Hello. Thanks for visiting my blog. It's a bit odd for me to write with a focus (or even slant) towards stigma and discrimination as these are a relatively minor part of my lavish mental illness experience.
Stevie got a big shock when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. "People think it means you're going to be violent, and I can understand it in a way, because I didn't have a very positive image of it either. Thing is, for me it couldn't be further from the truth - I'm a total softy."
It was hard for Stevie to accept his diagnosis and hard for him to tell other people too. "It's a bit like coming out and telling people you are gay," explains Stevie. "Luckily I'm well now. I haven't had a day off work for four years."
Katie grew up in Devon and carried the same close group of friends with her from school through to adulthood. They were always together, laughing and enjoying themselves.
Then, after she fled an abusive relationship in her early twenties, Katie started to get unwell - she felt paranoid and anxious all the time. "Suddenly a lot my friends just dropped me - just like that," she explains. "It was horrible. They were my life."
But there are friends who have stuck by Katie. "My best friend, she's always calling me, sending me little notes. She's great."
Robert has had Bipolar Disorder since he was nineteen. His family desperately tried to help - but shame and embarrassment about mental illness always made talking difficult. He had depression for over a decade. And despairing of a normal existence, he nearly ended his life.