This post was important to me on several levels- I spoke to the students as an expert IP patient coming off a section- which I felt at the time was unwarranted. Subsequently, I recently had a severe relapse of SH, and I chose to fully disclose to my school counselor with the very real fear that I would not be allowed to work or continue in my studies. While I still have that fear, I am also taking responsibility for my health and safety- and those of the ones I work with. I believe I am safe but I also need to respect what lying or omission potentially does to the psyche when ones values are based on authenticity and mutual respect in the health care relationship
When I started my health care studies- one instructor was really archaic in believing my mental health needs were not current and if they were- would mean I could not become a health care professional. This impinged my ability to access disability services. I was fully into battle mode and it triggered a form of PTSD/ burn out in my mind. So now with that experience under my belt so to speak- I find identity and comfort in educating others about high functioning persons with lived experiences of mental illness being successful mental health providers and medical practitioners.
I know I may have seemed to underestimate those on RYL who are examples of those with lived experiences either working or studying in the health care field- so I apologize. However, most of it has been my struggle to accept my right to study mental health specialty and also identify as a patient/ client/ service user/ consumer.
Thank you for your patience with me.