In February 2009, I was sectioned, tranquilised and detained in a secure psychiatric hospital. Fortunately, my stay was short; after seven days, I was given a week’s leave at home, following which I was discharged.
It’s now 100 years since the term “schizophrenia” was first used, but with so many people affected by the condition still getting a raw deal in almost every area of their lives and still suffering from stigma and discrimination, sadly it’s not much of a happy anniversary.
Mental health challenges have affected my employment (and employability) ever since I was unceremoniously discharged from the army following a dramatic breakdown at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Within hours I was hospitalised and subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia aged just eighteen.
Mark Brown recently wrote a post on the topic of stigma. Stigma surrounding mental health problems is rife in society. Challenging the stigma of mental health problems within society is one of the aims of Time to Change. However, how do we challenge the stigma of our own mental health problems in ourselves?