Do you think less of me…

By Steph, UK

Audio By Alice Colquhoun


Do you think less of me
Now you know I hurt myself?
Do you think less of me 
Now you know I’ve been in a mental health ward?
My brain tells me you do.
My brain tells me you look at me differently, think of me differently, treat me differently.
My mind tells me a lot of things and it takes a lot of energy to know which things are true.
Please don’t think less of me
Now you know I have OCD.
Don’t think you are the expert 
Because you keep your house clean. 
Please don’t think less of me 
Now you know I panic and breathe fast 
In the moments I feel scared. 
Please don’t think less of me 
Now you know generalised anxiety haunts me.
Now you know I’ve thought of suicide. 
Now you know I’ve cried out for help.
I think less of me. I think I’ve failed.
I know that crying out for help has made me feel less, inferior.
My brain is in conflict all the time. 
I think I’d be better off not here.
It takes a lot of energy to convince myself that life is better than death.
Do you think less of me
Because I’m an informal patient, and I’m choosing to be here, in hospital. 
Because it feels like it, it feels like I’m making a ridiculous decision.
It feels like I’m stupid for choosing to be safe. 
Do you think less of me, I ask, because it feels that way.
The way this place works.
And underneath this all I think so little of me.
I really need your help.
I don’t have the energy. 
I’m trying to fight.
Please just stand beside me and I plead, Do not think less of me now you know more of me.


This piece was written during a 2 month inpatient stay in early 2019 for Anxiety, OCD and suicidal thoughts. There were very few informal patients, especially for that long on the 2 acute wards I was on and as an informal (voluntary) patient I often felt inferior to those who were under section and wrote this poem trying to explain this to other patients and to staff.

Categories: The Salon

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