Mental health stigma and discrimination: blogs and stories

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. When we make assumptions about how mental health problems will affect someone's behaviour, this makes it more likely that they will be singled out, or labelled as different, dangerous or strange. This is what we call stigma. Treating someone differently from how we treat others because of their mental health, whether consciously or subconsciously, is what we call discrimination.

People with mental illnesses often experience stigma and discrimination that can be worse than the illness itself. In our Stigma Shout survey, 9 out 10 people with mental health problems reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives.

These blogs are written by people who have personal experiences of mental health stigma or discrimination and illustrate how it can affect them.

You can help by ensuring your friend or relative is not afraid to speak out about mental health or is left wondering where they can turn for help. Read our tips on talking or pledge to talk about mental health today >>


You can make a difference to someone with OCD

I want to tell you about a manifestation of OCD that isn’t well known about, so that more people can understand it. I used to experience an obsession of constantly apologising to people, even for things that I hadn't done, things that were in my head. I would even apologise to random strangers.

Depression and anxiety are real, not an excuse

I'm 21 and starting my third year of university, though technically as I took a year out because of my illness, I am still a second year. I couldn't wait to move out of my home for first year so I could have so well-earned freedom. Throw a mental illness into the mix when you come home for the summer after this utter high of a year, and your life is turned upside down. From here, I first experienced stigma and discrimination.

10 years after I became Ill, people still don't trust me

We’re coming up to the birthday that I half heartedly joked I’d never make, when I was 17. 27. Most people struggle through their mid-twenties, trying to find their career, the love of their lives, the right home, and the right friends. I’ve struggled to find the will to get out of bed, instead.

People with mental illness are brave

One of the great things about social media is having an unexpected, online chat at stupid o'clock at night, with a friend who lives many miles away.

The conversation turned to my early stage breast cancer diagnosis. “You're so brave,” my old friend wrote on Facebook messenger.

I've heard this several times, since my diagnosis earlier this year. It, and variations on that theme.

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