"Is diagnosis a label?"

When you were diagnosed, did you feel as though you were being labelled? For me, it was a rush of relief. It's the same any time a name is put to one of my "issues". It's a case of when I'm diagnosed, I know what it is and can start looking for a way to solve it.

At the same time, though, it's a label in the sense that I do feel fearful when I tell people about my anxiety and depression. I remember a couple of years ago I sat down to apply for benefits for the first time. Because I was under 18 I had to see a job coach. When I was asked about whether or not I had any medical issues, I mentioned the anxiety and depression. After lots of um'ing and ah'ing, the job coach said straight out "I'm not going to put that down because whilst it's illegal to discriminate against people with mental illness, it still happens".

That's the sad reality. There are still people out there who will make judgements based on a person's mental health. Now, I don't think I know a single person who hasn't been affected by mental illness in some way. I'd honestly have thought there wasn't a single person in the world who hadn't at least known someone who'd fought mental illness. Well, apparently there are, either that or some people just have no empathy.

Put me in the right job and I will excel. Put me in the wrong job and I'll have a breakdown. At this stage, I'm self-aware enough that I know the difference between a well-suited job and an ill-suited job. I don't need someone else to make that decision for me.