Posted in Blog, Mental Health

Are Mental health, epilepsy and race intersectional?

I guess some of you of might be wondering why I’ve chosen to take the direction of race of my blog, as well as epilepsy and mental health.

It’s because for me, as a woman of colour, I’ve learnt that it’s all intersectional.

I’ll give you an example: as you know I’m currently studying online. We have a WhatsApp group social group; We don’t always get along, however when we do it’s pretty fantastic. I’m not the only Black woman on the course, however I do seem to be the only vocal one. That could be because of the explicit racism I’ve experienced which has made me so, plus the fact that I’m the youngest on the course and we’re paying a hell of a lot for this course. Therefore, when people aren’t happy with the course, I’m always the “Katniss Everdeen” of the group, forcing everybody to fight for what we’re paying for. Sometimes I do take breaks for mental health reasons. Sometimes, I also like to just observe the group, and there is one white woman, originally from UK, now living in China, who has a superiority complex, talks down to a lot of the women especially, some just ignore her completely, some run to her in worship even though she is passive aggressively rude and rarely goes out of her way to help, unlike the rest of us in the group!

Over the weekend, she then tried to make me look like the “angry black woman stereotype” when she quite rudely told everybody to stop moaning, get over themselves and get on with it. We’re all frustrated with the disorganisation of the University, so the WhatsApp group is also where we come to vent and encourage. I never take kindly to people telling me what to do, especially when it’s some prissy white woman I don’t even like, let alone know. Clearly the message was rude, yet nobody else in the group said anything, so I stepped up. As the “angry black woman“.

Only after I sent my message, did somebody else message after, but it was very clear that they had waited.

The prissy white woman tried to retract by saying that she hadn’t meant to offend, however she failed to apologise – which I pointed out – therefore, failing to step off of her high horse. I reminded her that although this was a group for sharing information about the course, this was also a social group for venting and referring to it as “moaning” is demeaning and we will not be dictated to. She then only directly apologised to the other person – another white woman – and not to me; my only response was: “sorry you feel that way” as if my feelings were unwarranted, and I was being unreasonable, as”angry black woman“.

Later on, others felt like they couldn’t talk openly about their disappointment about their bad grades, as that would be “moaning” and I began to cry to my partner, as this was beginning to affect my mental health.

Then at 4.30am this morning, prissy white woman sends a message to let us all know that she is leaving the group. She did apologise for offending us, however it was nowhere near a sincere apology. She then left. The message woke me up and I haven’t slept since.

Lack of sleep of a trigger of seizures, as is stress.

And when my partner left for work this morning, the first thing I did was get out of bed to clean obsessively (I also have OCD).

And this is why, mental health, epilepsy and race are intersectional.



I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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