Battling Mental Illness

I'm going to write about a topic more serious than even divorce. Mental illness.
Since the passing of Robin Williams there has been a lot of talk of suicide and mental illness, both in good and bad forms. There are a lot of negative things being put out there in the media that I worry could be detrimental, but I also am hopeful that the positive things will help people become more educated about mental illness, and finally quit with the stigma surrounding it, and get those suffering the help they need. I started this post about a week ago now, and seeing so many come out with such beautiful stories of their own to help make other people more aware, I'm going to share mine. 
I am someone who suffers from mental illness. I suffer from depression, severe anxiety, and PTSD. This is something I only recently have started to be more open about. I have had anxiety since seventh grade, and depression since 8th grade. In 10th grade my depression got so bad it worried my family, and other people around me so much they put me into counseling. This was such an embarrassing thing for me. I wouldn't tell anyone that I was going to counseling for the fear of being judged; the fear of being told to just get over it, and that I can choose to be happy if I only try. I couldn't understand why I couldn't be happy like everyone else. I felt like a misfit; a freak.
Even after counseling and learning how to deal with my depression much more appropriately I still kept the fact that I suffered from mental illness a secret, only allowing a few people very close to me in on it.
As I started to learn more and more about mental illness and what I was going through I started speaking about it more and more openly, but it wasn't until a year and a half ago that I started expressing my opinions on mental illness and the fact that I was someone who suffered from it, in a more public manner.
Last December was the worst my depression ever had been. I was trying to hide it but given the circumstances every one new better. After breaking my ankle and not being able to leave my apartment except for work, it gave me a lot of time to sit and think, and become all consumed in my depression. It finally got to the point in January that my parents forced moved me out of my apartment, due to a very worried text from one of my friends who i had been confiding in.
I would like to point out if it hadn't been for this friend, I don't know if I'd be here right now. Yes I had made him promise not to say a word to anyone about anything I told him, but a true friend knows that getting you help is more important than keeping secrets. I owe him so much. 
My parents got me to counseling, I started taking my medication more frequently and I started to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I hadn't even realized I was suffering from PTSD until my counselor was able to point it out. 
Thanks to my friends and family I was able to find a healthy escape. I was able to reprogram my thinking, and handle things better than I was before.
To anyone battling mental illness please seek out help. The only way to recover is with help, and you will be surprised at how different everything will be once you have received the treatment you need to overcome it. Mental illness is a disease, and just like any other disease you need treatment to get better.  It is my hope that eventually the stigma around mental illness will end, and that everyone will be able to get the help they need to get better.

1 comment:

daisykaye said...

I love you sweetie!! You are so brave - what a.beautiful post... xox