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 >>


If only mental health was seen as clearly as physical health

One of the many, many, untold and unseen effects of mental illness is what it does to you psychologically, as well as physically. It affects us in ways you wouldn’t imagine.

Take depression, for example. People think it’s just being ‘sad’, when it’s actually feelings of severe despondency and dejection. People don’t quite understand my story, and by my story I mean my battle with multiple mental illnesses, specifically depression.

Living with OCD is like trying to push a beach ball under water

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is an illness that I have struggled with for around eight years. Throughout my school days, I began to carry out compulsive hand-washing, checking and routine rituals - this was to manage my anxiety about the strict exam culture, bullying and social pressures.

Bipolar is an illness, not a personality

I’m Jade, I am 26 and I have bipolar type 2.

I am NOT Bipolar, but I live with bipolar.

It is a strange thing that seems to occur in our society ‘do you know that this person is bipolar?’ What?? They are the embodiment of a whole illness? Great news, at least we have now isolated it to one person, wait what? There’s another person that is also bipolar? NO! Just flat out no, we do not suddenly lose our identity at the diagnosis of a mental health problem.

Coming out: The impact of sexuality on my mental health

As a young man with everything going for him, I never thought that depression would happen to me. By just age 26 I had achieved a bunch of my dreams. Director of my own record label, touring with my band all over the world to thousands of people, seeing my records on the shelves of HMV and voted Best Male Vocalist in Prog Magazine for the second year running. There was so much to live for.

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