Depression and mental health stigma my expereinces

February 10, 2007 10:36am CST
I suffer from depression and have done so for about a year now. I've learned a great deal about myself and others during this time. I never knew just how widespread fear and stigma of mental illness is. I am a very open person- and talk to my friends about all things personal. Having a mental illness is no expection. But I have found it amazing just how hard it is for people to talk about this stuff. I have made jokes about being depressed (I often laugh at my own misfortune and hardships)- but people just don't know how to respond when I do that about mental illness. I took some time off this week from work- because I was feeling unwell emotionally- and had to lie to my boss about have a virus. Isn't it strange that we fear telling our boss or workplace that we are emotionally sick- as a legititate reason to have a sick day? I think we have a long way to go in this area. I hope this discussion contributes to positive change.
1 response
@wolfie34 (26791)
• United Kingdom
10 Feb 07
I am currently looking for a job, and I'm filling in application forms galore here! But one thing which worries me and you put your finger right on it, is that when you fill out the 'health' questionnaire' you have to state you suffer with depression but wouldn't that jeopardise your chances to the prospective employer. Is an employer going to want someone with a history of depression? Unfortunately even now when you tell people you suffer with depression you are seen as weak or it's like a plague and people avoid you, thinking its contagious! There is still as you rightly say a lot of stigma about people with depression. But it is very very common, more so now than it has ever been. Depression affects everyone. Thank you for sharing your experience.
10 Feb 07
Thanks for your response. I had to lie in my last job about my depression at the interview. That was a really hard thing to do- but quite frankly I am not prepared to risk a job over that. It's not quite so easy to take a stand against discrimination when you don't have enough money to eat or live. When faced with that choice- lying is the obvious solution.