Self-stigmatisation regarding mental health issues.

Self-stigma: how I buy the negative hype.

I had my psychiatrist appointment this afternoon and, following on from my psychologist appointment on Monday, I touched on my struggles with low self esteem and the realisation that I am ashamed of my condition.

A few weeks ago I went to a outpatient clinic for a DBT program for people with bipolar. I haven’t returned because the experience for me was not a good one. Nothing bad actually happened. However, I had experienced an anxiety trigger on the way there and was already anxious about attending the clinic because I wasn’t sure what to expect. And while there I just had this building feeling that I just didn’t belong there. These factors culminated in me breaking down in hysterical tears by the end of the session. I ended up going into a depressive episode lasting the week following, and I can’t say the episode is over because I still remain down and prone to tears almost 3 weeks later.

I’m coming to the realisation that I didn’t feel like I belonged because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be one of these people that go to or use a mental health facility. I didn’t want to be among past drug users and mentally unstable people. I was afraid of them. Note I refer to ‘past drug users’, not ‘recovering users’ and I actually am thinking ‘drug abusers’. And when I think of ‘mentally unstable people’ I am actually thinking ‘crazy people’. Hence I am judging them negatively. And in judging them so, I am attempting to separate myself from them. And I feel deeply ashamed of this.

I came across the blog post above and it is on the same thing. This self-stigmatisation. It also touches on the self-esteem factor. How can one build their own self-esteem if one is constantly judging ourselves as un-worthy and unwated *because* of our diagnosis?

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