'Coming out' with a MH history

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Re: 'Coming out' with a MH history

Post by lingua_franca » Thu May 09, 2019 8:24 pm

Thank you for raising this, workingmama. It's a question that has been on my mind too. I have PTSD, which I wouldn't really mind disclosing to colleagues (perhaps because this is a diagnosis that carries limited stigma - people do tend to realise that traumatic events can happen in anyone's life, at least in my experience). However, I am much more hesitant about disclosing my Asperger's diagnosis, because I have had negative experiences where colleagues who had barely met me for five minutes (and I mean that quite literally) felt entitled/qualified to speculate about what I am and am not capable of doing. These were all people who would assure you that they appreciate the social model of disability/are big on formulation and don't stress labels that much, yet they didn't seem to appreciate the inconsistency in their position, and I felt too junior to point it out. I know autistic CPs who were open about their experiences before and whilst on training, and who had only positive things to say about self-disclosure, but I don't think I would be brave enough to follow suit...
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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Re: 'Coming out' with a MH history

Post by workingmama » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:25 pm

As a wee update to this, some conversations I've had in real life over the last three months have confirmed for me how many people (clinicians) that I know are struggling/have struggled with (mostly) the more common mental health difficulties (anxiety/depression). Everyone I spoke to expressed concern about how others in our profession would view their clinical ability if this were to be known. Everyone shared fears that they would be thought of as 'lesser' for having difficulties.

I really am very sad, but very unsurprised, to hear this (well, actually the prevalence of this in the people I spoke to was higher than I had anticipated).

I am deeply committed to thinking about what can be done in my own workplace to support a healthier working culture in which the aspects of our lives that are rightly 'private' don't have to feel 'secret', and would welcome any PMs with advice about how we might achieve this.

In solidarity with all other forum users for whom this thread resonates :salut:
Fail, fail again, fail better.

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