Friday, 24 May 2013

But you're recovered now..

One thing that is getting to me at the moment is how everyone assumes that I'm fine. Yes, I am mostly weight restored and appear healthy and happy, living my life again.
Since returning home, I have gained a work experience placement at my local Mental Health Unit, attended job interviews (who knows if I succeeded!), met up with friends for drinks, laughed, read and exercised. I am trying so hard to get my life back, after losing 2 years to mental health problems but this does not mean that I am 'recovered'. 

I was filling some forms out and one question asked 
Have you had an serious illness in the past? 
Firstly, how do you define 'serious'? What makes an illness serious? Does it have to be life threatening? Anyway, I asked my Mum what I should put. Her response 'No and in any case, you're recovered now'. I turned to someone else, someone I trust with my life. 'Well, you weren't really diagnosed and you decided against treatment.. so no'. 
A) I was diagnosed (and I got the report out to prove this)
and B) has that what this has come to? I have to have a diagnosis to actually have an illness?
I am feeling extremely let down by the people I love at the moment. The issue with mental illnesses are exactly that. They are an illness of the mind, therefore, you cannot see them! Just because everything appears OK on the surface doesn't necessarily mean everything is OK underneath. 
I did write 'No' on that form, in the end. As for why? I don't know. Maybe I just want to appear normal or just please everyone. Maybe my Mum says I'm recovered because she's ashamed of having a crazy daughter or maybe I'm still ashamed of all of this.
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2 comments

Charlotte said...

When I applied for the job I work in now I filled my medical questionnaire in as truthfully as possible. I have suffered with depression for the last decade at least but it is only in the past 3 years that it has been under some form of control. My work could not have been more supportive about it and I was contacted by the HR people saying that they would share this info with my line manager if I was happy for them too. As I work shifts (days and nights) they were concerned that it may have an effect on my illness due to the change in routine and sleep patterns, luckily I've been fine (and funnily enough I'm actually due to come off my meds completely in the next 10days!!) but work has always been really supportive and understanding. It took me a very long time to be ok with branding myself as someone who is affected by depression. It is not something that I will ever get rid of and I accept that now because I know how to deal with it. If you are applying for jobs on the Mental Health Unit I think you should put it down on your forms. If anything I'd say it shows you may have a greater understanding of what someone is going through - after all isnt that all we want, someone to understand? xxx

Samantha Betteridge said...

Thank you for your lovely comment. You're so right! xx

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