Self stigma- anyone else?

I try to be as open as I can about my SMI,but self stigma is a hard thing to overcome. As is the feeling of worthlessness that comes with it. Topics like ‘What job do you have?’, or ‘What degree do you have/are you studying for?’, bring home to me how much of a failure I have been compared to the pre illness expectations.

Sometimes bragging is used as a self defence but it’s like sticking a cheap, and inferior,plaster on a gaping wound.

There’s this constant,underlying, feeling of not being good enough.


  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    I think while some are informed about mental health there needs to be more education on SMI.

    Care in the community is ultimately a good thing, but it might be behind the ignorance or lack of awareness of the public since if they don;t see these institutions they aren't aware of the demographic.  I think for some it is difficult to grasp there is a sliding scale, and vocational difficulties, doesn't necessarily correspond with he need to be institutionalised.
  • Care in the community is a good thing hampered by decades of serious underfunding for mental health services. I try and play my part in working towards improving things. For me,due to my severe  social anxiety, F2F panels are not a viable option.

    On Twitter I interact with various psychiatrists and psychologists Nb Drs Samei Huda Dr Ahmed Samei Huda - Consultant Psychiatrist and Author and Annie Hickox Clinical Psychologist - Dr Annie Hickox Psychologist | North Yorkshire . For me,personally, it’s a better means of contributing something to hopefully improve psychiatry and how those of us with mental illness are treated.

  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited September 2022
    I've come a long way regarding my inherited/nurtured views of the world, mental health included, for most of my life I've carried those feelings caused by stigma.
    The social norms and mores that shaped the current perspective of mental health from my understanding originate in the Victorian era.
    I believe people are drawn naturally to the path of least resistance, including our thinking... It's easier to self elevate by pushing an "other" group down, I sense perhaps that many of us have internalised these largely unspoken messages, through introspection I've found them at every level of my conscious thought...

    I dont agree with these outdated mores about mental health, I didnt contribute to their existance, nor do I want them to influence my sense of self. To hell with what the ignorant have decided through misguided/lazy/easy thinking, I reject the idea that I am less than another person, I embrace the idea of equality instead, which to me is a key part of my autistic identity.

    Yet there is still that duality, I know my truth, but co exist in a world with many versions of truth.

    I think of the progress of science, before we understood the hows and whys, we filled in the gaps with magic or religion, for example, a person with a physical disability in the Victorian era and before was viewed a less moral being, God had obviously punished them for a flaw in their natural personality.

    Nowadays in developed countries at least, this type of thinking has been replaced by some level of understanding about discrimination, its taken a long time since the disability civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s for this type of non discrimination to take hold legally. The mores still reflect the personal biases, which often remain unsaid, examples of this abound in the non inclusive design of buildings and public spaces for example. Generally no one complains unless it imapcts on them directly.

    I estimate the similar progress for invisible disabilities wont take quite so long, I hope to see the beginnings of change take hold in my lifetime.

    Yes I feel the stigma, in the past it consumed me, I still find it lurking in how I view myself, but those beliefs are not my own, those beliefs are formed through misguided ignorance and I dont share those beliefs about myself or the many people I admire who have mental health challenges, I reject those beliefs. Instead I prefer facts, which thanks to the internet are just here, accessible through my fingertips 😉.
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