Archives For Stigma

Job applicants with schizophrenia facing ‘discrimination’

When I wrote a children’s book entitled ‘Fourteen Daily Farts‘, I read that female writers do better than male writers in the children’s section – so Wendy O’Bregan was born.

We had been told that my family name had been Anglicised from the original Gaelic – although we had also been told by my Nan that we were French royalty too – and I wanted my psuedonym to be connect to me in some way. The first name of Wendy had come from my first initial and the book Peter Pan, and because she sounded like someone I would like to know.

On New Year’s Eve, I decided to start writing again but this time I would be writing about personal experiences and opinions. I was not embarrassed about the subjects I would choose, as many had been discussed openly on my personal Facebook account, but I was concerned that I would be pigeon-holed by the readers and labelled – either as something that I wasn’t or was!

I thought about all the possible labels that I could give myself – my sex, my race, my age, my sexuality, my mental health. All of them would carry some prejudice and only my previous religious status was vague and ambiguous enough – hence ‘A Lapsed Catholic‘ was conceived and Wendy O’Bregan would front it.

I have and always will write as myself rather than Wendy, and want to raise awareness about things that I’m passionate about, like the environment, mental health, equality, ethics, etc. However, I don’t want to be accused of being embarrassed about discussing who I am – especially when discussing mental health. I have been diagnosed with the mental illness bipolar disorder and have worked very hard to raise awareness for mental health. I am very proud of my achievements and I’m not embarrassed to talk about my mental illness.

Today, I have a blog published on Black Dog Tribe under the name Wendy. For those of you who are wondering who Wendy is then she is me – my name is Wayne Banks and generally I don’t like labels but understand that sometimes labels can help other people to empathise and feel that they are not alone.

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Sick by Aaron Swartz