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Share Your Story

I remember the day I was first diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  It was my first year of graduate school, and I saw a counselor at the university I was at.  

One thought on “Share Your Story

  • March 2, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Today marked the day that I realized just why I got into the field of mental health. I always knew I wanted to help others in one way or another, but I wasn’t sure how, until I took my first psychology class…It was then that I looked back on my own self and realized that I too struggle with severe anxiety and PTSD. I had amazing help along my journey. I wanted to do the same for others. Recently, I took my journey to another path, another level when I went to and graduated from graduate school. It was during my internship at an amazing private practice with an amazing supervisor that I realized my passion was with those who have suffered at the hands of others and those who suffer at the hands of themselves…sexual assault survivors and substance use individuals. I can say that I was proud to be in a field that was so intertwined with mental health and substance use, both working together to end stigma and help others. Well, many of you know that I had a job interview today at a recovery center. I had the job, I was even told how great it would be to have another person from up north working at the facility. I was told about the pay, the benefits, the case load. The 4 therapists that interviewed me loved me, and I knew I would fit in great! The main interviewer then asked if I was ready for my drug test, and of course I was. She asked if I do drugs or drink and I don’t, so I said no of course. However, I did inform her off the bat that I am on a prescription medication for my anxiety and PTSD. I was then informed they would never hire me…why? Because I was doing something that they were trying to treat people for…I was using. When I explained why I took the medication, she proceeded to tell me I could choose other medications that didn’t have the potential for addiction. And stated that she was surprised my doctor would jump immediately to the medication I am on. I calmly explained that I had tried many “non-addictive” medications, and also explained that I can go for long lengths of time without my medication. Then she asked me this, “How do you feel right now?” and my answer was this, “STIGMATIZED”. I left there unable to speak for the duration of the walk out of the facility. She then asked me why I wasn’t talking, but I didn’t want to say that I wasn’t speaking because I would completely shatter, I simply uttered, “I guess there is not much more to say.” When I finally made it to my truck, I broke into a million pieces and continued to break on the long 45 minute drive home. And I am still breaking. Today, I caught a glimpse…no, I was thrust into a world which many in my position fear, I was judged for something that I should not have been judged for. Now I see why people don’t seek help when help is needed, they are afraid of the people who do make you feel less than, and don’t understand how many of us in the field don’t judge. I thought it was all of our jobs across the board to remove stigma, I guess I was wrong. I am asking, if you’ve made it to the end of this story, to please share it and hashtag this phrase to get the word out: #Iamnotmydiagnosis


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