On my first blog post I wrote about how I didn’t want sympathy or anything like that, and that’s still the case. However, recently I’ve just been inspired to write from the experiences in my personal life.
During my nineteen years of life, I’ve been through several kinds of mental illnesses, and I’m terribly tired of pretending that mental illness doesn’t exist or isn’t important enough to talk about. I suffer with anxiety, social anxiety to be specific. I’m also not going to attempt to define my mental illness because everyone who suffers with anxiety knows it is different to every individual who suffers with the condition. I personally suffer with anxious thoughts. For example, I am constantly thinking I’m doing something wrong or constantly think I’m hurting people by simply talking to them. Then one step further than that, I suffer with panic attacks, which put me in a state of mental isolation and fear. And though it has only happened once or twice, it can happen where I’ve made myself physically sick by making myself anxious.
Now to the more important part – why am I telling you this?
To that I answer with – why shouldn’t I? Why is there stigma attached to my mental health? Why can’t I openly talk about something that I deal with every day? It’s the same with depression, whom a member of my family has had to deal with as of recent. And it kills me watching them pretend nothing is happening, and that it’s bad for them to even think that what’s wrong with them is something to be ashamed of.
It’s not. They shouldn’t have to feel alone. That’s not alright.
At one point in life, when I first started suffering with panic attacks, I got so paranoid that I was a freak – I didn’t say anything, when I started feeling anxious I’d hide away and not tell anyone what was happening. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I once felt – don’t be upset with who you are, it’s not embarrassing to suffer with anxiety or depression and the only reason people don’t talk about it more is the ignorance of the subject. I beg you to speak up and stop the pain staking ignorance surrounding mental illnesses!
There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to you for how you live. Your mental health is not a choice. It’s okay to not be okay (Sorry for the poor choice of stereotypical quotation) but it is true, I’m not okay, but I will be, I’ll have good days and I’ll have down days but it’s okay that I suffer with anxiety and it’s okay that my family member suffers with depression, because we are allowed to be different, we are allowed to be human.
No matter whom you are or what you go through in life: it is okay to be open and to be okay with your mental illness.
I’d also like to thank Chris who helped me write this, he’s actually started a new blog, hoping people who are too scared to openly talk about their mental health – feel free to go over there and open your heart out and start a future where we have no stigma attached to mental health. (I’ll link the new blog soon)