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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Proud90sKid Offline
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OCD and stigma - September 21st 2017, 03:05 AM

You know what's perhaps the worst aspect of living with mental illness? The reactions of other people. Most people are "accepting" of people with certain mental conditions- on paper- but only in the sense that they think they wouldn't judge someone for admitting to having a disorder. But the truth is that people with mental conditions are only treated cordially if they dont , you know, act like they have the condition.

I have pretty severe OCD. I have several associated behaviors (compulsive checking, etc. ). None of these behaviors impact anyone negatively, nor do they cause a disruption. They are distressing only to me.But other people notice that I am engaging in them and can be pretty rude about it. They may nicely ask "oh are you having a hard time doing this"(while I'm compulsively checking)--and I get embarrassed and either try to make something up on the fly or I just go "uh - yeah I was just......no no its fine"- to which they often respond by treating me like I am a freak. You know the whole "UH ..... Ohhh..k? " response.

The other day I was compulsively checking some things--- like I was at a vending machine , swiped my card, and kept making sure I either didn't drop anything near the machine, or that I "signed out" to make sure nobody could buy anything else on my card. I walked out of the building and then a man approached me and says "are you ok? " . I responded "uh yeah, whats the matter." He then goes "that girl (who was janitor) said she saw you behaving very strangely and wanted to call the police " . I felt humiliated and embarrassed. It honestly felt like people like me don't belong in society. I have had other instances like this- and (just an observation)- it ALWAYS seems to be a woman who is doing the reporting. Why could this be? I'm not trying to sound sexist, but it is something that I have noticed.

Another case- not quite as bad- happened today. I was doing similar compulsive checking at a restaurant. It was a restaurant that was fast casual- not a nice sit down , but not quite fast food either--so it wasn't that weird to walk around the room. I was standing up and doing this compulsive checking thing. Well this girl behind the counter (who took my order) asked if everything was ok-- I was like yeah-- she then was like "do you need anything- maybe someone turned in what you were looking for" --I was like "no its fine" and she gave me a rude ass weird look. Then I said a couple more things like "ok thanks" or "sorry" and got no response. I feel like she was being somewhat unprofessional, given that I tipped her to treat me nicely. If she thinks I'm "weird" for behaving like that- then she should keep that opinion to herself and remain cordial.

I just wanted to get this off my chest. I understand that if a person with a mental condition is being disruptive or violent, then their behavior should not be tolerated. But I was literally bothering nobody, and my behavior was entirely non-disruptive. Yet people threaten to call cops on me, etc.
We have become a very judgmental society. I also feel like people are taught to report any person (especially male) who behaves "different" ---which obviously discriminates against people with mental health conditions.

Why can't I be "weird" or show signs of a mental health condition and have people treat me with decency at the same time? And why is it that my most negative experiences have been with women? And I wasn't bothering or trying to interact with those people who report me--I was minding my own business- but I guess they wanted to be savior of the world by reporting a guy for having OCD.
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del677 Offline
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Re: OCD and stigma - September 21st 2017, 08:45 AM

just say you have OCD.

they're just looking for an explanation. if it's oh I have this disorder this is normal for me. I'm fine just ignore me, then they know what to do (ignore it,this is normal for him), and they have their (vague) explanation (it's a medical thing, or something, I don't need to know the details, as long as he's OK and dismissing it is the correct thing to do then I'll do that.

but yea I agree the only time I'm OK with admitting I have a mental illness is when it's not acting up and I'm fine.
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del677 Offline
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Re: OCD and stigma - September 21st 2017, 04:23 PM

My counselor just told me a story of a person who had a head injury which affected her balance so she wobbled all the time and people who didn't know her thought she was drunk and treated her that way.

(Sorry no answers in that story. Seems like a short story now that I typed it in.)
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