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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why I Share My Depression Story

Often people ask me why I share my experiences with Depression. There is still so much stigma around mental illness that people are shocked when I willingly and freely discuss my own experiences with it. They assume that I am ashamed of it, and that I should hide it away from the world. I disagree.

When I was going through the darker times in my life, I felt alone. On top of dealing with the actual Depression, I lived with the belief that there was something wrong with me, and that everyone else was “normal”. It was a crushing, lonely feeling. Now I know that Depression is extremely common, and that there are many others out there like me. My hope is to reach even one person who finds comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone.

Even with all of the facts, the media ads, and the movements to end the stigma of mental illness, people still ostracize and shun those of us living with mental illness. I still can’t figure out why. Is it because they don’t understand mental illness? Is it because they have never experienced it? Is it because they’re afraid they will catch it like a virus?

I came across a picture the other day that really hit home with me. What if we treated people with physical illness in the same way that we treated people with mental illness? 

Take a look:

Photo via Imgur
How ridiculous is this? The sad thing is, it’s true. Mental illness needs to be taken more seriously. We can’t keep living in a world that ignores mental illness. The first, and most important step, is to educate yourself. Chances are, if you haven’t experienced mental illness, then you know nothing about it. There are tons of resources online that will give you an idea about what mental illness is, what causes it, and what it looks like. The next step is to just keep an open mind.

Sometimes, someone living with mental illness is no different from you than someone who has a different skin colour, or speaks a different language. Would you treat them the same way that you treat someone with mental illness? Likely not.

I share my Depression story in order to educate others, to give hope to those like me, and to give a voice to those who haven't yet found their own.

Much love,
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1 comment:

  1. Talking about your depression is one of the best antidotes to cure it. At least, you are aware of your situation and realized what the problem is. It’s true that in order to ignore mental illness, we need to educate ourselves about it. You are such an inspiration for your good intention in sharing your story, Rain! Thanks for sharing your story! Kudos and all the best to you!

    Natalie Lamb @ Good Life Therapy