Letter: Victims of prejudice

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Dorothy Rowe (Medical Notes, 27 July) is spot on about the negative career effects of seeking or receiving medical help for "psychological distress", and the enduring diagnostic labelling that can follow.

Additional negative effects include financial agreements such as credit purchases or loan agreements. These agreements include, not unreasonably, clauses which nullify any insurance against illness causing loss of earnings, if that illness has caused you to seek medical treatment or advice in the preceding twelve months.

However, if such loss of earnings involves anything that is labelled as psychiatric or psychological in origin, your insurance is invalidated if you have ever sought or been given treatment or advice, whether or not it is related to the reason that your earnings have been affected.

Also, it seems to be widely acknowledged that carrying a label of "long- term psychiatric diagnosis" has a very negative effect on an individual's credit rating.

Instead of "Not clinical wisdom but simple prejudice", perhaps the title of the piece should have been "Not clinical wisdom but complex institutionalised prejudice".


Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire