Creating a movement in mental health stigma

Everyone is quite open lately to discussing “mental health”. This usually includes, anxiety, bereavement, post-natal depression & depression. Something that has now become more acceptable to talk about. And this is a step in the right direction. Everyone of us is on the mental health scale, like the psychical health scale & the sooner they can be recognised equally, there will be less exclusion.

However, when a mental illness moves beyond the more common, and by no means do I mean lesser diagnosis’s, these permanent or long term “scary” conditions are still heavily associated not only with negativity but fear. Examples such as:

  • Bipolar
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Eating disorders

These terms summon up thoughts of:

  • Violence
  • Fear
  • Unable to live in society

In reality, people with a life long condition will have additional needs & may have more issues, but they are most likely to impact themselves

  • Emotional Instability
  • Mood swings
  • Unpredictable behaviour (not dangerous)
  • Self harm
  • Suicide
  • Panic attacks
  • Hospital admittance through choice or section

There are still those who believe it’s all in the mind, those who believe people can just click out of depression or anxiety, or “man-up” but if a condition is seen as a lifetime terminal condition, where “normality” can’t return, people are still afraid to talk about this & people are even more frightened to hear about it.

The thing is, I can only speak from my view point. A married, working mum of 2 with limited parental support who wants to get “better”. By better I mean seek help, use services, try talking therapies, take medication temporarily or for life. Society, the media & everything I searched on google made me feel like my diagnosis was a death sentence:

I could no longer be

  • a good mother
  • A good wife
  • Working in any capacity
  • Well
  • Live a “normal” life

But things have changed – I’m now working on being the best version of me & trying to stop being a victim. I will always have EUPD and Anxiety, & will probably be on medication for life, but with the right strategies in place, I am parenting & working full time.

There will be bumps on my journey for sure, but with that I can express great empathy for others & learn so much more about myself & being aware.

So if & when your ready, speak to your work place or a family member or friend. Share what your going through. The sooner more people step out of the shadows, the sooner we will see a movement in the right direction of reducing the stigma attached with all mental health

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