Last week, a new study published by the American Sociological Association in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found, based on randomised testing of 320 psychotherapists in the New York area, that psychotherapists are significantly less likely to offer therapy appointments to black middle-class patients than to white ones (17% of black middle-class callers were offered appointments, compared with 28% of white-middle class callers).
Working-class callers of both races were worse off still (8% were offered an appointment) – even though all callers said they had the same health insurance and only contacted in-network practitioners.
A poor brain is as worthy as a rich brain: psychotherapy faces a privilege problem | Guardian
I'm wondering if anyone else around here is disturbed by the way bipolar is being portrayed on Showtime's ' Homeland ', starring Claire Danes as the main character who has bipolar.
I believe this show is contributing to misinformation and stigma regarding mental illness, in this case BP.
Okay, so I've been thinking a lot about just "coming out" as Bipolar to all my friends and family. At the moment only a few know and they have either accepted it and asked questions because they really want to know what is wrong or have run in the other way practically screaming and not wanting me near their children anymore. Because, you know, I can snap at any moment and you can catch Bipolar by breathing the same air as me. I feel like those who actually accept me (and I can count them on one hand) should be the only ones I worry about and not those who either think I'm dangerous, acting like I'm ill to get attention, or just want to take the drugs because I'm too weak to deal with the real world. But sometimes I feel that I will lose everyone if I don't act like everything's wonderful and I don't have to try oodles of different med cocktails to try and live a normal life.
When I do think about not living with Bipolar as if it was this giant secret I think I would feel less anxiety as I won't have to worry about people only finding out when I have an episode.
On the other hand, I don't want to jeopardise my future career because colleagues know and now think I'm not fit to work. I mean, I don't want to walk into a job interview or into the office going I'M BIPOLAR, but I need to go to dr appointments and stuff so they need to know up to a point what's wrong with me.
At the moment I feel like I have to keep a large part of my life completely private in case anyone finds out. I hardly go out anymore and am afraid to make new friends or even get a boyfriend in case they just reject me as soon as they find out that I'm crazy.
I'd like to hear how others deal with stigma / coming out and telling people about their MI...
I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last year, with a possible bipolar co morbidity and have suffered anxiety and depression since my childhood. I have an intense fear of being alone and have very little confidence in myself. I'm pretty much dependant on my partner, more so now as on the 21st February this year we became parents.
A little bit of background, i don't work and haven't done since 2012 after a crappy job had me so stressed i ended up in A&E (Accident & Emergency) after my stomach stopped working and i couldn't eat for days. I met my partner during this time, and we quickly moved in together. He worked full time and made just enough money to support us both, and i am eternally grateful to him for taking on me, my financial baggage and my disorder. Due to my severe anxiety i haven't been able to leave my home without someone with me pretty much since the end of 2012/early 2013. I had started to recover slightly by the summer of 2013, but then i had a miscarriage and flew off the rails. I became pregnant again may last year whilst i was still turbulent, and received very little support from mental health services throughout my pregnancy though for the majority i wasn't *too* bad.
The last few weeks of my pregnancy however, were hell. I became increasingly nervous about being left by myself, to the point i was begging and pleading with my partner to not go to work. I even threatened to chain him to something to prevent him from leaving. After a call to a financial advisor within the mental health team we decided it was for the best that he became my full time carer, for the benefit of us both and our impending baby.
Financially, we're ok. Socially, not so much. I ended up coming clean to my mom about my partner quitting his job just after giving birth whilst i was high on gas and air. Her reaction was better than i expected, but i also knew i could get away with her not lecturing me there and then considering i had just pushed out another human from my body. It's been almost 8 weeks now though and not everyone knows about it, and that is by choice. My dad doesnt know, and neither does my partners dad, purely because we are worried what reaction they will give. I am also certain that it was a mistake to tell particular friends as i am sure they're commenting about it negatively amongst themselves.
So i got to thinking, WHY are we so worried about their reaction? In the eyes of the government i'm classified disabled, i am looked after by a mental health team and have regular visits to the psychiatrist. In health terms, it's no different to someone with a physical disability, the government would class them as disabled, they would have people looking after them, and regular visits to the doctor. If someones partner was to leave work to look after them and they were in a wheelchair or had cancer, no one would bat an eyelid. Yet frankly i'm terrified that people would now be calling us lazy or benefits scroungers. I often have a voice telling me that there isn't anything wrong with me and that i'm just lazy and too stupid to live a proper life, and have to remind this voice that if there was nothing wrong with me i wouldn't have a diagnosis. I'm also terrified that it means i have to explain myself to anyone and everyone, and answer invasive personal questions to pretty much justify why i'm being cared for. Again someone with a physical disability wouldn't have someone ask them "what's wrong with them", yet this is the first question out of some peoples mouths regarding mental health. I'm secretive about my condition with my family, i don't like them knowing how bad it gets because they worry and start asking questions i don't want to answer. To me telling them this decision is like blowing a great big hole through that secretive safety net i've created.
The worst is when i'm having a good day and feel pretty much fine, on those days if i'm out with my partner and our daughter during normal working hours i feel literally every eye passing us and judging us. I actually start to feel guilty about having a good day, and most of the time i'm too anxious to go outside at all for fear of being judged and stared at. It just goes to show that even with more education of mental health the stigma is still very much alive and affecting sufferers.
By Foggy Brain
I'm not really looking for advice or anything. I just need to put these thoughts down somewhere in the hopes that it will help me work through this.
My pdoc wants to switch my meds because mine aren't working anymore. That's fine but my dream job just came up and I got it. That in itself is okay - a little scary at a time when I need to change meds but not necessarily unsurmountable.
In addition to that, I have my grandmother at home and she's really old and to take the job I need to find someone to stay with her. I have some people but they have schedules so I have to juggle their schedules to make sure I have coverage.
When I read this as though someone else wrote it - it looks challenging but doable but in my head it's just overwhelming.
Also as I read this I get this feeling that the series of circumstances in my life make me identifiable and someone from work will read this and know it's me. That in itself is a whole other issue. The minute chance that someone would read this and know my identity is very improbable and if they did - so what? Except that then I'd have the MI stigma to deal with at work too. That in itself is kind of amusing because I'm the one who advocates for others with MI at work so if I want to talk the talk, I'd better walk the walk.
Oh man, I'm rambling. I'm gonna need a blog soon.