I recently realised something. They looked at my resume, decided I was a suitable candidate and called me down. They liked my experience and education. However, the moment they realised I had a mental illness, my qualifications meant nothing. I became a walking mental illness.
But what if other people don’t see it that way? What if they don’t take me seriously anymore? What if they doubt my competence? This doesn’t just apply to employers, but future clients as well. Would people trust a counsellor like me? Nonetheless, I will not stop writing about mental health. I will not stop fighting stigma. It is a life goal of mine I am not willing to give up.
When those with mental illnesses are relatively “normal” and able to function (more or less), displaying only the more “passive” symptoms, people are usually fine around them. They treat them like just another person, knowing full well (s)he has a condition.
Do note that this post is directed towards friends of those with mental illness; not caregivers. Sometimes we have to take a step back when a relationship is too harmful. This is an unavailable option for a lot of caregivers but, when it comes to other relationships, walking away is sometimes the best option.
[Spectrum: Band of colours formed from a beam of light (1670s); from Latin, literally ‘image, apparition’ (1610s); word origin, spec(ere) ‘to look at, see’ (1605)]