Holly
21 . London
Mama to Dylan and (soon to be) Isla

Friday, 3 January 2014

If we as a society treated all physical illnesses with the same stigma and sense if blame and shame as mental illnesses what would the world be like.
If we told people to just stop having cancer.
That they need to get over it and walk on a broken leg without a cast.
That taking medication to cure migraines is a sign of weakness, that they should just get over them.
What if we attached such stigma to physical health problems that people hid them and allowed themselves to slip further into their illnesses?
What if we attached so much guilt to physical health problems that people doubted their ability to function in their daily lives? 
What if we blamed people for physical health problems?

I see people stigmatise mental health problems so often, see people so ashamed of their depression or self harm that they hide it and let it consume them rather than reach out for help.
After speaking out in the media I saw countless comments about how selfish I was to have children while suffering from anorexia. How I would undoubtably be harming them irrespective of the fact that I'm in the process of recovering.
Would I be accused of the same thing if I was in remission from cancer? Or had diabetes? 
If I had diabetes would I be accused of being weak for not curing myself rather than give myself insulin? 
Would I be blamed for having cancer? Then blamed again for not getting better fast enough?

It's so wrong that people with mental health problems have to constantly fight the stigma that is places on them. Constantly justify their actions, stand up for themselves and their lives, prove their abilities and fight the judgement thrown at them.

At least once a week I get a message or comment expressing the view that I am in some way harming my children by being ill, that despite perusing the road of recovery I'm not doing enough. "Don't you think they deserve more?" "Shouldn't you be doing more?" Etc.
And I always wonder whether if get these same questions if I had diabetes or cancer or a physical disability. Would u be made to feel guilty?  Would I be expected to recover at a superhuman rate?
I think probably not.

3 comments:

  1. I hate it. It's so ridiculous. I've recently had family members criticize me for going back on antidepressants and it's just so infuriating and stupid. It's a completely obnoxious double standard and it needs to end. People are suffering and dying because they are too afraid or ashamed to get help because of the stigma. It just needs to end.

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  2. I agree, the stigma sucks. On the other hand "just do it" is the only way out of anorexia, there's no other cure. :( if an anorexic waits for a day it's less painful to eat the day ain't gonna come.

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  3. This made me cry, really, I feel the same as you. It's so hard listen people telling you you're not thinking in your family, you're like this just because you want and you don't want to go out of this! It's so difficult try to accept that you have an eating disorder for example, because all look at you like you're crazy, and finally, you feel ashamed of that. I would love when people start to see this as an illness, and something you're not choosing. But also it's true you can choose fight, and doing your best to recover. It's not easy, and people don't see all the effort you're doing, that's why it's so tiring, but lately, I'm feeling that only you need to be sure about how you feel, how you are, and if you are recovering or not. You inspired me when I was at my worst, lowest weight, you gave me hope and showed me you can live with this and fight for others. I'm really glad you're opening a store! I read it in the other post! I wish you the best, because you really deserve it. I'll send you hugs, and please, always remember that you're a survivor, you're totally inspiring, beautiful no matter your body shape and you have the most beautiful kids in the world :) Don't let people tell you the opposite!

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