To think its sad that mental health issues aren't supported more in society

(32 Posts)
Pickles77 Sun 11-Nov-12 08:44:17

Ive had severe depression & PND this year. Im just coming through the end of a tunnel, a dark tunnel. I'm not completly better but I'm a lot better than I was.
I've seen phyciatrists, councillors, doctors & mental health teams. I'm not ashamed to admit this, I'm grateful for the help and support given to them.

So why do two of my friends feel the need to ridicule me behind my back about my mental issues. Saying things such as ' well be careful she might have one of her funny turns' and 'loony bin' comments.

AIBU in thinking society is still scared by the stigma attached to mental illness? Or are there just a few people out there like the fools above who are incredibly immature & niave about depression?

EmmelineGoulden Sun 11-Nov-12 08:56:43

YANBU. I think we (in general) are still scared of the stigma and more than that scared of what it might be like to be affected. And we're challenged by what it says about free thought and consciousness and our identity. And we don't know what to do or how to be supportive. And some people are just fairweather friends who know nothing.

I'm sorry you had a hard journey, and people who should be supportive have let you down. I hope there were others who were there for you when you needed it. And I'm so glad you're beginning to feel better. I hope you can find a comfortable way to re-engineer your friendships to get rid of those who aren't worth your time and effort, and make way for some who are.

Pickles77 Sun 11-Nov-12 08:59:57

I wasn't hurt by them really was just thinking that I feel sorry for them for being so narrow minded. Especially when the statistics show most of us at some point will suffer with mental illness.
There were those good adverts on tv and radio a while back that broached then issue, I just feel as a society more could be done.

I agree. Too many people seem to think that you cant be "normal" and be mentally ill, they expect anyone who is mentally ill to be the stereotypical raving lunatic. Which I guess is also a way of protecting yourself from thinking it could happen to you (kind of similar to the rape only happens when walking down an alley in a short skirt idea?)

blueballoon79 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:07:37

I agree completely, having had a breakdown two years ago and spending a month in a psychiatric hospital.

I've always been very open about my experiences as mental health problems can happen to anyone at any time and I don't feel I should be embarrassed about what happened.

However like you, I've had all the loony bin comments and have been called a nutter etc. It's ridiculous and I agree that more should be done to educate about mental health issues.

HappyJustToBe Sun 11-Nov-12 09:14:23

YANBU. Through work I listened to a Dr talking about mental health issues. He told a story about when his Dad, a very popular man, broke his leg and his Mum walked down the street she couldn't go two foot without someone stopping her and asking how he was. A year later when his illness was depression people would cross the road to avoid her. It's awful.

I'm glad things are picking up for you. You sound so much better than them.

PamelaSwynfordDeBeaufort Sun 11-Nov-12 09:15:30

I thought attitudes were changing. Certainly my social circle contains none of these sort of people. But maybe over the years I have managed to just cut out the dicks.
However a few things recently have made me think its Getting no better. I have over heard comments in RL things like 'hes not right, has to take ADs'. A customer made a joke the other day saying ' I am a bit drunk not mentally ill' when I asked him to keep the noise down.
An on here. About 2 weeks ago 2 posters saying that a mans job is to protect and save his wife and that (the man in question) should be able to man, overcome his depression with no help and be their for his wife. Also that ot is ok for women to be depressed but not men, because men are meant to be stronger. As though depression is a sign of weakness.

They also admitted they would not tell a physically ill person to 'man up' but that 'mental illness is not like physical illness'
But like most people with this attitude they couldn't back up why it was ok to tell some one to get over mental illness. Or any facts why men shouldn't get depressed etc.

i also think one has a stigma of its very own.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 11-Nov-12 09:17:35

Mental illness is very much misunderstood, I think that's why people resort to 'loony' type comments. They don't have any other frame of reference apart from the stereo typical.

TellyRotsYourBrain Sun 11-Nov-12 09:19:28

I have mental health issues - slightly different to you, in am alcoholic in recovery. Beat way i can be over mine is open. I live a normal life, have a job, friends, night out. I do all this while staying sober and just getting on with life. I seem to be able to be open about it, and wonder what would happen if everyone with issues jus came out and said them.
Im not ashamed of my shortcomings, i think that helps.

Pickles77 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:19:31

It's very very sad. I wonder though just how many of us felt this way before we had mental illness of our own. I felt strongly about it but now I feel compelled to try to tackle it. I will be having it out with the two in question. I normally shy away from confrontation too wink
However another thing that really really irritates me is those that call the illness 'mental problems'. No it is a illness.
Just like your heart can get sick, so can your mind.
sorry preparing my speech

ihavenofuckingclue Sun 11-Nov-12 09:23:24

I didn't feel any different before I got pnd. But then my mum hs suffered with depression my whole life, so maybe that gives me a different point of view.

