In the past, I have been apprehensive about sharing such personal and intimate details about my mental health disorders with strangers online. This is probably the main reason it's taken me so long to gather the courage to create this site. Mental health disorders unfortunately have a tremendous amount of stigma attached to them. When creating this website, I was thinking about what would happen if employers, or family members, or friends judged what I wrote in my blog, and wrote me off as an insane. What if this causes people to not want to be around me, because they think I'm crazy? Well, those malicious thoughts were quickly dismissed when I remembered that the reason people would consider me '"crazy" is because the majority of people DON'T share their stories of mental illness with others. The silencing of many individuals who are afflicted with mental illness by those around them who aren't accepting is what causes the stigma to grow.
So, to break that silence, let's talk about mental illness. I am going to attempt to make daily blog entries outlining my story of mental illness and recovery. I hope that in doing so, my readers can identify with some of the challenges I've had, and do one of two things:
1. If you identify very strongly with what I write, and feel you have a mental health issue yourself, don't hesitate to message me, and I can help point you in the right direction of a healthcare professional. You are most definitely not alone!!
2. If you finish reading some blog posts, and realize you may have someone in your life who is dealing with a mental illness, try and make yourself an ally. Let that person know they are not alone, and you are happy to listen if they need to open up to someone. The most important thing is that you DO NOT pass judgement. This person is likely feeling isolated already, and they need to know they aren't going to be alone in their recovery.
Thank you for reading my extremely long introduction (sorry about that). I will be back to discuss my specific mental health disorders later today. Please share the Bell Let's Talk photos on Facebook, as Bell will donate 5¢ towards mental health initiatives.