March 16, 2009

Discrimination doesn't have to be direct abuse that is in your face, instead it can often be softly spoken, even whispered and seeps into us, becoming part of our world. The internalisation of these ideas can be agonising as it becomes part of how the world is seen and how the world sees us. During my battle with depression I haven't met too much direct discrimination, in terms of how I think about the word, but have certainly come across doctors who think what they know and believe is worth more than my own experience and that it isn't valid. For instance when I told the doctor I was self harming I was informed I was just trying it out as a friend had, as if it was a new brand of beer. They was no acceptance that it may mean more in terms of trying to feel some emotion form the numb nothingness I found myself in, or even a explanation concerning the rush of feel good chemicals that are released to soothe the pain. My experiences were just swept aside by someone I hoped would understand more than others due to their position. I was left alone. 

There has also been a more recent experience a year or so back with HR where I had some time out from work due to an overwhelming episode of depression and was called in for being off for a period of time and simply asked if I could try not to be ill for the next year. I felt there was no attempt to understand depression or my experience of it. That the individual was relegated and ignored in pursuit of the work that needs to be done and the good sick record the employer had. In fact I think I have faced direct discrimination, I was just being too nice earlier. It is hard not to just feel angry about these incidents, an emotion that I don't want to ignore, but also one I don't want to rule how I view those experiences and thus this blog as I want something positive to happen.

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