The Discriminating Doc: My Experience With Stigma And A Mental Health Professional

There are a lot of misconceptions about BPD. Wish more people would understand that it is not always all about attention. Mental illness is serious – suicide is serious, self harm is serious. No mental illness is about seeking attention. How mental illness comes out is just how mental illness works!

I have previously added a post relating to the Stigma towards BPD (Common Misconceptions And Myths Attached To BPD, Lets Get a Few Things Straight!. )

I’m going to share with you something that has made my blood boil for the past 2 days…

So I was talking to this guy that I was really getting on with, we shared laughs and seemed to have a lot in common. He is a mental health worker in a Crisis Unit in a Hospital. We got onto the subject of me studying mental health and completing my course and I mentioned that I would like to concentrate on some specialised learning in Personality Disorders because it really interests me.

See, I would like to do some charity work as when I was diagnosed, leading up to it and after the diagnosis,  I wasn’t happy with the care I received from the NHS and…

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Recovery is a Scary Thought

Recovery is a scary thought.

When you have been stuck in a depressive state or with any type of mental illness for so long, thinking about even getting better can be incredibly scary.  You don’t know what to expect.  Your normal has become the dysfunction that you have been living.

I had lived with depression since I was 10 years old.  When I was around 22 is got pretty severe.  When I was 24 it got extremely severe and after a few more diagnosis for bipolar, ptsd, and borderline personality – I eventually was what they considered to have severe mental illness.  Denial came along, not wanting help happened, and not knowing how to even accept the help occurred.

I was scared of having a happy life.  What was a happy life like?  I was used to being sad.  I was used to hating life.  I was used to wanting to die.  In fact, I wanted to die.  Why would I want to live and be happy.  That wasn’t my normal, how could that even happen?  I was scared to live like that.  Sure, I thought that would be cool, but it was really scary that I could even have a life like that.  What would it take to get there? What would it be like?  I was terrified, and quite honestly, I was not completely sure why since happiness should have been a great thing, but it just wasn’t something I was used to.

My therapists over the years have told me that for many people recovery can be scary.  So I hope I am not alone in this.  I have talked to some other people that have expressed the same sentiments about it.  Today, I am not 100% happy.  I still struggle with low grade depression.  I still have fleeting suicidal thoughts.  I have horrible anxiety.  But, I am a lot better than before.  I have only been hospitalized 2x in over 1.5 years opposed to the 15 times in 1.5 years before.  I have made a lot of progress.

Recovery doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

Don’t Say That to Me!


I found this comic on pinterest and it addresses the issue about ‘If physical diseases were treated like mental illnesses.’ I think it is a really great perspective!

When I am depressed, there are some things I really do not want to hear!  People just do not understand depression and mental illness.  It is so easy for them to think that we can just “snap out of it.” With that, that is one thing you better not say to me – “Snap out of it!”


Some other things that you shouldn’t say to someone who is depressed –


* No one ever said life was fair.

* Think of all the good things in your life, a lot of people have it much worse.

* If you don’t like feeling that way, just change it.

* You have no reason to feel like that.

* Just try a little harder.

* Just get a hobby.

* Pull yourself together.

* Mind over matter.

* You don’t need meds, just take vitamins or try natural stuff.

* You will be ok, just hang in there, things will get better, I promise.

* Everyone gets depressed, it’s normal.

* Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!

* Suck it up.

 * You need to be strong for ….(your mom, kids, sister, etc)

* Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

* So you’re depressed? What’s new?

* Try not to be so depressed.

* I know how you feel, I was depressed when blablabla (unless the person has truly experienced a diagnosis of depression/mental illness and really understands what depression is like)

* If you keep acting like this no one will be your friend.


Not all of these have been said to me, but a lot have.  Some by my family, some by friends.  Others I have heard in the psych hospital during visiting hours when friends or family were visiting their loved ones. 

Hearing these can tear us apart.  It makes us feel like we have no support from those around us.  It makes us feel incredibly alone.  So for those of you who want to talk to someone who is depressed – think about what you are saying.  Think about what your words really mean.  How they come across.  How the person will perceive them.  Even if you mean them with the best of intentions, they might not be perceived that way.  I know people try to say that, “Well I was just pointing out that others have it worse so they could see that they really do have a good life.” But for me, that just makes me feel awful.  I know I have a good life compared to someone who is starving and dying.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right to feel my feelings.  And by saying that, it completely invalidates my feelings, and then adds on a whole new feeling of guilt and causes me to clam up and put on a mask and not want to express myself at all except in a possibly more destructive way such as self harm. 

So think about what you say to someone who is depressed.  Even if I wanted to, I can’t snap out of it.