This is an incredibly insightful post about how profoundly our interactions with others are interpreted through our own perceptions. We can never escape completely our perceptions because they are a product of everything that has ever happened to us.
“My own experience in counselling has helped me to understand just how influenced our perception is by things of which we are often unaware: traumatic events from the past, ideas about the world formulated in childhood, issues of one kind or another which we carry around as our personal set of “baggage.” And by strong emotions, like love, or fear.”
Stigma Fighters is a blog series about real people living with mental illness.
The site aims to raise awareness about mental illness. It addresses stigma by creating a platform for people to share their personal stories and experiences battling mental illness. Sharing personal stories from everyday people, doctors, students, teachers, those who haven’t dared share this part of their lives because of the misconceptions, creates a more realistic representation of the face of mental illness. For those of us battling our illness, reading the struggles of others and sharing our own can be healing, and a way to feel less isolated and alone.
Plus, they have T-Shirts!
[…]I wanted to show the world that there are people living with mental illness who are not just homeless or institutionalized. There are those of us who are living within the confines of society.
There are teachers, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, actors, writers all living with mental illness. These are the stories that need to be told; the people who seem to be “regular” or “normal” people but are actually hiding a big secret. They are living with an invisible illness. They are struggling to function like the rest of society.
I’m using my forum to raise awareness for people (like me) who are seemingly “normal” but actually fighting hard to survive.
This sassy, to-the-point video exposes the reality of not just stigma surrounding mental health, but blatant neglect and unsympathetic treatment of those suffering from mental illness. It’s almost as though when someone is open enough to share their illness, there is still that lack of certainty about the validity of the claim. Like, does she really have depression, or does she just want attention, or is she just dwelling on something for too long. Is she having a pity party? Is she even trying to not be depressed? I still feel as though I will be perceived this way if I share. I am choosing to be open though. I will not allow anyone to make me feel as though I am allowing this to happen, that it is completely in my control. It 100% is not.
This is an excellent description of depression. I am dealing with it pretty badly right now. I’ve been sitting at my computer for hours intending to write, but I feel paralysed. The storm of circling thoughts have frozen me, rendering me unable to get anything done, and there are things I need to do. Even worse, the guilt and shame of not being able to start anything, to move at all for that matter, is adding to the storm in my head. It appears as though I haven’t moved or done anything all day, but my mind is under siege and it is taking all of my strength to battle the incessant thoughts and worries. A mind under siege is a hopeless one. I feel exhausted, nauseated, and weak, and it is getting scary.
I stumbled upon this post while sitting here unable to commit to anything in particular and it gave me a little glimpse of sanity through the fog. A reminder that what I am going through is part of my illness and will pass and that it is okay to get help. Sometimes it gets so dark that I forget it’s not my fault. It sure feels like it’s my fault, my failure.
I hope that tomorrow is brighter because I don’t want to fight this another full day. How bad does it have to be to go to a hospital? Would it be rude to take up time in the hospital when I have a doctor appointment in a couple of weeks? I think I need to talk to someone soon. In any case, I hope this article will bring a dose of reason to someone else who is lost in the dark.
Yesterday I bemoaned those who would turn Robin Williams’ death into a mandatory mass therapy session. But that isn’t to say I don’t appreciate some of the conversation his suicide is provoking. If you’ve never been clinically depressed, the idea that someone like Williams could possibly find life wanting tends to seem absurd.
But depression is a “lie of the mind,” to borrow an old Sam Shepard title. It cares not for your comedy-god status or your loving family. It cares not that plenty of people have it worse. “Depression is a skilled liar, using what you know is true as basis for a massive fraud,” wrote journalist John Tabin yesterday. “If you’re suicidal, you’re where I was five years ago,” he tweeted. “Please read”:
I got teary-eyed reading that, and not just because Tabin is someone I know and like. There’s also the pain of recognition: I could have written nearly every word…