For some people fitting in is easy. They can talk about their jobs and kids. They can have a “normal ” conversation.

Then there is me and some others like me out there. I have spent time in mental hospitals and have more than one diagnosis. Due to my mental illness and my ex’s expensive lawyer, I lost custody of my kids. That is public record along with the fact that he gets child support.

I have had parents at a rec council question my ability to complete my job. Then every little detail seems to be magnified. Even when I went to school for social work, it was discouraged to try to be placed in a child welfare setting.

Then there is my PTSD. Any drug test showed the medications that I am on. One reason that I wanted to become a social worker was to help others navigate the health care system. Instead of seeing that as a positive , I was called into the head of the school systems social work program and told that I was not a good fit for the job.

After beginning my internship, my supervisor seemed to use any occasion to bring up my illness. Going as far as to accuse me of diagnosing my clients. After only three days at that internship, the principal stated that he did not want me in his school. I no longer had an internship. All of the work that I had done for the classes requiring that I be in an internship was worthless.

It got worse when I heard that I would have to go through a hearing just to see if I could continue at the school. The stress became to much to bear and I opted to take a medical leave.

That leaves me with the question of what do I do now? I cannot stand for long periods and could not complete nursing school. People do not want a teacher who has lost custody of her kids. A social work program turned my PTSD into something horrible instead of helpful.

Right now I feel lost as to what to do with my life. I wish that society accepted mental illness, yet most do not. I wish that I could tell my experience and others like me to Congress and have them realize that there are those of us with mental illnesses that can be productive members of society if given the chance. Right now, I think that most feel that people like me belong locked up for society’s safety. Things have to change.

2 thoughts on “Fitting In. Discrimination Based on a Mental Illness

  1. Hugs. The worst part is, I’d take a social worker with lived experience over the ones I’ve met anyday. One of the worst enablers of lived trauma in my family was a social worker – I am fairly sure if she lived with PTSD herself she wouldn’t be able to continue sweeping PTSD-engendering abuse under the rug knowing what it was like. Have you considered being at least a peer specialist? Any real world experience in our providers would help those of us with PTSD.

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