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Unread 03-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Stigma and its effects

I met with a woman whose son suffered in a car wreck so has both traumatic brain injury plus PTSD. She decided to commit herself to those issues and how they related to veterans in particular.

As we were talking today, she mentioned what she called statistics about how people before they get a DSM diagnosis might have a set of friends from very close to reaching out, but after they have a diagnosis and reveal that fact, their friendship and relationship patterns change. They end up with far less support for whatever reasons, and I realize it is complicated.

Still what I would like to hear about is how people here have found that people seem to "disappear" when you actually tell them about a mental health issue. Some people get more behind you, but it has been my experience that the stigma is still too strong and drives people away.

I'm also wondering if you have decided to keep it more private and confidential based on your experience.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

I am careful who I tell. A lot of people know, but I wasn't close to them anyway. I have sensed some concern on the part of one friend, but she came to terms with it. I suspect there are some people who steer clear of me.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

Wouldn't know - only one that have a clue at all are immediate family members - everyone else it's intentionally not mentioned except were I can stay anonymous at least to the extent of connecting things to a face (ie - A screen name on the Internet is fine, just as long as that screen name dose not have a way to be traced back to my real name).
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Unread 03-24-2013, 04:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

I haven't told people other than family members. But my diagnosis is just clinical depression so I don't think I'd suffer from a stigma anyway.

I think it's unfortunate that people think the way they do about mental illness. Their mindset it still in the dark ages, i.e. "snake pits" of mental hospitals and people being chained to walls. It's certainly nowhere NEAR that way anymore!

I guess it's going to take forever for them to change their way of thinking.
The truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable......................................... .Garfield
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Unread 03-24-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

The sad thing is that we are told we should reach out for support from those around us. People seem to lack compassion for those who suffer with emotional illnesses ( refuse to use the word mental ) . We are looked at as weak people and others think we are just seeking attention. I for one have learned the hard way I should have just kept my problems to myself because now I'm alone. Sadly I think either way , tell or not not tell you end up having to deal with your issues by yourself when the thing you need most is support from others.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

I don't have many friends because of the stigma attached to mental illness-of which i have. The problem I have is there is no one to talk to when I really need it especially with crisis center because they send out the troops when I need help when all i'm asking for is someone to talk to.I actually havn't called crisis center in over 15 years because of what happened the last time when they sent the ambulance and everything else out when i was depressed and not even a danger to myself or anyone else. And they drag me to the pshyc ward where the people who work there are worse off than I am. They all seem to have power issues, that was back then , I don't know if it's the same still though.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #7
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Two trips to the er in that past seeking help. Will never do it again because of the way I was treated. Met very ridged people with no compassion.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 02:41 AM   #8
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Damn it! I wrote a fairly long post, and there was a database error and it got deleted! Never mind!

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Unread 03-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

I'm cautious about who I tell, except when I got manic and called my entire extended family to announce "I'm Bipolar!"

The people I've usually told are often outcasts in a way: like my gay, addicted, liberal, or those suffering from a visible mental illness friends. I've also found that elderly people are way more empathetic. I've told 3 elderly people only to find out that they suffered from a child commiting suicide.

I try to use common sense. I never tell a SINGLE person I work with at a business, nor to I disclose the meds I'm taking. I think a lot of people are misinformed about bipolar etc and think I'm dangerous. Just my two cents.

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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Stigma and its effects

I've started telling people recently, but for the most part I keep it secret. I test people, to be honest, see how they take certain things, see if it's wise to tell them. I have a couple of friends that know, and I've been lucky that they're all understanding and basically great people. The faculty and staff I've told are also similarly understanding.

But in my culture, in general, there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, and being a somewhat collectivistic society, everyone knows everyone. You can't only think about how the stigma would affect you personally.
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