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Stigma and Ignorance

(32 Posts)
KissesBreakingWave Mon 04-Nov-13 21:04:45

Right, need some help with homework. Next week I'm compering (compere: from the French for 'loudmouth') a benefit gig in aid of Rethink, the mental health charity. Quite a varied bill of acts, small and intimate venue, and I'd like to tie it all together with the general theme of mental health.

And recently, in conversation with other folks with MH issues, I got to hear about some of the stigma that goes with it. And I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have my between-the-acts bits be getting some comedy out of the stupid, ignorant crap people come out with about mental health.

Thing is, I don't get much of it. I'm a big lad, busting out all over with White Male Privilege, and highly educated and articulate. People tend to watch what they say.

So, thinks I, to get some material I can mock, I thought I'd ask here:

What's the most idiotic, patronising or bigoted rubbish you've had said to you about your Mental Health Problems? I'll try out the sarcasm and mockery here for you general entertainment.

violator Sat 16-Nov-13 07:59:05

"I had three kids under 5 and I managed, you only have the one."

"Can't you just take a Xanex and work through it?"

"Have a glass or two of wine to help you sleep" just before I was admitted to a psych hospital, in utter distress that I hadn't slept more than an hour or so for four months.

LEMisafucker Fri 15-Nov-13 18:28:22

yep - time to change blush

Juneywoony Fri 15-Nov-13 16:05:11

Glad it all went well for you and well done for raising the money, even if you got through to one person then it's all worth it, xx

KissesBreakingWave Fri 15-Nov-13 14:41:03

Found it!

Brittapie Fri 15-Nov-13 13:05:32

I think she means "time to change"

KissesBreakingWave Fri 15-Nov-13 12:22:29

LEMisafucker, I can't seem to find anything that matches your description with 'time to talk' on facebook.

Oops a bit late blush

To my brother by his GP upon making a joke 'you can't be depressed you made a joke'.

KissesBreakingWave Fri 15-Nov-13 12:15:32

Thanks for all your stories, folks. Used a few of them, got some laughs, and the gig raised £106 for rethink and got a fair few people to take some of their literature with them.

LEMisafucker Thu 14-Nov-13 16:44:13

Have a look on "time to talk" on facebook, its a whole site devoted to blowing open the whole stigma of MH. I lost a job due to anxiety and lack of support.

Brittapie Thu 14-Nov-13 16:19:01

"I bet it's quite nice being bipolar - you must get loads done!"

Yes. Loads of pacing, wriggling, bouncing, babbling, walking (often in completely inappropriate clothing, and for miles), inappropriate behaviour, spending money, seeing things, jumping at every little sound that is and isn't there, writing down and staying up late into the night planning ideas that are later revealed to be bizarre shite, pointless showing off, dressing like an idiot and doing a million things at once, badly. grin

MaryShelley Thu 14-Nov-13 09:26:52

I was off work last yr for 4 weeks with anxiety and depression - all very secretive and little mention made.

had 2 weeks off recently with an injured foot - flowers were delivered!

KissesBreakingWave Thu 14-Nov-13 09:19:51

grin - nice comeback!

Juneywoony Thu 14-Nov-13 07:25:08

Another that happened just recently.

I was explaining to somebody that I have bipolar.

Person: " But you have a lovely husband and two beautiful kids you should be happy"

Me: "Hmmm yes I know but would you still say that to me if I had Diabetes, would the fact I had a lovely husband and kids stop me from having diabetes?

Person: Blank stare

SaucyJack Wed 13-Nov-13 21:32:43

"Didn't that hurt?!"

Yes, dickhead, that was the point.

Juneywoony Wed 13-Nov-13 17:59:30

On a psych unit when I was 18 (I did look young for my age then) another patients visitor literally pointed at me and said "what is that little girl doing in here and what has she possibly got to be depressed about"

Yer I was having a whale of a time, especially enjoying the ECT twice weekly ffs! Still pisses me off 18 years later, wish I could have thought of some great retort but I was too god dam ill

KissesBreakingWave Tue 12-Nov-13 23:52:54

Yeah, nobody thinks I look mental either. Jack Nicholson has a lot to answer for.

AdmiralData Tue 12-Nov-13 15:37:20

My lovely lovely (verily I cannot say this enough) grandfather in law (after I explained that my excessive sweating was caused by 'bad nerves') said 'Oh you would never tell from looking at you'. That actually cheered me up because I tend to think that people think I 'look mental'. I am contemplating doing my hair a la Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

KissesBreakingWave Tue 05-Nov-13 00:57:03

Well, that 'big pharma conspiracy' business is a thing I can rant about for hours.

Picture me with bared teeth. It's the same shape as a smile.

ArtemisiaofCaria Mon 04-Nov-13 23:11:18

Yes, the worst for me is when people say that psychopharmaceuticals are made up, don't work, by quacks for the gullible. My own family are ashamed that I have to take meds. NOT ashamed of my illness, of the medication for the illness.

KissesBreakingWave Mon 04-Nov-13 22:37:59

I sometimes get the fear one. But then I'm over six foot, work out a lot (helps with the depressive phases) and have a big facial scar and usually a beard.

I probably didn't help myself any in the days when I cut about with a buzz-cut hair...

Brittapie Mon 04-Nov-13 22:29:28

The best ones are when they manage to fit in both groups.

"I suffer from mental illness"

"Oh, I got depressed once. You should try eating more green leafy veg and getting fresh air. The pills just make you more ill and there is no need to not work."

I have bipolar disorder

"Oh, I think I have that! Sometimes I feel quite sad, but then other times I'm cheerful. I just make sure to cut down on coffee and I'm fine, I don't need my brain controlling"

"Actually, if I stopped the pills or tried to live a completely normal life I would probably end up manic, hallucinating and in hospital fairly quickly"

"PANIC!!!"

Brittapie Mon 04-Nov-13 22:21:32

It all seems to fall into two groups. The not believing in mental illness group and the being terrified of mental illness group.

So I'm either lounging about, seeming really energetic and outgoing for someone that is apparently ill - I seem to have more energy than even normal people sometimes! Or possibly being made to take pills I don't need by nasty big pharma.

Or I should be either in hospital or sat indoors full of sedatives,maybe going to the odd support group, and resigned to that for the rest of my life.

Brittapie Mon 04-Nov-13 22:16:47

Oh! If I express ANY plan for the future, at least two members of my family (and it used to be my husband too, but I divorced him...) will say:

"Just concentrate on getting better, there is no need to push yourself."

Like a) they think that one day I will magically stop having a long term severe mental illness, b) they think that a short stint of volunteering, or tidying up more, or cooking better food, or studying, or even getting a part time job is such a huge undertaking for poor old mental me, c) like I don't know my own limits, d) that I would even listen to them anyway, if I was losing it and E) YES THERE IS A NEED TO PUSH MYSELF A LITTLE BIT, if I'm not going to resign myself to a lifetime of daytime tv and basic literacy classes.

Shakey1500 Mon 04-Nov-13 22:00:50

Also does the crap "music therapy" count towards patronising?

I mean seriously does anyone with an ounce of sense think that sat in a room shaking a margarine (not even proper butter shock ) tub filled with rice is going to have any single, solitary effect what-so-bloody-ever?

I kid ye not.

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