30.9.12

This might be one of the scariest things i've ever done. But i've been thinking about speaking out about this issue as long as i've blogged (and before) and I finally feel like i'm at a decent enough place to do it. I'm still scared right now typing this. But i'm pushing through because I believe in the message i'd like to share. 

It's something i've struggled with my whole life.
Elementary school is when it started. I remember feeling "sad" for no reason as young as seven. I denied it until I was fifteen, then I finally sought help. I have been in and out of therapy for several years now. I have recently started on medication.
I have struggled with this, fought to the death (almost) with it, time and time again. It isn't going away. So I might as well talk about it.

I have depression.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was fifteen.
And this year my diagnosis was adjusted to bipolar disorder.

[x]



I'm all about taking away the stigma of fat bodies, as I am in one, so it seems only fitting that I work to take away the stigma of mental illness. 
Since I have one.
Because that's what this is. An illness. Something I am afflicted with through no fault of my own. 
And I can't be afraid to talk about it anymore.
If I had any other illness, would I be ashamed to talk about it? No. So why should I let myself give in to society's pressures to hide an illness that's not entirely visible? I say not entirely visible because, while I can hide my suffering from strangers at times, I have had those close to me comment on the change they see in me when I am going through a particularly rough spell.

I can't be afraid of getting help. And i'm not anymore. For the most part. 
Part of what I hope to accomplish with this post, is to reduce stigma. To let people know it's okay to get help. Because I needed it for a long time before I was brave enough to seek it.
Allow one of my favorite tumblrs, Calming Manatee to help explain why it's such an important issue to address:
"If you are sad all the time, if you are depressed, if you are having trouble just coping with life, if you are always scared, you need to go to the doctor.

If it was any other illness or problem you had (chest infection, broken leg, almost choked on a plastic bag that time), I would say the exact same thing. Just because it is an illness in your head, that does not make it any less real." [source]

But I don't want to hide it anymore. I don't want to be ashamed to be sick. I feel like I have to do my part to give a face, a voice to an illness that is so rarely talked about and even more rarely understood.


I have fought my illness and refused help for most of my life. Let myself get worse because others disregard my suffering. Only recently have I been able to seek help. While I still struggle, I can tesitfy that seeing a therapist is the best thing you can do.
I wish this post could be more positive. I wish I could say that i'm all better, that it's all over. But it will never be over. But I can get better. It can get worse. But eventually, I have to have hope, that it can get better. 

Perhaps this will help shed a light on why i've been absent on this blog for so long now. Depression has this hold over me, this power to take things I love away from me. Blogging being one of those things, among many. 

So here's my message. 
If you, or anyone you know is struggling, please give your support. If you are feeling sad, support yourself and take yourself to someone that can help. If you have someone in your life that is struggling, be there for them. Don't make them feel bad about their problems. They are good enough at doing that on their own. 

Please, be kind to others. 
Please, be kind to yourself. 



8 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and courageous post, Erin. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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  2. Nice post! One doesn't have to be completely dependent on alcohol or drugs to be classified depressed.. there are some who seem very much ok yet is struggling within..

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  3. Kudos you. I firmly believe that taboos need to be talked to death and understanding can only emerge through people daring to tell the hard truth.

    Hello. Im Sandy, im 25 and I am mentally ill. Im the lady you see suddenly rushing from the line at the register without the items meant to purchase. Im the one sitting on a bench with red eyes. Im the one who seems normal but never looks you in the eyes. Im the one you can hear screaming in the evening from next door. Im the one who sits with mp3, candy and a book in the train ignoring you. Im the one with the dirty pants, unwashed hair and tired look in the store. Im the cheerfull girl who leaves the party suddenly without explenation. Im the one who cancel appointments in last minute or dont show up. Im the one who remember your coat but not your face. Im the one you cant reconize from month to the next.

    I got a skizoid disorder. The major symptoms is depression, anxiaty, hypersensitivity. I cant handle crowds for to long, I get exhausted from interacting with others and sometimes I get fullblown anxiaty attacks. My mind cant shut down. It registers everything, everything gets analyzed. If I see a sad lady I make up a whole story about why and I get sad. Sad songs make me sad- very sad. I cant shake it off afterwards. Sometimes I cant get out of bed or even shower. Other times I got energy and is all happy and smiles. It depends on a lot of different factors.

    Because im not suicidal or see things many dont understand why I cant work. Depressed can get better and get back to work, why cant I? They dont understand that this is permanent. I havent learned to live with it yet. It will take time. a lot of time.

    I wish people wouldnt judge me and others so hard. We judge ourselfes plenty

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  4. Erin, I appreciate your brave honesty. Sharing this with us starts a conversation that I think many of us would like to avoid, as it confronts prejudices we carry within ourselves. Thank you.

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  5. you shouldn't be ahsamed, there's a lot of people suffering from the same and it's never easy to get out of it. I was on therapy and medicationa and I was brave to overcome it and keep walking forwards, but sometimes it just doesn't worka nd feel sad anyways. I have to fight many days but I am able to do it because I believe in myself (sort of)and there's my family and friends around me, supporting me. you're brave too for sahring your story.

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  6. That post is great! Thank you so much!!! I´m fighting against the depression the last 16 years. The feeling you can´t stood up and doing your normal day work is sooo equal at that moment. If you lying in bedm The world is not important... Wish you all the best and fight on!!

    Prisha

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  7. I commend you for putting yourself out there and sharing your story! Thank you for being honest and shedding some insight on depression. I hope that you continue to take care of your self and get the help you need. :)

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  8. Just know that you are not alone...I have struggled with depression for years and it's definitely not easy. Good for you for opening up and thanks for sharing :)

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Thanks for stopping by! Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated. :)

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