Archive for the ‘Stigma’ Category

Self Stigma

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Finding Melissa is no longer a secret. With my identity revealed on the About page, it was never a very good one; but the level of ownership that I’ve taken has gradually increased. I have, in the main, been okay with this, after all, it’s been my decision; but, recently, I’ve been wondering if I’m really as okay with it as I think. I have caught myself, on several occasions, catastrophising that if my site is “found” or my “real-life” identity connected, the consequences will automatically be bad.
(more…)

Handing Back the Shame

Monday, January 18th, 2010

This is how I feel when you stumble over naming the illness or skirt around the edge of mentioning what’s going on –

Ashamed.

And, this is how I feel when you hurry over any reference, or skate over the subject – when it comes up in conversation – as if the words haven’t been said –

Like I’m only half there.
(more…)

Damaged Goods

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Esme Lennox has got me thinking about madness.

We may not be able to lock people up as easily as we could 60 years ago, but the debate around power and freedom and what happens when you’re declared “unstable” still has currency.

I can kind of relate to Esme’s vanishing act.

It is hard to feel like a half person. When the discussion’s going on around – and about – you; you’re not always sure that you’re there and you’re certainly not sure that your contribution would count.

There’s something about mental illness that disempowers you in a way that no other illness can –
(more…)

Stories, Secrets and Stigma

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

If I do not tell my story; then it becomes my secret – which is never a good thing.

Because if my story becomes my secret; then I will have something to hide and there will be a danger in the waiting to be caught out.

And because I’m waiting to be caught out, my story – which is now my secret – will become my shame.
(more…)

But I might catch it…..

Monday, August 10th, 2009

According to the news, we don’t trust people with schizophrenia.

I’m not surprised.

Campaigning doesn’t touch our fear of mental health. The social judgements have become ingrown; the assumptions; inherent.

If I hadn’t been so ill, I might have been the same.

I wouldn’t have wanted my children to catch a mental illness. I would have erred on the side of caution when mixing with unwell people. I would have understood that mental illness is best approached sensitively and that allowances should be made for mental health sufferers; after all, they’re a bit different -

They’re not like us.

Or are they?

(more…)