I want to begin this article by saying if you have a mental illness, you should not be discriminated against and if you have been, you are not alone. It's awful and should not be happening. I wish it was normalized and not looked down upon. If you have been discriminated against at your workplace, please go to your human resources department and talk to them. It shouldn't be happening, and I'm sorry that it is.
This is article is a bit more personal for me than most. Let me give you a backstory of how this all started. I was injured while helping a patient and now my doctor believes I should be having surgery to fix the injury. This injury was in April. It’s now September. It has been a long five months of surgeries being denied and jumping through a ton of hoops.
When I thought I had finally jumped through all the hoops in hopes of having this problem fixed, I got a letter in the mail stating the denial for surgery, which was expected. What I didn't expect was the two paragraphs in the explanation saying that because I'm so young and on anti-depressants, that I could be faking the pain I'm in and that psychosocial causes for my pain should be evaluated.
I was taken aback. Who does that? I thought the healthcare field, of all places, had mental illness destigmatized. That it does not define you, especially when you are getting the help you need.
Doctor's should not assume someone is faking the pain because of a mental illness, especially one who has never met you. Not even once.
A mental illness is not a point for someone to take and twist and make you look bad. The doctor I see for my injury would've picked up on it and said something. He would have recommended an evaluation. He didn't.
I shouldn't have to defend myself, nor should anyone else, against the fact that I have depression and anxiety. It should not be held against you. It should not even be acknowledged unless it has relevance to something that is happening and usually that would be with your primary care doctor, therapist, or psychologist. It is an illness just like the flu and lupus. It should be treated as such. It's irrelevant until it's a problem. I find this behavior unacceptable from anyone, especially from medical professionals.