This is probably one of those posts where I had a thousand of ideas, and yet I never really knew how to form those ideas in a decent post. That, and I found it really difficult writing this post. Because the stigma surrounding mental health is still there. I was told by my family not to write about this, but I refuse to be silenced.
I am recovering from depression and anxiety. I’m happier than I ever was, and am in a good place, both physically and mentally.
Yet I still go to psychiatric therapy. And I still take my medication.
And it’s okay.
Like any other person, I experience ups and downs. Sometimes they’re for petty things, but I still have moments of overwhelmingness and get anxiety attacks out of paranoia or the slightest thing. Yes, I’m still talking about the person who is happier than ever and recovering from two mental health illnesses.
I have been on medication since December – when I was first diagnosed – and I’m still on them. The dosage may have been reduced, and they may have helped me a LOT, but most of the recovery came from within. I started taking better care of myself both physically and mentally. I started experimenting with mantras and yoga, and they were really useful.
Last week I started a course on Mental Health First Aid which is spread over two Saturdays. Not only have I shared my story with the rest of the group, btu I also learned more on mental health, and realised the stigma is big… downsizing, yes, but still very big.
I told my psychiatrist about this in my last session. He’d heard about me attending (he worked with the person running the course), and that I have been talking about rTMS (more on that in detail in a later post). He has ears and eyes everywhere, and has told me he really appreciates me being so open about therapy and mental health in general.
I always tell people that seeking treatment for mental health is like going to a GP (general practitioner). When you get a headache or feel a sore throat, you go to your GP and he gives you a diagnosis and a prescription for medication. People need to realise that mental health works the same way. You get symptoms, you consult a GP/psychologist, you get a diagnosis, you get treatment. Easy.
So why the stigma? At the beginning, I feared others’ judgement, that they would see me as a crazy, lonely lunatic with mental problems. I’m way past that now. Because I know who and what I am and don’t need other people’s opinions of myself for me to move along with life.
Now, I really don’t care what people say about my mental wellbeing. I know I’m sane, and so do my friends and family, so why bother with what people think? We only live once, focus on YOUR life as opposed to living for others’ pleasure.