I recently had an experience when trying to gain some sexual healthcare which got me thinking. As a user of mental health services myself, I have had to hand over a lot of myself to other people to help manage and make decisions, often on my reluctant behalve, for a while now, but I think when it comes to my own body, to my reproductive choices and the like, I should have the first call on what I want, and I should be LISTENED to.
I like to think that the stigma of having a mental illness has started to go away in recent times, but have noticed that when it comes to sexual health we are often treated as though we do not know what we are doing, don't know our own bodies or even what we want and I am pretty sure this happens in more countries than just my own.
So here is a thread for those of you who need some support/tips on how to get past those barriers that are put in front of us when we are trying to gain sexual healthcare.
Posts: 611 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004
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I've noticed that having a history of mental illness can be a barrier to gaining healthcare in general. Unfortunately, once you have a label attached to you like "Generalized anxiety disorder" or "borderline personality disorder", it can be really hard to be taken seriously when you request healthcare, even for a completely unrelated problem.
I wish I had some tips, but the onus is really on healthcare providers to treat their patients as individuals, regardless of previous mental illness. Beyond that, I thnk that the people who get the best care are ones who walk in looking confident, well-informed and are ready to ask some questions and for a second opinion if needed. Of course, this isn't always easy!
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
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