Are you an expert by experience

because of your suffering, do you think youre an expert on mental illness


Not even kind of. There are so many mental illnesses out there. My experience only covers a tiny fraction. And my experience isn’t necessarily the same as someone else with the same Dx.


Not necessarily because I have learned to express my suffering in words I picked up on this forum. And without learning from you people, I could not call myself a helpful expert on mental illness.
The best phrase I learned was “thought disturbance”. Being able to say that about others and think it about myself helps a great deal.

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Not a expert on metal illness, but I think I know myself better than most Doctors


That has been my role in my mental health trust for two years, I only do it when they need me, but when I do it I just feel like an accessory, like a tick sheet “include service user” box. I have done interviews for staff when I am sometimes on the interview panel, which I felt included and valued but most of the time in a separate room with other experts and have a separate interview where I don’t feel my views would be heard.

My current role I just stopped due to becoming unwell I was teaching courses on recovery using my experiences as a base but with set course outlines and topics based on research which involve skills they can facilitate to help themselves.

I was with other 2 or 3 other experts facilitating the courses, we had no supervision because we weren’t considered staff. I felt very unsupported doing it.

I think it definitely has a place, I’d love to talk to junior doctors about my presentation because consultants think they know everything already. I recently had a neurology consulatation with the head of department, I have neurological symptoms including gait which another consultant flagged up. The hob nob wrote in my letter, " this gait isn’t unlike that you would find on a Psychiatric ward" so basically I walk like a psychiatric patient… What sort of excuse is that to get me out of the service?! He also made me feel like I should be grateful for carrying out tests on me despite me being physically disabled now. I’m curently thinking of using my role to make a critique of the service at the hospital but not a complaint because they just poo poo that with a naff apology. They need to learn.

I do think we are an expert on our own condition and experiences but not anyone else’s, we are all unique, I’ve been on panels for services of pregnancy and learning disabilities… I have never been pregnant im infertile on my meds so I may never be so i am no expert there and I certainly haven’t got learning disabilities, it was not my place to be on either of those panels.

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I feel that I’m indeed an expert on both bipolar and schizophrenia by virtue of having suffered from both over the past 35 years. Yes. My own versions of these illnesses anyway.


I’ve had this since I was born so I’ve had it for over 20 years. Ive done so much research about my conditions I’d say I’m knowledgeable.

But I’m always learning new things about my self and other people. So I’m going to say I’m not an expert.

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Yes I feel like I’m an expert on bipolar and to some degree schizophrenia.
I’ve studied these disorders and their treatments for years.

I’m not bragging but I was told by a few psychiatrists that I know a lot of info on the subject.

Nope. I am far from an expert. I have no medical training, and I am in the middle of reading my very first book on schizophrenia. I have read limited articles online, so the bulk of my experience is personal. To that end, I am still surprised on a regular basis to learn that something I am going through is common to sza, which I often learn about on this site.

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