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What are some specific ways in which you have seen MI stigmatized?


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I couldn't answer this question. I don't tell people my diagnosis because I'm not sure how they will react. My dentist gave me a strange look when I told her why I take my meds and she's supposed to be a professional.

Any ideas on stigma?

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I'm sorry I'm not understanding the question.

Maybe I don't see the stigma so much because I just don't give a fuck what people think of my crazyness.

If they don't like it, they can just shove it. I can't change the way I am.

Maybe I'm not understanding. Sorry.

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The worst one for me wasn't even stigmatizing bipolar, it was stigmatizing me. When I went through a bad period of depression shortly after being diagnosed bipolar, my housemate blamed me for choosing to withdraw socially because (she believed) I was deciding to do so in response to knowing I'd been given a bipolar diagnosis. I wound up going back into partial hospitalization during that time because I was too depressed to handle the complexity of opening food packages, so I wasn't eating. And she was so irked at me for not being more social.

She's a therapist or counselor or social worker or something now, god forbid. I hope she's one of those people who can apply tolerance and understanding in their work life even if not in their personal life.

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Hubby's family kept refusing to believe he had a mental illness, because i guess it is better to think your beloved family member is a useless druggie than simply a person with an illness.

;) wtf?

As far as friends and coworkers go, hell, half of them are on some kind of antidepressant or something. They still seem to think that they don't really have a problem, but bipolar ...WOOOOHHH. This just cracks me up. They have always thought my hubby was weird because he doesn't like NASCAR and enjoys talking about economics and politics...oh...and he is an athiest. So yeah, he was branded a weirdo long before anyone knew he was bipolar.

Has it resulted in descrimination? I honestly think he ran in to more trouble for being an athiest than crazy.

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I've had friends create distance when they knew what my disorder was, and guys either manipulate me or choose not to date me when they found out, but like Maddy, I try not to care what others think.

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As far as friends and coworkers go, hell, half of them are on some kind of antidepressant or something. They still seem to think that they don't really have a problem, but bipolar ...WOOOOHHH. This just cracks me up. They have always thought my hubby was weird because he doesn't like NASCAR and enjoys talking about economics and politics...oh...and he is an athiest. So yeah, he was branded a weirdo long before anyone knew he was bipolar.

Has it resulted in descrimination? I honestly think he ran in to more trouble for being an athiest than crazy.

Funny you should say that - I'm an atheist who majored in history/journalism, is fascinated by psychology and sociology and since I'm a database administrator most people don't understand what I do for a living. They think I just sit at my desk and plug words into a GUI.

Ummmm.....no. I design the damn GUI and the database behind it and I will be more than happy to discuss with you the fact that the entire world runs on databases and you'd never get anything done without them so I deserve a raise - and that no god had anything to do with it.

I agree with you, WZ. I'm out about my illness and I get a lot more flak for being an atheist.

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i've never had any stigmatism or discrimination that i've ever noticed. i've had friends blame random things on my being multiple, but if i weren't multi, i am sure they would have found something else to blame it on since the problem was their trying to escape responsibility for paying rent and stuff, lol.

maybe i've never noticed, or maybe i've never been in any job important enough for it to matter.

hell, i even tell my bosses right away that i'm nuts and they've always been very willing to work with me.

abigail

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Well I get called emo for being depressed and cutting.

I HATE it when people do that. Just because you have depression and self harm does not make you 'emo'. I hate the whole concept of 'emo' because it is so frequently misapplied. As my boyfriend says, its not 'emo' if you are actually ill, but a lot of people don't understand that. Also not all emos are depressive and cut, it's a stupid stereotype.

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Well I get called emo for being depressed and cutting.

I HATE it when people do that. Just because you have depression and self harm does not make you 'emo'. I hate the whole concept of 'emo' because it is so frequently misapplied. As my boyfriend says, its not 'emo' if you are actually ill, but a lot of people don't understand that. Also not all emos are depressive and cut, it's a stupid stereotype.

Agree.

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What an amazing coincidence--my darling and devoted husband spent Sunday AM telling me that I was basically just lazy and if I "wanted to feel better, I could". And that he was really tired of me "taking advantage" of "suposedly being sick or something" and having those "damn panick attacks". (Wish there were some way to write the way he SAID "panic attacks")

The basic ole, "Let a smile be your umbrella" shit--just buck up, there's nothing wrong with you, you're just lazy and can't keep a job cause you tell people you are better than they are. (Wow--sometimes I am--)

But maybe that's not real discrimination--just being mean--real, down-dirty,fucking mean--

china

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When I told a supervisor at my old retail job that I have bipolar disorder, she said, and I quote: "Well, I can't have you freaking out in front of the customers."

