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February 05, 2010


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Linda Jones

Oh wow Rosie, I can't believe that letter. Please can I carry this post on our new blog? Thank you so much for linking to us, for your kind words and your razor sharp wit, wisdom and writing. xx

Rosie Scribble

Linda, I couldn't believe the letter either! And why on earth would I need a picture of a letter to tell me it is letter?

Of course you can carry this post to your new blog. I have just found a post I wrote about the Black Dog back in May last year and added the link to this post. I remembered that I had added some useful resources at the end.



I too have suffered from depression (and currently am), as have all of my immediate family. From my experience it is often exactly those intelligent, articulate people who do suffer. I wonder what Stephen Fry would have made of that letter if they had sent it to him!
Am now going to look at the Breaking The Silence blog.......

Rosie Scribble

Depression really can be debilitating can't it? I feel for anyone that suffers. You make an absolutely brilliant point about Stephen Fry - one of the cleverest men on the planet, in my opinion, would anyone send him a letter like that just because he suffers from Manic Depression? I'd love to hear his reaction if they did!


Wow, in my experiance I have never had anything like that and I too have suffered from mental illness. That is a terrible way to be trated and I think Linda and Lyns site is wonderful and so accesable


That is an outrageous letter and I can't think what would have motivated someone to write it.

Well done for speaking out on this issue. You're right, there is still a huge stigma attached.


What a terribly insulting, badly worded, if well meaning, letter. And to think this came from a mental health professional. I'm so glad this subject is coming out in the open.

I'm not THE Alison - sender of the letter - by the way!


Dear Rosie,
I liked your post.

I am leaving a comment.

I know you're not stupid.

But I think the person who the letter is.

Yours nSm

Lax Parenting

Dear Rose

I read your blogpost.
The blogpost you wrote.
It made me giggle.
That means laugh.
***insert picture of person grinning***
I hope the plonkers sending these out read this.

Metropolitan Mum

Oh please, can't you send your response? That would be such fun! xxx MM

Linda Jones

Here you go, thanks a million Rosie:




Wish you had sent that letter back :) and thank you so much for letting us show it on Breaking the Silence.


It takes my breath away that people can be so stupid and insensitive. What was she thinking?

Make do mum

I would find this hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. I have suffered from depression in the past, and the hardest part for me was finally admitting that I needed some help. If I had received a letter like Alison's I may never have sought it!


Wow! I too suffer from depression. Having read the letter you received I am speechless! I just laughed out loud on reading it along with your witty and appropriate reply! Thank you.


God that letter makes me angry. I suffer from depression and have for over four years and am still waiting for therapy from the NHS they just keep pumping me with tablets. It really angers me the way some health professionals treat people with mental illness like they cant function nor read or write or anything.
That letter is just shocking!
*rant over* :(

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment, Hayley. The letter made me angry at the time. I felt insulted and patronised. I can laugh at it now when I think about it but I expect letters like that are still sent and they are, quite simply, wrong. I wanted to let you know that although NHS waiting lists for therapy are long, far too long, do hang in there, it is worth the wait. Trust me on this one. :)

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, you make a really interesting point about being out off by such a letter, as was I. I hope to be in a position soon when I am able to pass on these views to mental health professionals who are seeking views of ex-service users. I will remember to remind them of these sort of letters. Your comment provided a useful reminder, so thank you.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for including it on your new blog, Lyn. I'm honoured and I love the work you are doing. There is a huge need for it and I will be recommending your site to many others, plus adding more content to it, I hope. Thanks again!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment.
I read it.
I loved it.
I laughed.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for including it, Linda. Feel free to write such nice words about me every day!


I had already discovered their blog (from a comment left on yours, perhaps?)

When I met the man who became my husband, he was just coming out of a 6-year period of severe depression. It had dominated his life completely. When we decided to get married, I wanted to know more about depression, and how I could support him. We lived in London at the time, so you would think there would have been loads of resources. But there was nothing. I researched whether there were resources for 'carers' (though he didn't need 'care' as such), and anything I found was for elderly couple dealing with alzheimer's or similar. It was very disappointing. I was trying to take an intelligent approach, and find out what was likely to be ahead, and there was nothing. That was 1995. Perhaps it would be better now. (And he's not had any depression since, actually.)


I suddenly love my name again! Stigma, stigmamma, stigmum! If I got a letter like that, I'd probably post it like you, but hey! They don't send it to me!! Well done on your response! Better said than I ever could!!! xxx

Selina Kingston

I actually wanted to go to the doctor when I started to feel so tired and low but chose the therapist because I didn't want my record to show any history of mental health problems - how ridiculous is that? Thanks for linking to this site Rosie. I shall certainly be looking at it.


That is SHOCKING! I'm almost speechless. Well done you for your response. x

Smitten by Britain

There are more people walking the streets with depression than actually seek help. Still, we live with this stigma and it's a real shame. It keeps people who need help from seeking treatment in the first place and this letter is just one example of it. I had mild depression since my mid twenties which turned into anxiety disorder. Contrary to this letter's tone or insinuation, some of the most intelligent and creative people in the world have suffered from depression. I for one am guilty of spending waaay too much time inside my head!

Dad Who Writes

Oh. My. God. As another former(?) sufferer of depression, I think I'd have gone round their office with a baseball bat and a katana (and a dictionary to help them understand exactly what kind of sword they were about to be cut up into tiny little pieces with) an bad deeds on my mind. (That was all metaphorical, Thought Police.) Quite appalling.

More seriously, had I ever got such a missive on the depths of actual depression, I'm sure it would only have excascerbated it.

(Sorrry about typos - iPhone)


I can't believe this letter. sure it's funny now but I can't imagine how you must have felt then. I really hope letters like this aren't still being sent out.


Oh that would have GUTTED me had i recieved that- wow.
condecending much?
I hate the 'all in one pidgeonhole" idea that some people have with mental illness, or even, and I don't know if you have had this, people in your life, who know you have been/are depressed/anxious/mentally ill in any way, who then decide to blame any kind of behaviour they don't like upon this illness - you aren't upset or hurt justly anymore - its because 'you are ill' and you 'need to calm down' never mind the pain anyone else does. That or the constant eggshells, or the being unable to cope with you being better again and functioning...Ooops, sorry, blog hyjacking :(
Am off to look at the link and THANKYOU for the comment left on my blog:) I can't DM you on Twitter for some bizzarre twitter reason...
Hugs many.

Jo Beaufoix

Rosie I love you. It makes me so mad that someone should write something like this. So many of us from all walks of life suffer from depression for varied reasons, and to receive something so patronising and poorly worded is just insulting and upsetting. There's nothing wrong with simple, but that is beyond.

Tattie Weasle

Rosie - although I have not had that letter I have had some deliciously stupid health workers visit to patronise me over the years. They got particularly annoying when I was pregnant...but heigh ho! I have posted about my relationship with the Black Dog and I hope you don't mind I have linked this post - it sums it all up really!


Hi Rosie, this is such a great post, I would be really thrilled if I could use it in this year's edition of 'mummomag', an online magazine created entirely by mums. Please! You can see last year's edition at www.mummomag.co.uk to find out what I'm talking about.

As someone who has spent 3 and a half (long) years struggling with postnatal illness, I'm intensely aware of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. For me, personally, I made the choice to be open about the whole thing and, as a result, feel lucky to have met lots of fab people who felt they could be open with me too. There's no opportunity to build those bonds if everyone has to struggle in silence for fear of getting the kind of response you did. I would love to include your post in the 'mind and body' section of the magazine, if that's alright with you. Please email me if you want to find out more first: info@mummo.co.uk.

Thanks very much


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