Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in America have struggled with some type of mental illness at some point in their life? Seventeen million Americans experience depression each year and only 35% will seek out help. I am 1 in that group of 5; I am 1 of the seventeen million and; I was 1 of the 35% refusing to seek out help.
Like the majority of people suffering from such conditions, I brushed it to the side. I hid behind my everyday routines and drowned myself out in drugs, alcohol, meaningless sex and whatever other masks I could get a hold of. I didn't want to admit that there might be something troubling me; that in the world's eyes I wouldn't be “normal". The latter of the two is the reason why I never sought out help. I was afraid that people would judge me or see me differently; think me weak or pity me. So I stayed quiet.
Up until a few years ago I didn't know I could talk about it. Stigma works well that way. Eroding our instincts to call out for help and survive. There were times when I would feel okay and others where my emotions would be so intense they would send me into a downward spiral. I literally felt like I was drowning. I couldn't deal with it anymore. Either I could continue to try and ignore it and deteriorate further without a positive end in sight, or I could open up and relieve myself of everything weighing me down. I chose the latter.
I found my voice and completely opened up to a close relative of mine. This would only be the start of my healing process. Mental health isn't anything easy to deal with or talk about. Most of the time we really don't know where to begin in having these types of conversations. The truth is that these conversations can start anywhere with anyone you trust, and once you find those words your strength only gets better.
Mind, Body and Spirit! Find the balance for your overall health. Destroy the stigma and speak out, because you're worth it!