I quit shortly after.

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I had a nurse-boss (an RN with a BSN) tell me, when I told her I was BP, not to tell anybody. I asked her if she thought it was contagious. She never reallly answered. But she always loooked just a bit afraid of me from them on, too---

china

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I worked as a teleservices contractor for 4 yrs (work from home) ~ always got work, no problems. During sidefexor discontinuation I ended up a basket case and couldn't work. Needed time off, so told them I had a mood disorder. They just stopped giving me work.

Also didn't provide the necessary paperwork to social security, despite repeated requests (from social security agency), so I couldn't get income support for a month. I'm still not back at work, it's been 12 months now. Didn't do my confidence a whole lotta good.

It's stinks ~ stigma is alive and kicking unfortunately (currently). I won't make the mistake of disclosure again. Don't need the grief.

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IN high school when everyone found out I had depression, I got a lot of weird looks, and teachers would treat me like a freak, like always stare at me, and then I would get called into the principals office a lot, just bc the teachers were concerned my depression would affec tmys chool life..

when people find out I have schizophrenia, they would treat me lik ea freak, and my doctors would always ask, if I was just making it up..and at jobs, , my co-workers would ask my boss, if he would fire me, bc they were afraid I would hurt them, while I was hallicunating..

I have been thru so much mi stigmas..you have no clue..I have more and more stories to tell.

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I haven't had it as bad as some of you all, but I hate that depression is so easy to shrug off for some people. Even my friends who supposedly try to understand where I'm coming from still end up saying things that totally rub me the wrong way.

- no I am not just wallowing in self pity

- no I am not just lazy (yes, I did sleep 18 hours the other day...it's not because I'm lazy and a sloth, it's because being awake is torture sometimes)

- excersize and a good diet alone will not magically cure me

- I cannot just "cheer up" (don't you think I would if I could?)

- I do not need a "reason" to be this way (yes, I know there are starving children with AIDS in Africa that have it much, much worse than me and I have no reason to be depressed compared to them--I feel guilty enough already for heaven's sake)

- I am NOT not not not NOT making this up for attention.

- just because I take medication does not make me a 'pill-popper' who thinks that medication will solve everything and that I'm just sitting back waiting for my happy pills to kick in

- 'oh come on, everyone and their mother is "depressed" these days and taking medication for it'

- the other day one of my roommates saw my day-of-the-week pill box that I usually keep out of sight and said 'oh my gosh, it looks like my grandma's!'

Also not a fan of everyone in the world being ADD...

'oh, I'm just ADD today'..'whoops! ADD moment!'..'jeez, he's so ADD, he needs to chill out'

whatever, I can deal with it being a part of our vocabulary--but I hate being looked at like a druggie/junkie because I now take medication for it. I know adderall is amphetamine salts, I know I'm a college student, I know a lot of people abuse it, that doesn't mean that I am one of them.

Oh, anyone else get weird looks at the pharmacy?

I know I'm picking up four psych meds at the same time mr.pharmacist, but please don't say in your loudest voice "you're picking up FOUR? um, are you sure? let me go check" ((weird look)) "oh, wow, okay, I guess there are four for ms._____"...it's gotten to the point that I'd much rather go to the pharmacy several different times a month than pick them all up at once out of convenience.

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Hi All:

I think y'all should try some yoga. (sarcasm) ;)

everyone knows im crazy.

as for the pharmacy - ive never had a problem. thank god!! the pharm tech usually reminds me of the high copay for seroquel $75 and if i know it. yes, i do..unfortunately.

as my dad's body decomposes as he lives - he gets more meds as well. there have been times when ive gone to the pharmacy and the tech says "i have a lot of rx's for your household." its odd how my dads meds usually get refilled as the same time i do.

oh well...add more pills to the list...

db

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my friends know I'm crazy and they love me for it

strangers think I'm crazy and they are scared of me

i am out there and paint alot and am very creative

i'm bad at driving. really, really bad.

i'm a pill popper

emotionally unstable

entertaining to be around

some say i'm lazy when i'm down

the life of the party during an episode

self medicate when i feel i need to

addiction problems

i'm not suicidal, i think that's a big one. alot of people assume the worst when they hear the word bipolar.

i can't make myself magically feel better

but when i'm happy, i'm really happy.

oh and i'm insanely paranoid.

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