Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

Mental Health and Professionals


Back onto the subject of mental health and professionals, I’ve been trying to work out who I think comes across as least openly judgemental toward patients with mental health issues/illnesses. Now I just want to say that in no way do I think everyone in a professional group acts the same way and while the majority might there are some really wonderful acceptations which really stick with me, I try and remember as much of the good as the bad. This is entirely based on MY OWN opinion and of the experiences in our area.

What I have come up with so far has been this..

  1. Doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants – openly judgemental with a&e staff being one of the worst.
  2. Police – highly openly judgemental; rather deal with anyone but them, though I did meet an amazing officer who was the exact opposite.
  3. Teachers – openly Judgemental, he’s ill, that’s all, nothing else.
  4. CMHT, CPN’s, SW’s – openly judgemental, in fact I often question why some are in the job!
  5. Which brings me to Ambulance crews – I think I have decided they are the least openly judgemental of mental health patients (again only from this area and what we have come across, entirely my own opinion) because they haven’t once treated Chris with anything other than dignity and respect.

I still maintain that a lot of it is they don’t know what to say or more importantly what not to say, how to react, and what mental illness even is half the time. I’m not quick to complain, more to make suggestions of things that might actually help them, for example I emailed our local police station after two officers told Chris ‘don’t be so selfish you have a partner and children’ after he had overdosed. I simply said that it wasn’t helpful to say that to someone with the problems Chris suffers, that could they remind their officers that sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something that could leave someone feeling a lot worse than before they were on the scene. While I don’t believe they wanted to cause Chris to feel worse, or create even more of a situation, their lack of understanding wasn’t helpful and if no one brings it up how are they to learn and improve.

After telling a doctor on MAU once he had a mental illness, he asked what it was so I said ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ and he said ‘has he got an actual mental illness’ I mean what do I say to that? I wanted to say ‘well it effects his brain, his thinking and processing, that’s all mental, combined with the fact he’s taken a substantial amount of tablets and is still suicidal, he is also under the Community MENTAL health team, so yes he’s got a mental illness but hey doc you should know more about this than me surely?’ *Bangs head on wall* I resisted the urge to say anything and kept it buttoned, probably best all round.



Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

4 thoughts on “Mental Health and Professionals

  1. I always ‘enjoy’ reading your blog and relate to a lot of what you mention. I agree with you that so many health professionals etc are very judgemental especially when it comes to people with BPD. Before I was diagnosed with BPD and depression I was only diagnosed with depression and was treated reasonably fairly. As soon as people became aware that I had BPD they acted very critical and uncaring. My local voluntary crisis team believe that I don’t have mental health problems but instead have a behaviour problem and that I should just control myself.

  2. I enjoy reading your blogs because they are informative and true. Healthcare professionals and some outside of the area of mental illness seen to be judgemental. A lot is that BPD is considered someone acting our or looking for attention. LIke someone reallly is faking being on the emotional roller coaster from hell. Mental illnesss has always seemed to have a stigma attached to it and people from Doctors, nurses, policeman and teachers need to be more educated and learn to have more empathy towards the person with the mental illness and the loved whom are trying to help and care for them. Have a blessed day.

  3. HCA especially the wants I have come across on my local wards are simply unbelievable at times, the same for some of the nursing staff and I often find myself questioning why they entered into such a career. Only ever experienced an ambulance crew once after an OD and they were the most understanding.

  4. i know exactly what you mean and i am a nurse. i try so hard to get my colleagues to try and understand mental health illness but some are so resistant. i hate it. no one is immune. they ought to thank their lucky stars they haven’t had to experience it.

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