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Mental Health Stigma - 9/10 feel they are frequently stigmatised

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:19pm

There is a story on the BBC web site called " Mental health poll reveals stigma " based on a Poll carried out by mental health charity Rethink . It hightlights the stigma faced by people suffering from mental health disorders. The most interesting thing was that they found that family and neighbours were most likely to treat them differently and I can certainly relate to that.

When I told my parents that I had been diagnosed with depression my father with his usual wisdom declaring that I should "pull my socks up" and my mother didn't really say anything. Leaving to go to my first counselling session my mother showed interest and support whilst my father with considerable deep, thorough and mature understanding told me "they will just blame it on a bad childhood and your parents." and that I was wasting my time. My sister didn't really say anything and pretty much chose to ignore it.

Years later my father was diagnosed with depression and he was admitted to hospital, took anti-depressents and even went counselling. It is nice to think that my father learnt from my experience and so was able to get treated for depression but as soon as he felt a bit better he stopped taking the anti-depressents and counselling. He couldn't work any more and had to take early retirement and he is a nightmare to deal with but learning from my parents I remember how I felt because of my fathers reaction so I try to be as supportive as I can be (not easy!!!).

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