Susan's story

Susan

Depression leaves me weak, feel like a burden and that I am letting all around me down and I want to hide away from everyone. I get scared how they react to me.

Due to the stigma around mental illness I find there are times when I’m not taken seriously when I make suggestions. This has happened particularly at work. People will dismiss what I say and say ‘oh she is just reacting like that because of her illness’. When that happens I feel like I’m being treated like a second class citizen. People don’t take what I say seriously because I have depression.

Someone even said to me once, ‘you don’t look like a victim’ often you will have people say to you, ‘what have you go to be depressed about?’. When people don’t take you seriously it makes you feel belittled and worthless. It mainly happens in work. A few times I have commented on things to do with work or the office and people will say, ‘we know you would react like that because of your condition’.

My opinions on work matters will be dismissed to something that has nothing to do with it. It made me feel like crap. You just think what’s the point in saying anything. I won’t put my opinion across because people won’t listen. But I put it back to them.

Would you say the same to a person with a broken leg? Just because I don't have a plaster to say I am ill doesn't mean I am not.

From speaking out, work has changed their attitudes and now helps others to understand.

I want to use my experiences to help other people to be taken seriously so they don’t have to face the same discrimination.

Everyone is a human being and should be treated equally.

You wouldn’t belittle someone with cancer but people with mental health issues can be seen as down and outs. They are not. They are normal members of society. I had to fight for help, but by speaking out I want to help others to find help. I want to make a difference.

I want other people to take action to end stigma and discrimination as well. If someone said something racist people would jump down their throat and I want people to do the same when it comes to mental health discrimination.

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