Stigma – A Reminder

This one came up in my Timehop this morning, and as it was from three years ago – when most of you weren’t following my blog – I thought it worth sharing again. There are several reasons for doing so. Firstly, and most importantly, mental health issues are why I started to blog in the first place, although more recent followers could be forgiven for not noticing that – I do tend to wander off piste a lot! Secondly, this post was about the stigma that many attach to mental health problems: that was true then and, despite a growing awareness of the issues, I think that stigmatisation is still there and will take a long time before – or even if – it is eradicated. Thirdly, the timing of the post. As I said back then, I was running a series of posts on mental health in the lead up to World Mental Health Day. This happens on 10 October and I’m intending to post for it nearer the time: this is kind of a trailer for that. And fourthly, there is a link in the original piece to the previous day’s post, Mental Health Matters, which has become my most ‘liked’ post ever, and is a very important one for me.

Two personal updates to round off this commentary. Firstly, I’m happy to say that my friend and I have reconnected – although the others who deserted me in her wake haven’t. That’s life, I guess! If she sees this, I hope she can forgive me for using our story – as I said in the original, I was doing that to illustrate the point about stigmatisation of mental illness, not out of any wish for some kind of petty revenge. I didn’t want that at the time, and certainly don’t now! Secondly, the family member for whom the occasion I attended was arranged is, sadly, no longer with us. I’m reposting, in part, as a mark of respect.

Take It Easy

Continuing my theme for this week of posts on mental health, I’m turning my attention to the stigma that society attaches to mental illnesses and those who suffer from them. To illustrate this point, I suffered this in a relatively modest way last year and am sharing this story with you.

I lost a friend. Nothing major in the great scheme of life, it happens all the time. But not as a result of someone’s ignorance. Briefly, I had been due to attend this friend’s annual house party weekend, but a family event was arranged for the same weekend and, given the distances involved, it wasn’t possible to do both. I decided, as I think most of us would do, to put family first and gave my apologies. Things were strained for a month or two until the weekend of the event itself, when I was treated to the worst…

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6 thoughts on “Stigma – A Reminder

  1. Stevie Turner October 4, 2019 / 11:41 am

    Glad to read that you have re-connected with your friend. I often find that on Facebook many words can be misconstrued and taken to mean quite the opposite of what you meant to say in the first place! I’ve come off Facebook for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive October 4, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you. This was actually a real life friend, who I first met through social media. But I know what you mean about how one’s words can be misconstrued – been there, done that in other cases 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lunalyon September 30, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story about the danger of stigma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 30, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      And thank you for reading it. As you probably noticed, it’s an important issue for me!

      Like

  3. Jacqui Murray September 28, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    My feeling, Clive: You’re better off without them. Life is nicely lived with a tight group of friends who support you for who you are.

    Good post, BTW!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive September 28, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      Thank you, Jacqui. I have a good support network and, thankfully, have managed not to go back to the darker days. So far!

      Like

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