As I’m sure everyone is aware there can be a certain amount of stigma surrounding mental illness. But I am here to tell you to never hide it, of course I don’t think you should be sharing all your private problems with any old tom dick and harry, but I think its healthy to be open about it. There are plenty of positive reasons to be open about your mental health problems…
- Most people who are a little bit ignorant about mental illnesses are purely like that because they don’t understand and they lack knowledge about the subject. By you talking about your struggles openly and discussing how it makes you feel and how it can affect you at times, may open their eyes to the subject and teach them that just because you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, it does not make you any less of a person than them and that your mental illness doesn’t define you, there are plenty of other things about you.
- There could be someone out there feeling very alone facing similar problems to you and by you opening up and sharing your experiences you could inspire them to do the same. Not only that but you could make them feel like there not alone, as I have found I know there are tons of people going through OCD like I am, but actually speaking to people on twitter and seeing TV shows about it has made me feel much less alone and more like part of a strong team that fights everyday and although we may not know each other, we share the same kind of struggles! Starting this blog, sharing my story and interacting with other people who go through similar things to me has been so humbling. Your story could help and inspire someone else!
- Talking about your everyday struggles and just venting about how you are feeling is very liberating, bottling up things will never help. I have always been quite open that I have had certain struggles but since starting this blog I have really opened up about my OCD, Anxiety and Depression and it has been such a weight of my shoulders. I feel like I now have nothing to hide and I have explained and educated people on why I feel how I do sometimes, why I used to make excuses about going out and plenty of other things! Talking about things has also helped me learn about the way I think and writing about all the techniques I learnt in therapy to help with my OCD has reminded me of what to do when I am struggling.
If you learn to be open, embrace and not to be embarrassed about suffering with a mental health problem, other people can also be inspired to kick this stigma to the curb! If someone is ignorant and rude to you about what you go through, that’s not any reflection of you and having a mental illness that is only a reflection on them and who they are, that’s their problem, not yours. You can hold your head high and know you are strong for fighting through those daily battles you have faced, this goes for any problem anyone of you has gone through, it doesn’t have to be a mental illness, but don’t hide away, share you story, help yourself and others.
If you share your story with your family, a therapist, a friend, online who ever and however it may be I respect you for that and if you don’t I hope you are able too soon and I hope this blog post makes you feel a teeny tiny bit more positive about doing so!