Charity Number: 1197493

Listening without prejudice

Community Commissioner, Morine (pictured here far left at the PTC launch) reflects on her mental health journey 

My experience of mental health issues began in very early childhood with a series of traumatic events. This began with the death of my father, which I witnessed at four years old, and ongoing mental and physical abuse throughout my early years that continued into my early adult life. As a result of this, I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder which was not ultimately diagnosed until 2022. I also have borderline personality disorder, anxiety and severe depression.

Over the years I have experienced many barriers to my wellbeing. I have found that health professionals have treated me as an illness, rather than a real person. I have felt that I wasn’t being listened to as an individual and because of this I was misdiagnosed for most of my life. This lack of understanding resulted in me being sectioned in hospital on several occasions, alcohol abuse to escape my traumatic memories, and suicide attempts.

I feel that because of my mental health issues I was treated as though I was someone who was dangerous – just because I do not fit the mould. But one size does not fit all; we are not all the same. I felt at times that I was being punished for being me, and that I had privileges taken away from me just because I have mental health issues. I never felt like hospital was the safe space that it should have been.

One thing that I feel very strongly about is the fact that Housing Associations do not allow pets in their premises. Pets are so important to our mental wellbeing, and my dog is a great support to me. The fact that this right to own pets is taken away is something that will impact so many people negatively.

Of course, I just want to say that if people were listened to from the beginning, taken seriously,  and allowed input into their own treatment without prejudice, then things would begin to improve. We know ourselves better than any health professionals, as do our family and friends. We know what we need and what will help. Listen to us. Don’t take away our support, including our pets. It’s unkind and unhelpful.

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