Do people really understand? (stigma)

These last few posts have been really closely linked, so I'm sorry if they're becoming boring. I promise there will be better posts on the way! I just want you to get the whole picture.

As mentioned in previous posts, some people may not understand and this is why there is stigma, discrimination and bullying.

The problem is, you will only know what it feels like if you experience it. However there are some great people out there such as your therapists, friends and family who will all try their best to understand and support you. However, you could have all of the information in the world on the topic, but still not fully understand.

The best thing you can do to help a person understand, is to try and explain it to them simply. You could use the flight or fight system and so on. Of course, they may still find this weird. After all, panicking about getting into a car may seem strange to another person. The way my mum explained it to my teachers is likening it to a phobia. When I had severe problems with getting into school, my mum explained that it's like having a phobia of spiders. You're scared of them, but you don't know why.

The many people who support you and love you will try their best to understand and even if they don't, they will still continue to support you. As you've read in the last post, there are a few family members and friends that don't understand and have said that to me, but are ever so kind. However, there are people that won't understand and may be quite ignorant about it. That is their problem. Until they've experienced it themselves, they will never know. They may make sweeping statements or get angry. Just ignore it and try to explain to them if they're willing. Not everybody is going to understand your situation, just like not every person understands every single maths problem.

I hope that this last post cleared everything up for you. Not everyone will understand your situation, but may still be supportive. Others may not understand and will just be ignorant. Try your best to explain. It's true that some won't be willing to listen, but most are! You need support throughout your recovery, not people who don't care. This is where you have to be a little bit selfish. Again, because people don't understand they may make a few hurtful comments, just ignore it and brush it off. Keep going!

Amy x