Why I’m Not Ashamed to Talk About My Mental Illness
“I am not afraid to talk about my mental illness anymore. It is what’s new in my life.”
Before I experienced it myself, I had a very broad understanding of what a mental illness was. I was always asking myself why it has become such a popular subject throughout the years. Then it happened to me. My mental illness took me by surprise and shattered everything I’ve ever loved. It affected my whole entire life, so why was I so afraid to talk about it? I didn’t really understand myself.
I finally came to the conclusion that I was never afraid of talking about my diagnosis. I simply did not understand what was happening to me, thus making it hard to explain to those around me. I had a hard time talking to my family, therapists, and doctors about it because I simply did not understand it myself. I took it upon myself to do whatever I could to understand this more. I talked to anyone I could that had experienced mental health issues, I went to talk to a few counselors at a nearby middle school, and I started going to therapy. Nothing was working so I decided it was time to leave my family and go to a treatment center four hours away from my hometown. In treatment I learned so much about my mental illness.
I am not afraid to talk about my mental illness anymore. It is what’s new in my life. It is what I spend most of my time trying to take care of. I am more educated on what is happening to me, therefore I am more confident in telling others my story. Talking about my diagnosis makes me feel like I am not alone. But, the number one, most important reason that I am not ashamed to share my experience is to help others. My mental health journey has taken me in so many different directions, but I am proud to say that I have helped so many people suffering with similar things along the way. Having panic disorder is not shameful. Having severe depressive disorder is not shameful. Why would I be ashamed of something that I have no control over? I can’t control having these illnesses but I can control how I respond to it, and the thing that helps me the most is sharing my story. If I can just touch one person with my story then I consider my job done. There is no better feeling than helping someone with your own personal story.