I didnt have any feelings either way. I was only 11 when mine became apparent though so it isnt a surprise.

I wish i could be more open about it. I can just about tell people i take medication which has side effects but i never mention what it is for. My boss doesnt know as such but he is aware there is an issue(medical) thats about it.

Its very sad. I am open with some friends , more as i get older , either i have better friends or people are more accepting not sure which.

I also hate the phrase mental problems or mentally ill. Mental heath problems please.

Sausagedog27 Sun 11-Nov-12 10:06:42

Well done on getting the support and help you needed op. I strongly agree with you about this, my MIL is suffering at the moment and people just do not know how to cope with it. I hate the way in society it's seen as a bad thing and also derogatory terms about it are used all the time ie 'he went mental' etc etc.

SoleSource Sun 11-Nov-12 10:08:07

There is much,.much less help for Carers like myself.

tiredemma Sun 11-Nov-12 10:10:15

Society has a pretty vile attitude towards MH issues. I really think its about Education- I think that more emphasis should be put onto understanding more about MH issues when at school - otherwise you end up entering adulthood either ignorant or oblivious.

YANBU and they sound like absolute twats

People seem to be unwilling or unable to understand mental health problems. It seems to go one of two ways, either they expect you to be dangerous, or to just snap out of it.

Marzipanface Sun 11-Nov-12 10:16:11

Jesus!

They are not your friends then are they?

Servalan Sun 11-Nov-12 10:38:01

Unfortunately some people really do not know where to put themselves or how to behave around mental health issues - and it seems these 'friends' fit into this bracket.

I put it down mostly to fear and embarrassment - and I put that down to lack of openness and education.

Because I feel ready to do it and because I don't really care if people want to laugh at me behind my back, I have become very open about my mental health condition of late - I have OCD - and have "come out" about it to raise awareness of the illness which is very misunderstood in society.

To be fair, the vast majority of people have been really positive about me doing this, though I have had people warning me to "be careful"

A couple of years ago, during a period where I was especially ill with my OCD, someone who I regarded as a good friend really distanced herself from me - I don't think she meant to be nasty or ignorant - I just think she didn't know how to be around me or what to say. I was talking to her recently, and found out that in the last few months she has been suffering very badly from anxiety, has been having panic attacks and is now on medication - which I think proves that no one is immune!

BalthierBunansa Sun 11-Nov-12 11:18:22

YANBU! I had to take time off work due to depression/anxiety, still on heavy antidepressants, however whenever I tell someone why I was off, they look at me like I might explode any moment! And then they have to be "careful" around me. Ridiculous.

Would like to add just because someone is distant it doesn't always mean they are supportive or rude.

Personally when i have been very ill (MH issues) i find it very difficult to deal with anyone else s issues as i find it too much and too close to the bone really. I know that's very sad but it kind of sets me off more and i do have to try and put my health first. It is also had for me to be supportive if the person doesn't know about my MH problems and i don t want to tell them IYSWIM.

Pickles77 Sun 11-Nov-12 13:12:47

Oh I 100% agree with you!

smile

Teabagtights Sun 11-Nov-12 15:09:08

It's because there are no outward signs. People don't understand because some are ignorant. They don't know what it is like to feel like you are drowning.

Pickles77 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:18:04

I'm just pondering what could be done to give people more of a insight. I'm sick of the snap out of it pull yourself together attitude. That just makes me feel more of a failure and want to eat all my tablets at once! (I wouldn't of course)
I just think the general attitude stinks

I dont know Pickles.

People cannot get it really. You can never see through the eyes of anyone else.
For me depression isnt just about feeling sad. I have clinical depression (moderate so i believe hmm) and have done for i think all of my life but it manifested differently when i was a child.

Its a part of my personality almost. The way i perceive a situation , the way i react , how i interact with others , my emotions everything. It is such a massive part of me not "just" feeling sad. Its very difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it.

When i am not medicated i view the world in such a different way i have to admit i actually missed this perception when i started the drugs. Its just so different i cant even put it into words. Ofcourse i feel so so much better now but it did feel like part of me was missing for a while i was so used to it.

