As a Licensed Practical Nurse who has worked for over twenty years in psychiatric hospitals, there is one part of my life I have hid from my past employers and my patients: that I also struggle with mental illness and have been hospitalized. There is a word that explains why I haven’t shared what I call my “dark night of soul.” The word is stigma and it means a mark or label imposed by others that leads to devaluation and discrimination. Sociologist Erving Goffman in his ground breaking study in 1963 explained the origin of the word.
The Secret Life of the Manic depressive are Stephen Fry's words, coined in his two part documentary detailing his breakdown, his secret shame, and the stories of countless others that go through the debilitating effects of untreated trauma coping mechanisms.
Ever since Green Day announced their Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Wheezer and the long-awaited return of My Chemical Romance finally came to fruition, I've seen the words Emo Revival be tossed around. Now, I've got tickets to be seeing both of these concerts in June this year in London and my eyeliner has never been darker and my serotonin never higher.
Please allow me to be open and honest. I am an African American male in my 40s, and I suffer from a mental health illness. I have depression, anxiety, and at one point in my life, I tried to commit suicide.
Have you ever wondered if you had a Mental Health Disorder?
How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
"The media (and politicians) is/are so quick to pick up the mental illness scapegoat because it/they know(s) that people need to blame the tragedy on something" - Mike Hedrick
Note: Anything stated below is purely from my own opinions and experience, and is not the voice of the Collective, although this will be checked by other admins before posting! This post is about my experiences with my mental health, so if this is a trigger for you, please stop reading.
It was around 1987, and I was working in my first job since leaving school. I was a trainee Pharmacy Technician in a small town called Padiham. A change in health policy meant that many people who had been in-patients were discharged from a hospital called Calderstones and placed into something being called care in the community. Calderstones was one of several hospitals classed at the time as being for the mentally ill. It was home to people who society over the years classed as outcasts. Some of the patients, a term I use loosely, were deaf people who struggled to speak; placing young women in an institution after giving birth and some people who had a variety of mental illnesses. I remember the re-homing of a couple of people in communal accommodation not far from the chemist where I worked.
So, I recently discovered something that could potentially work incredibly well, providing it gets the attention it deserves. I saw an article online, which went into detail about the new Hidden Disability Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.