The mental health stigma

Hey everyone,

So, as today is Bell Let’s Talk Day (http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/) I wanted to write a blog on mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it.

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My first question is why. Why is there such a stigma surrounding mental health? It’s almost taboo to talk about it. If I was diagnosed with cancer or a physical illness, I wouldn’t be ashamed to speak its name. However, for the longest time, I couldn’t say the words OCD or depression. I didn’t want to acknowledge them because they’re mental illnesses and people just don’t talk about mental illness.

So I am starting the conversation. Too many people suffer in silence and it is time to change that. I am seeing the psychiatrist at the University of Calgary. He is absolutely amazing and yes, he diagnosed me last year with severe OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) anxiety and depression. I’ve tried so many medications and have finally found a combo that seems to work. For those who say that my OCD or depression can be cured with exercise or some magic oil, don’t even bother. Mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain and I wish it was as easy to treat as some people think. My illness isn’t physical, it’s mental. What difference does it make? It should be treated the same, it should be talked about the same. Mental illness does not make you weak. I would argue that it actually makes you very strong. A physical illness is one thing but when you have your brain CONSTANTLY telling you things that aren’t true, that is both emotionally and physically exhausting.

Never be ashamed to talk about mental illness. Start the conversation. If you need help, never be afraid to seek it. If you need someone to talk to, there is ALWAYS someone. And I’m always here so send me a message or comment. I’m here for you.

Mental illness can be a scary thing and can make you feel really alone and sometimes being alone with your thoughts is the worst thing, especially when you have OCD. It’s debilitating at some times and has affected everything in my life, especially university. Why am I sharing such personal details about my own mental health? I want to get others talking and let everyone know that it is more than okay to discuss mental illness. It is a real thing and deserves real attention. Mental health is so incredibly important.

Let’s start the conversation!

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