TheDogsRolex Sun 11-Nov-12 16:23:27

There seem to be two camps in my experience, the "pull yourself together" people and the ones who go COMPLETELY over the top. For example, i'm a LP, sometimes my kids really push me and I do eventually snap and actually tell them off (shock, horror), and i've had my mum rushing down here in the past. What exactly does she think i'm going to do to them? (Rolls eyes).

Suffering from depression and anxiety does not a murderer make! Good thing I have one friend who does understand, knows my rants are just letting off steam because life isn't easy and doesn't take me too seriously because she knows i'm an ok person. When i'm quiet she doesn't think i'm planning an axe murder, she knows its because i'm shy or have something on my mind. When i'm louder, she knows i'm a good mood or things are going ok. You know, like NORMAL people. That's the key...she treats me like a normal person, who has bad days, good days and in between days but at the same time understands that sometimes i'm a little more fragile than I appear to be. She just "gets" it.

Where do you differenciate between personality and illness? Everyone has quirks, but when people know you're on meds it's sometimes like your whole personality is scrutinised! You're no longer just you, you're a nutter.

lovebunny Sun 11-Nov-12 16:49:56

people lack intelligence, sensitivity and understanding. and that's the nice ones. your friends aren't nice. sack them and soldier bravely on. you're a survivor and they don't know what you've had to go through. they aren't worth your time.

NymphadoraTonks Mon 12-Nov-12 03:03:52

I personally suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder, it runs in my family and my brother suffers the worst, the family have had to have him sectioned 3 times in the last 3 years.

Luckily everyone in my family circle understand so when I was diagnosed I didn't have to explain anything, they all just understood.
I've not been back into the wider world since my diagnosis and also losing my job. I am worried what the reactions will be especially finding a new job.

My wife also suffers from depression/anxiety and her boss (whilst knowing my wife was taking Anti-D's) said.

"Anti-depressants are just for people who can't face real life"

So yeh, some nice attitudes in the workplace to mental health issues I have to look forward to!

Thankfully Lithium is a wonderful drug and has evened me out to the point where I can function pretty consistantly, even if you do have to put up with some bizzare side effects sometimes (compulsively chewing the sides of your tongue with your molars anyone?)

liveinazoo Mon 12-Nov-12 04:41:15

mental health is something people take for granted.if for what ever reason it wobbles others find it very hard to understand
i have ocd and depression and acute emetaphobia.i "came out" recently<especially as a bug going round at school>
i was a bit quiet and kept away from people for a few days<normally very sociable at gates>after explaining to a mum i thoght understood<and knew she may wells hare what id told her sensitivly as she had done with physical illness>

how wrong can you be!

ive been completely ignored by 2/3 of the women who used to talk to me even going as far as to blank me or pointedly walk away/turn backs on me

there are now just 3 mums who still talk to me,as i wait for my 8yo to go in.a large group with dcs in her year ignore me and the other two dcs friends mums look at me like ive grown another head!

someone<i rarely chatted to> admitted she is suffering with depression and she says people avoid her for fear she will "bring them down".we arent contagious ffs!

FobblyWoof Mon 12-Nov-12 08:33:34

Wow, great friends hmm

Yanbu. At all. Unfortunately it's a society thing. There is definitely a stigma about it.

On the other hand, I do think quite a few people keep it a taboo subject simply because they don't know how to communicate with someone with mental health problems for fear of upsetting them

Mylittlepuds Mon 12-Nov-12 08:59:55

OP I've been through similar. The response from my friends hasn't been negative (a few of them have had their own PND/anxiety issues) but I know there's been comments behind my back about 'not coping' and 'struggling' that I don't feel is fair as if you have mental health problems it's not because you're weak and you can't 'pull yourself together'. For me at least it feels ver out of my control, like any other illness.

I'm glad you're on your way to recovery and you're not alone.

What DogsRollex says is so true. I have asd and depression. The school mums think I'm strange! I can't talk to them because it feels like I don't have common ground to talk to them on, and if I did I would monologue and suddenly spout weird facts about the subject. It comes across as strabge and snobby, but I'm not! Promise! I do try to analyse what is a normal thing to say and what isn't! If you were having a normal conversation about food, and suddenly the other person spouts out "oh did you know the white and brown crusty stuff on the end of your cheese is infact cheese mite poo, and when you eat cheese you're eating thousands of mites".. You would kinda think they were strange! (You would also stop eating cheese for a while grin)
I have come out about asd during a role play excercise, and had a possitive response, but the woman in question has relatives with asd.
Saying that.. You gotta love the school rumour mill. I've heard a rumour that my other half has loads of money! He assured me he hasn't!

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