For some reason, mental health is such a taboo topic to talk about. There is so much stigma that comes with mental illness- it’s deeply saddening. The truth is, everyone on this planet will be affected by a mental health issues, whether they experience it personally, or a close friend/family member experiences it. It is something that everyone goes through, so why is it so hard to talk about? It’s high time we break the stigma that is associated with mental illness and tackle it head on.I think people are scared to talk about mental health due to the fear of saying something that may come across as offensive. Or some people simply don’t understand the issue at hand and therefore have a hard time coming to terms with such things. A lack of understanding can lead to ignorance, which is why it is so important that we do address mental health issues.
It isn’t always easy though. Sometimes when you’re the person suffering its hard to find the courage to speak up and get the help you need. However, getting help from someone else is literally the best thing you can do for yourself.
I was suffering with depression and self-harm for a good 4 years… and I was suffering alone. I was scared that if I told anyone how I was feeling and what I was doing, they wouldn’t understand, they would view me differently, they would lash out at me for my actions… the list goes on and on. However, one night, while on the brink of doing something awful, I decided to write a letter to my Dad.
I have always been better at expressing myself through written words rather than verbal communication (hence why I’m so passionate about blogging) and I have always been super close to my Dad, so he felt like the right person to write the letter to. I sat for 2 hours writing the letter and by the time I had explained everything, it was 2am and the letter was 8 pages long. I gave this letter to my Dad that night (for some reason he was still awake… I don’t know why, but I’m thankful he was). I didn’t stay while he read the letter, but when he finished he came to my room and just held me for a while. We cried together and he finally decided to make me some tea… it was now 3am. He made the tea and asked me some questions. They were hard to answer, but I did answer and he did listen and I began to feel lighter because I wasn’t alone in this anymore.
The next step was so tell my Mother and let her know and then make an appointment for the doctor. Since that night I have been to therapy and learned some ways to cope with my feelings without having to resort to self-harm. That was over a year ago and I haven’t self-harmed since.
My point is, that you never have to face anything alone in the world… there are always people there who are willing to hold your hand every step of the way if you need to. I don’t think people fully understand the importance of talking about our feelings. I can honestly say that my life changed simply because I decided that I didn’t want to be alone anymore and I spoke out about my depression.
However, due to the stigma attached to mental illness people don’t want to talk about their feelings because it could result in bullying and judgement. This MUST change! We have to destroy the stigma that is attached to mental illness, because inevitably it will destroy us.
Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of… for some people, its just a part of who they are. I’m still dealing with depression every day and sometimes I do think about self-harm, but I can proudly say that depression doesn’t have such a strong hold on me anymore, and the urges to harm myself aren’t as strong… all because I spoke out.
Please don’t be afraid to speak out. It saved me, and could save you too.
Until next time…