Mental Health Struggles and Intersect... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Mental Health Struggles and Intersectionality

mvillarreal profile image
10 Replies

A lot of people with depression or anxiety notice that these disorders and the identity of being a person who has them can intersect with other identities. For instance, sometimes people of color or women find that they are not taken as seriously by mental health professionals, or people with other disabilities find themselves more in the margins because of their disability combined with anxiety/depression. Has anyone ever had experiences like this, where another identity made it more difficult to cope with mental health?

10 Replies
hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54

It can also be an age thing. I found since hitting middle age, male doctors of a similar age tend to treat women as 'neurotic' or 'attention seeking'. I no longer see them but only female doctors or young male ones.

I went recently to a doctors appointment with diagnosed physical problems (lung disease, back pain, and underactive thryoid) and she seemed to think my depression was making it worse. I repeatedly told her it was the other way round but she kept insisting I try and get some counselling. Useless. x

mvillarreal profile image
mvillarreal in reply to hypercat54

I can see how that's frustrating. By the way, I know I keep saying this, and I hope it's not getting annoying, but I really can't get over how adorable and funny your profile pic is! Sorry. I'm just a huge animal lover so I get charmed easily. LOL.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to mvillarreal

Thank you that's nice of you to say so. x

whatsmyname profile image
whatsmyname

For me yes. When I first met a psychiatrist I was so ready to open up to him and hoping that maybe he could help me. But I was so taken a back, because he instantaneously asked me direct to the point questions, told me to take anti depressants (on my first visit), he wont look me in the eye and he just kept on writing (he do this every time i see him). And I thought this doctor is not taking me seriously. But I just said to myself that maybe because I'm young and a girl maybe hes uncomfortable or hes pitying me. He told me to comeback every two weeks for progress but damn I did not experience any progress thats why I stopped going to him.

mvillarreal profile image
mvillarreal in reply to whatsmyname

Do you think maybe he was just very engaged in writing down what you were saying? I know sometimes I do this when I interview people. It definitely could be the gender thing though. That's a big issue in the medical field right now.

Snowyowl23 profile image
Snowyowl23

Yes I would agree with other commenters that having an additional identity (for me it’s being a working professional woman) makes finding help harder. I have seen other medical professionals in my community and they have all brushed me aside, saying ‘you’re not a very sick patient’ or ‘you don’t have a lot of issues.’ To make matters worse I’m terrible at sticking up for myself so I just let these people

Walk all over me until I leave their practice all together. It’s one of several reasons I have not sought professional help until just recently.

Stilltrying_ profile image
Stilltrying_

I'm sure it happens all the time mvillarreal. What are your own experiences? How has this impacted you?

mvillarreal profile image
mvillarreal in reply to Stilltrying_

Well, I am pretty privileged, so thankfully, it hasn't been a big issue with me, but sometimes having ADHD combined with anxiety makes it very hard to focus. When I experience both, I can be very forgetful and flighty, and people who don't get it just think I need to "pull my head out of my ass" or something. It happens especially when I travel because I have traveling anxiety. My dad's side of the family also has a very Latinx patriarchal background as well, and, even though he tries to get out of that mentality, some of the machismo comes out when he gets frustrated with not knowing how to help me. I just need to "get over it," and, when I'm flighty I just need to "try harder." I have a feeling that if I wasn't a male, it would be different. I feel like it's one of those "man up" things. He's gotten a little better though as I've gotten older.

Stilltrying_ profile image
Stilltrying_

Thank you for sharing. I was watching an interaction near a bus stop today. There was a market trader (male) interacting with a young male child who was with his mother. I noticed how he talked to him and interacted with him; it was all playfighting and stuff and then the guy market trader said something like "Do you like girls? " "Boys are better than girls aren't they? "Mindyou when your older you may decide you like girls".

All "normal" stuff and nothing wrong with it, but it just made me think how would that guy have talked to that child if they were a girl? ( it was hard to see from the way they were dressed really whether it was a girl or a boy anyway) But the talk would have been completely different. It would have been "You're a pretty girl aren't you? " and it would have been much more soft and gentle. Just that one little interaction of 5 minutes; imagine all of that building and how we get shaped as individuals according to gender ( or perceived gender; would be funny if it was really a "tomboy" girl!!!)

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54

I have heard that children are aware at a very young age what gender they are and how they are supposed to behave.

I saw a great study of children aged 9/10 in a school. The boys all said they were physically stronger than the girls and they said they were weaker. Now that is not true at that age and when they were challenged to ring a bell the boys overestimated their strength and the girls underestimated theirs. Some of the girls did better than the boys! x

I also saw a YouTube video - not sure where it was but somewhere in Africa. Orphaned boys were taught a trade and left the orphanage at 18. The girls however were taught how to be good homemakers and weren't allowed to leave until they were married. Those sorts of sterotypical ideas are still floating around even in the western world and are horrifying. x

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