression is like being in pain it is just an invisible fire. Like fire it kills people if left to burn.) If I kick you in the shin, do you think you can concentrate and appreciate what you are doing right now?

People have it worse nonsense.

A more odious one is when people say where there are people worse off than you. Sometimes it is meant politely as in take stock of what you do have. There is good evidence that taking some time to be appreciative of something genuinely helps. Other times it is just meant dismissively.

My retort when it is dismissive. So I need to be starving orphan before how I feel is valid? How does that help me in the now? Are you asking me to appreciate that there are starving orphans in the world and I am not one of them? So you want me to be grateful over someone else's misery? Knowing its worse for another neither helps me in the now and also proves things can get worse and do! How is this helpful? There are also people worse off than starving orphans so should starving orphans also be thankful they are not as bad off? Does being aware there are people worse off help the starving orphan from starving?

My Method against my father.

My father in the early days was at one point acting like I was choosing to be a nightmare spawn of satan amped up on speed and pcp. After getting fed up of being blamed I decided to treat his diabetes the same way. When ever he took out his insulin I told him he needed to value cake more. Has he tried making some effort to eat more cake? Maybe the dangers of sugar are not real and live only in your head? Maybe he has been eating the wrong cake and just needs to find the right one? Or that his attitude towards cake and reliance on a needle is a choice he is making. Plenty of other people eat cake just fine, why can't you? At some point he lost his temper at me. My response was, yeah annoying isn't it. That is what you sound like. A breakthrough conversation happened after that though. I love him for sticking by me and trying to understand.

The 'other people have it worse' stuff is nonsense. The fight or flight theory is well known - when we can't afford to feed ourselves or drink water or shelter ourselves those become priority number 1. When we can we sadly take them for granted and other things take priority such as our mental health. Of course, people living in Africa who are living in poverty will be negatively affected mentally because of their plight as well and they have it worse than most people in the world. However, that shouldn't make light of people's struggles with depression etc. Mental illness is invisible and needs to be treated as similar to physical illnesses which cause physical pain. In many ways mental illness is worse as you can never really perfectly fix it with medication, whereas someone with a broken leg can heal, for instance.

You'd think that with the invisible killer, COVID-19, being rampant, people would be a bit more understanding of what we cant see but massively affects us, physically or mentally.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
6,522
Location
Nashua NH
I can't even begin to wonder what it must be like to have no mental health issues. The brain is so complex and mental health affects so many people. Of course with some there is nothing wrong with their brain chemistry - it is environmental factors such as bereavement or job loss which see them go to the mental health service and once time passes and they get a job or they feel better they are discharged and things get easier again. For those of us with messed up brain chemistry I don't think 'normies' can truly understand what it's like, and to be honest I can't blame them. I can't understand what it's like to have some kind of debilitating physical disease and wouldn't pretend to, so no surprise that people who have no history of mental health issues can't empathise with us. I just wish there wasn't so much stigma still.

There's a self-fulfilling prophecy there as well. I feel sometimes like I can't do the things any 'normal' person does, like lose my temper or get in a heated debate, or shout at someone who is annoying me, because it is interpreted as my mental illness affecting me, rather than just me being human. The truth of course is everyone loses their temper sometimes, not just those who have mental health problems. I feel like I have to be perfectly mannered otherwise it is a case of 'there's that mentally ill person playing up again, has he took his meds'?
Sometimes when I get pissed off
about something and express
this in a way that is emphatic my mother will ask me if I’m off my meds just because I have gotten pissed off about something and I get pissed off so rarely. Either that or she will ask, are you having a manic episode? Just because someone has pissed me off and she doesn’t agree with me being pissed off about it because she doesn’t like conflict. I feel like she uses my mental illness against me
in this way it’s so enfuriating.
 
A

aisha23

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my parents were bad at this and would use the line so what?. everyone has mood swings. everyone can be awkward if they want to be. I even remember one of my teachers who I told about my panic attacks too in confidence told me that I should stop being stupid and that panic attacks don't exist. I'm not very good at standing up for myself so just continue living my life and make sure those people arn't involved in my life if they can't grasp the basics of what's wrong with me

my carer who looks after me is great now. she understands my problems
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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I saw a GP as a teen in the 80's for depression and anxiety who told me to "pull myself together and basically fuck off out of his office" I took to self medicating with cannabis and amphetamine plus the other popular drugs of the time which led to neurological damage and Schizophrenia. If a GP did that these days he'd probably be struck off and rightly so things have got better.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I saw a GP as a teen in the 80's for depression and anxiety who told me to "pull myself together and basically fuck off out of his office" I took to self medicating with cannabis and amphetamine plus the other popular drugs of the time which led to neurological damage and Schizophrenia. If a GP did that these days he'd probably be struck off and rightly so things have got better.
I have two friends that each developed Schizophrenia after drug use. So few people seem to know about this potential consequence...so sad...
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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It's becoming more widely known. As a teen my mother used to tell me I was apathetic I wasn't I was depressed due to her Narcissism and my step father's ASPD. The first time I tried suicide I was 5.
 
vanish

vanish

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I was once told by a former psychiatrist that the key to my recovery from schizophrenia was to be the perfect housewife. I believed I should live a life in servitude to my then husband and that (and I quote) "a woman's place is in the kitchen". I hated seeing him every month (although my husband was delighted). After a suicide attempt, he said I was going to hell. He was a strict catholic doctor and I believe he should have kept his religious beliefs out of his practice.
These days this psychiatrist now teaches the next generation of psychiatrists, as he's a professor at the state university. Thankfully he no longer sees patients!
 
Lone_wanderer

Lone_wanderer

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I got a beating for being so f**king stupid to paraphrase her words. When I discovered drugs, cannabis relaxed me and amphetamine gave me self confidence and for a while the world was my oyster.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I was once told by a former psychiatrist that the key to my recovery from schizophrenia was to be the perfect housewife. I believed I should live a life in servitude to my then husband and that (and I quote) "a woman's place is in the kitchen". I hated seeing him every month (although my husband was delighted). After a suicide attempt, he said I was going to hell. He was a strict catholic doctor and I believe he should have kept his religious beliefs out of his practice.
These days this psychiatrist now teaches the next generation of psychiatrists, as he's a professor at the state university. Thankfully he no longer sees patients!
I went to a psychiatrist with problems sleeping once. I hadn’t slept in months. He asked me if I ever tried drinking a glass of wine before bed even though I was only in my twenties at the time and on meds.
 
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