• Michelle Partington

It’s a shame…

Today has been a very productive day for finally sorting out my personal admin instead of what I had planned to do. I originally wanted to go out really early to go shopping. I prepped myself ready and picked up my headphones to drown out white noise. Thankfully as I was about to turn off the TV the news came on and I watched the craziness of the Black Friday sales. I hadn’t really anticipated the madness of people doing just about anything to grab what has been portrayed as a bargain. I was shocked to see images of people trampling over each other, punching and kicking to be the first across the shop threshold. Needless to say I didn’t go.

I had placed an order with Wiltshire Farm Foods and whilst awaiting my delivery I finally managed to catch up on all the paperwork I had been putting away ‘to do tomorrow’. I thought it would also be a good time to catch up on recorded TV programmes. I watched ‘I’m a Celebrity’ then started to watch Holby City. They are covering a storyline on mental health at the moment. Guy who is a top brain surgeon is finding it difficult to accept that his daughter has Bipolar Disorder and states she doesnt need to be under a psychologist and made a comment about ‘it all being guess work’. Bizarre that a man who is so intricately involved with fixing the brain should hold this opinion. The psychologist shot back saying ‘You carry out surgery on the brain and give medication and I give therapy and medication”. Guy shot back by saying “People look down on mental health” to which she responded “people like yourself you mean”?

The programme shows both the sufferer and the father in denial about her illness. The first step is acceptance of your condition but also having the support of loved ones. That support is invaluable and regardless of wether the understanding of a condition is there or not just being a positive shoulder is enough for the most part. Guy (the father) finally convinced his daughter to source the treatment she needed but sadly made an extremely destructive comment. He said to her “Noone else needs to know about this, just you and me”. This is one of the worst comments to make because it just adds to the embarrassment and stigma surrounding mental health. You should not have to feel ashamed of your illness, it’s as natural as any other chronic disease which can be controlled but not cured.

Very rarely do you find someone under lifetime treatment for diabetes or heart disease embarrassed about people finding out. In fact there are lots of charities, news coverage, health screening and TV adverts all highlighting these chronic illnesses. Why not for those sufferring a lifelong battle with mental illness? So very pleased that one of my favourite TV shows is covering this story so well.

By the way, I waited in all day for my food order and I was becoming very frustrated. I phoned them up to find out where my delivery was and they said it wasn’t due until the following week – oops 😆


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