Today I was reminded that I made a pledge a month ago with Time to Change, to help change the stigma about mental health. I pledged to talk about my experience more. So here’s a blog I read today, ‘Depression Does not define you’, followed by my response to that.
…”Last week was Depression Awareness Week and to raise awareness myself I’ve decided to write a blog post about it. It shouldn’t just be one week that everyone talks about depression it should be every day because if we talk about mental health a lot more we can tackle the stigma in a more effective way. People choose not to talk about depression because of the lack of understanding and compassion in society today. Depression doesn’t define who you are as a person.
They ask “Are you okay?” and the answer is always “I’m fine” because you don’t want everyone to think that you’re weak.
So imagine this and put yourself in someone suffering from depression’s shoes.”More
It is really helpful to hear from others and how well it matches my experience. I went through a terrible time and only asked for help when I had broke down. I wish I could have spoken more about how I was feeling and what I was thinking at the time. I felt so guilty and ashamed of myself, and weak. We need to talk every day, everywhere about these commonplace experiences that so many of us share.
I made a Time To Change pledge a month ago, and have deliberately introduced my mental health into conversations with family and friends so as to take this terrible taboo away.
And I am strong, getting stronger. I am so surprised by the response from people- who have had the same depression, anxiety, as I had!
It’s a bit like the Buddha’s story of the mustard seed, he sent a mother to seek a seed from one house that has never had a death. She never finds one. It helps her to realise and accept her baby has died. The more people I talk to, even taxi drivers and folk I don’t know, the better I understand how we all suffer in similar ways and it is definitely Time To Change!
Advice from the blog above and myself: