Mental health is an unfathomably important topic. In honor of World Mental Health Day (October 10th) I wanted to share something a little off-topic. I hope you’ll bear with me as I share some personal stuff with you about mental health awareness.
I am an intelligent, funny and witty 34 year old woman. I have mental health issues. I have struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, PTSD, and depression. Most of these I’ve struggled with my whole life, the PTSD and panic attacks are a recent addition to the collection. They popped up a few years ago after I suffered a traumatic miscarriage.
I have struggled with suicidal thoughts before, on many occasions (Thankfully not recently, so I assure you I am safe). I have taken medications for my mental health. I have tried supplements. I see a therapist every week and have for almost 3 years. It’s a constant struggle, it’s a constant battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting.
There’s still a lot of stigma and a lot of ignorance around mental health issues, which is why I’m opening up about my struggles with mental health. I want to let those of you out there who are struggling in silence to know that you’re not alone, and that it’s ok to be open about what you’re dealing with. You don’t have to hide it.
Those of you who are lucky enough to be in the small minority of people who aren’t dealing with mental health issues please remember that those of us who are suffering with mental health issues ARE STILL PEOPLE. Some of us have good days and bad days, and those are on a spectrum too. A bad day for me three years ago meant I was in bed all day convinced I was on the brink of death. A bad day for me now means a small breakdown with a crying episode. I still get up every day and push myself to exist. Some days it’s easier than others, but I tell myself it will all be worth it, and so far I haven’t been wrong.
People suffering from mental health issues don’t all look the same. We’re not crazy, you don’t need to be afraid of us, and you certainly don’t need to shame us. We are just trying to live our lives, just like you. We are not weak, we are stronger than you could ever possibly imagine. I can tell you with 100% confidence that if I was weak, I wouldn’t be here on this earth anymore (please note, I’m not judging those who have made the choice to end their suffering. I can only speak of the struggles in my own head, so please don’t write me accusing me of saying suicide is for the weak, because that’s not what I’m saying). The people who carry the weight of mental health issues are some of the strongest people I know.
I’ve always prided myself on being transparent with you all, and this issue is no exception. My hope is that as more and more people hear stories of mental health struggles, it will become more “accepted” and less stigmatized. So many people do not get or seek the help they need because of the shame attached to mental health. Frankly, that’s a bunch of bullshit. No one would be afraid to get treatment for their cancer because they were afraid of being judged, why should invisible illnesses be any different?
So my message is, be kind to someone today-you never know what people are dealing with. And if you know someone who is struggling with a mental health issue, ask how you can help. Lend an ear, or a helping hand. Above all, don’t make them feel shameful or add to their mental load by treating them like they are crazy. Use World Mental Health day as a way to start conversations about your own struggles, invite others to do the same. Let’s end the stigma of mental health issues one conversation at a time! <3
Leave your questions or comments about World Mental Health Day below!
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for some products that I recommend. For more information please check out my Disclosure Statement.