stigma

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rusty_nail

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#1
Hi folks, this is my first post, hello everyone,
Anyway, one thing I have learnt since suffering from mental illness for over ten years, first diagnosis with bipolar and later changed to schizoaffective is the stigma attached.
People don't want to know you, when you have a mental illness.
A long standing suffering of mental illness and five psych admissions means trying to gain employment is virtually impossible, how do I explain what ive been doing for the past ten years, other than losing the plot at times.
Friends soon move on, someone who is troubled is not good company for them.
And trying to make friends, where do you start, often people see you as vulnerable and if you are not careful, some people may take advantage.
Sorry for the self pity, glad to hear stories of others struggling with stigma.
Bye.
 
calypso

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#2
Hiya and welcome to the forum. Stigma is awful and a constant threat to all of us. I have not come across it too much (I am diagnosed bipolar) but have had people wanting to have bipolar and saying things like"I'm a little bit bipolar" as though its a badge to carry around!

To get insurance of any kind is terrible if you have bipolar, you just can't get any so I don't tell people now. I don't know the answer to telling employers where you have been, its a real conundrum. Can't you say that you have just been unemployed? I would not tell them the diagnosis that's for sure. If you think you are balanced enough now, then go for work as any normal person would I think. ( I am not saying you aren't normal, you know what I mean I hope).
 
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ramboghettouk

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#3
in the days when i looked for work i didn't mention schitzoprenia but my unemployment history was against me at one point got an interview by claiming i'd worked for firms that had gone bust in brum, they realised i was lying at the interview

i only mentioned schitzoprenia if they gauranteed an interview if you had a disability then i got no reply, incidentally including mind and rethink

i now think whether it's stigma or illlness is a sillly question, it comes to the same thing, thats what those therapists who argue it's all label don't tell people
 
Hopefuloldie

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#4
Hi - I stopped engaging with the MH services long ago and hide my issues as much as possible for this very reason. I haven't worked this year, but in any applications I will make, I'll just say I was taking a career break. I don't think anyone would employ me if I shared my diagnosis.

Sad but true, even in the light of campaigns like Time to Talk..... I think employers pay lip service to mental health, but they are not keen to take on someone with problems.
 
FadeToBlack

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#5
they are not keen to take on someone with problems.
I worked as a temp, and proved myself and earned a permanent position. I have been there for five years now, and I work four days.

They now know I have problems, and what my diagnosis is. I have been hospitalised several times, but because i started from the bottom and worked my way up, people I work with knew I could do the job as I proved I could do it.

It is possible. I would recommend something similar, and when things get rough they will support you if you have shown them how well you can work.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#6
I worked as a temp, and proved myself and earned a permanent position. I have been there for five years now, and I work four days.

They now know I have problems, and what my diagnosis is. I have been hospitalised several times, but because i started from the bottom and worked my way up, people I work with knew I could do the job as I proved I could do it.

It is possible. I would recommend something similar, and when things get rough they will support you if you have shown them how well you can work.
have you got a schitzoprenia diagnosis, as i say hollywood stars come out as bipolar
 
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ramboghettouk

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#8
are you living at home, have you a supportive family

i remember tessa in the thatcher years, she'd work 1 day a week or 2 or 3 depending how she felt, the only reason she could do that was her mother would spend all week down the then dhss seeing that her benefits were sorted out, they told this mother it was taking a social worker working full time 2 or 3 days a week to sort out her benefits

i know with universal credit etc they've claimed to simplify things, my neighbour said when she was working part time there were all these forms to fill up

i'd be frightened of rocking the benefit boat because if it disapears i doubt i can swim
 
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ramboghettouk

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#9
if i say no schitzoprenics or no disabled people can work thats not true equally if i say all can work thats not true, the majority of schitzoprenics ans disabled people have difficulties in working some surmountable with the right job which may not be available in pracrice
 
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#10
This is turning to be an interesting thread;

I think the answer here, is, finding the right employer, is having the right employer who might just happen to be geared up for mental h ealth, if there are any in the workplace, so that would and could be a big help in finding that right employer.


I know I'm going to feel bias, here, everyone, to my mind, the best key option is volunteering. That way, you are in charge, of days, hours mental health, now in my case, I didn't in the early days of my typing role need to explain about mental health, because and I'll let trust that my volunteering head quarters, did that work aspect on my behalf, so when I happened to have received an email out of the blue, and then landed the role of volunteer typist, it was a big h elp for me, that i didn't have to not in one instance, cover about mental health, and, the current typing employer, voluntary, is a mental health establishment.


So I have very much broken the barrier in that, yes, I'm unwell with mental health issues, however stablised and balanced on med, and yes, I can do volunteering across the North West of London areas, via Southgate-Barnet side, and yes, should it just so happen, I am volunteering within a mental health care home background.

Now apart from my complaints case, and a 2nd review coming up, overall, and in all, I'm myself happy there.

I just need to sort out my complaints case, within my review, hopefully within the review, and not internal externally at the care home, outside of it.


Best Regards All.

Oh and just one more thing to point out, I am very much normal physically, it's just that I have mental health issues, and also my specific communication problems.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#11
i'm just sensitive theres this narrative that people can work so theres no need to pay benefits which is been used to attack the welfare state and i don't feel i have that choice in this less than ideal world, i'm dependent on ever lower benefits
 
fazza

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#12
I worked fine and whilst working I did not need benefits so I stopped claiming them. I have now stopped working and claiming benefits again. Just waiting for my PIP medical again. ESA sorted. Hopefully after speaking to them on Thursday my PIP medical will be in January.

As for stigma. It sucks. Friends leave you (if that's the case were they ever real friends). I have not found work is any harder to get. Providing you don't go to the interview dressed as jesus Christ and you can try and hold down a normal conversation then go for it. The more practice you get at interviews the more confident you become (sure knock backs suck) but see it as a game.

Another thing with stigma it can also work in you favour. I don't have to wait as long in the chemist and even they phone me up and ask how the new meds are going. I have found that most professional people look at the person not the label.

Friends on the other hand just see a huge label that screams "Nutter". These people are not worth knowing. A lot of people I know who I have told that I suffer from schizophrenia are great but none of these people I would consider friends. My kids teachers, my ex employer, Taxi drivers, (yes even them) have all been great.

I am proud to be mentally ill. I have accepted that friends don't accept me for who I am. We don't need anymore stressors in our lives as it is stress full enough without all the problems friends bring.


We have each other in this forum. Everyone of us is equal no matter what the illness. The depressed the manic the psychotic the disordered, We are all sharing the same umbrella.


Sod friends. I can't trust them but I know I can trust what I say here in these pages are looked upon and the replies are always heartfelt and honest.


Thank you
 
BPDevil

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#13
I don't even have to tell people, making and keeping friends is difficult, they always figure out there's something messed up about me eventually, problem is it doesn't reveal until I get comfortable with someone so then they have the nerve to say the BPD side of me are my true colours. I hate how the diagnosis you get given somehow defines you when I know the BPD side isn't the genuine me, yet if I explain that to people they think I'm making excuses for that behaviour

I think a majority still believe that BPD doesn't really exist or isn't a disorder and that we do have full control over it, yet they don't say the same about bipolar which is similar in a lot of ways
 
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ramboghettouk

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#14
maybe i should take on this BPD diagnosis, i think among diagnoses one shrink brought it up, i'm just used to my schitzo diagnosis i guess, bit old to go down the reconsider duagnosis trail and my first thought would be what would the dwp think