How often have you felt like you were wearing a mask and hiding your true face from the people around you? Living with a mental health can be tricky at times, and especially if you feel that you need to keep it secret from your relatives and colleagues. There is still a sense of shame that is associated with mental health. It is a blast from the past, where only women were considered to be hysterical – because of their uterus, or hystera in Greek – and where mental disorders were badly understood, if at all. Everyone who suffered from mental health was not judged ill, as you described anyone with a health issue – whether mental or physical – but they were called mad instead. This unfair stigma has remained, even though science has already explained that there is a gap wide as the Great Wall of China between madness and mental health. It is time to be strong for yourself and for all those like you: There is no mental health stigma.
Being Honest About Mental Illness
Those with mental health who decided to be honest about it, have experienced positive feedbacks. They also discovered that most relatives and friends didn’t seem to pay attention to the mental health label. Talking about mental health, contrary to what you might think, doesn’t break your social circle. It strengthens it. Additionally, it makes you feel brave too, which is good. But more importantly, talking about mental health is the first step to seek help. You need that honesty and strength to make the first step. Only then can you begin to feel better and to see clearly where you are heading.
Make It Your Combat
Seeking help is one side of the coin. The other side is about helping others. There is a sense of empowerment when you share your story with people you don’t know but who need to hear it. TED talks are a good way of spreading the word and raising awareness. Naturally, you can write about it too, or even draw it like Frederico Babina, a Spanish illustrator did. If you are feeling confident, you can enroll in a specialist course, such as at the Ultimate Medical Academy or UMA for short, to get trained for health and human services as a support worker or a social service assistant for example. There you will be supporting people with all sort of emotional, mental and physical struggles. First-hand knowledge of mental health is beneficial.
There Is No Shame
Mental health is nothing that you should be ashamed of. And it is certainly nothing that you have to carry on your own. Many individuals did or still do very well, despite a mental illness. Carrie Fisher was very candid about her struggle with a bipolar disorder, and she is far from being on her own here. Many suspect that Charles Dickens suffered from it too. There is a long list of famous people and famous achievers with mental health issues. Their issues have not stopped them. And yours should not stop you either.