I have been living with a diagnosis of depression since I was a preteen. My first experience of discrimination for my history of depression was when I didn't get into one of my top 2 colleges b/c my guidance counselor told them about it (even though it was supposedly confidential). Because my parents were alumni, the college called them to explain why they had chosen not to admit me. Colleges are not allowed to discriminate openly against the mentally ill like this anymore, but I am sure they do it more subtly. I have been accused of lying and had people call me "unstable" or "crazy" because of my depression. Even one of my own sisters accused me of "just sitting in your room all day feeling sorry for yourself." Although it's not the only kind of bigotry I've experienced, it has definitely been the most vicious.
Things have definitely gotten better since I was first diagnosed — there is a lot more acceptance — but we've still got a long way to go: for example, there are politicians and other public figures who claim that people like me, who are disabled as a result of severe mental illness, are malingerers and are just lazy.
I'd like to hear about others' experiences with prejudice against the mentally ill. It would at least make me feel better to know I'm not the only one. TIA.
#MentalHealth #Stigma #Discrimination #Prejudice