A Sneak Peak Into My Experience With Mental Illness And One Advice I Want To Give

Just getting a little bit personal in this one because I felt it was important for me to say those words. And I hope they are what someone needed to read today.

my experience with mental illness and one advice I want to give

If you follow this blog, then you probably know that I don’t discuss personal topics here. And while general health and wellbeing is one of the things I blog about every now and then, mental illness is not exactly the focus of this blog. There are far better and more in-depth blogs that you can visit to read on mental illness issues.

However, I chose to share this post here today due to some recent encounter with a friend. I felt obliged to put my thoughts out there, because otherwise it will just feel wrong.

And I know that pressing publish on this post will come with a lot of hesitation, but I also don’t feel like it is a matter of choice at the moment.

I will start with my advice first, and that is:

Regardless of your situation, your status, your position, do not ignore your mental health and do not fear or hesitate to ask for help if you feel that you need it.

I have suffered with anxiety and depression most of my teenage years and into adulthood, but I only ever knew that these were even called anxiety and depression 3 years ago. I knew something was not right with me, but I didn’t really know what it was.

I remember I once told one of my parents that I felt that maybe I should see a therapist. But, here is the thing, I grew up with a toxic parent who didn’t even acknowledge that there was such a thing as mental illness.

Their understanding was that only “crazy” people needed to see a therapist. And that going to a therapist is a shame. People would shame you, call you names, and assume you are unstable and not right in the head.

Unfortunately, at the time I was young and a little bit scared, and so when I was told that this was bullsh*t, I believed it to be so. I was told it was just me being silly and overly sensitive; that I could just snap out of it.

Fast forward to 8 years later, I didn’t snap out of it, and it didn’t disappear. In fact, it kept getting worse and worse, developing one disorder after the other. I even reached a point where I briefly couldn’t speak anymore.

I am okay now; much, much better than I was 2 years ago, and that is because I finally took the decision to choose myself over everyone and everything else.

I never thought I could ever do that. I was always too scared. But apparently, you do reach a point in life where you get the courage to stand up for yourself. You realize that you are more important and that you come first. And when I did that, I was finally able to get the help I so urgently needed and deserved.

Back when I was trying to figure this out and wondering if I can get help, there was no such thing as “Mental Health Advocates” or “Mental Health Awareness Month.” No one ever mentioned it anywhere around me online or offline. And so it was just my word against that toxic parent.

Now it is more spoken about openly; people are sharing their experiences everywhere and encouraging others to do the same. It is truly amazing.

But, unfortunately, there are still people who are in a similar situation as mine; whether it’s a parent, a partner, a position that they fear to lose, there are so many scenarios, but the outcome is the same.

If you don’t put your health first, you are the only person who will suffer, not your parent, not your partner, and not your colleagues.

What you need to understand is that it is not something you can control. When you ignore it, it doesn’t go away. It keeps developing and taking over your mind, one cell at a time.

And, sadly, in some cases, people choose a rather awfully painful exit out of it, when they are suppressed by these outside situations and they can’t get the help and the medication needed.

Those who take mental illness lightly and do not understand how damaging and painful it can be are not ones whose opinions should matter.

Mental illness is just like physical illness, the more you ignore it and delay its treatment, the worse it is going to get and the harder it will be to treat.

And you are the only person who will be able to tell if you do need help. So, please, if you do, I urge you to go ahead and get the help you deserve.

You don’t need anyone’s approval and you have every right to live with a peaceful and a healthy mind.

Till next week, happy days!

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Author: Ray

Because a goal is a dream with a deadline, I started my one-year journey to achieving financial freedom. On those rare hours of day when I'm not working on that goal, I'm writing fiction, watching a film, or feeding birds.

11 thoughts on “A Sneak Peak Into My Experience With Mental Illness And One Advice I Want To Give”

  1. I read this and it is as if I had written these words myself. I grew up with parents who kind of made fun of people who went to therapy and people taking medication against anxiety or depression. Now, that I’m a grown up I understand they’re terrified of these topics because of our family history of mental illness.

    I completely agree with you on this. Mental illness is like any physical illness and we don’t need anyone’s approval to get help. Imaging asking for people’s opinion about going to the emergency to fix a broken bone. Nuts.

    Best regards,

    EmJay

  2. This is all true, Ray. I wrote about my own struggles this past Sunday and my mom commented to me that everyone goes through this and I said, yes they do, but so many still don’t talk about it and the response was evidence. It makes a difference when somebody like yourself talks about it – somebody people may not have expected it from. Thank you for opening up! xoxo

    1. You’re absolutely right. I thought the same before writing this, that while many people openly share it, many others don’t because they still feel like they can’t, for one reason or another.

      I’m really glad you think so and I do hope that this somehow helps someone feel better or encourage them to take a step forward towards a better life. Thank you so much, Sandy! 🙂

  3. Ray, I want to hug you. In reading your post it occurred to me how someone can be in our lives that we love and respect, but they are toxic. Also, I have depression, but I would not say it is chronic. I have my ups and downs. It has been very helpful to have more people, like you, speak out about it. I have also been able to recently identify it, and try to figure out coping. I don’t speak about it much, but just like you, I see it as important more people do. We should not feel ashamed. Ray, I really hope you are getting help and figuring out what you need to be mentally healthy! I’m sending you so much love and support. You are amazing to more people than you know!

    1. Aw Erin thank you!
      I have thankfully gotten much better now that I no longer take medications. But it is something that I believe is not 100% cured; it does require coping and understanding how and why it happens so you can choose a healthier environment for yourself. And this is what I did. It was hard but it was worth it.
      I hope that you are able to do the same thing, too.

      On a different note, it’s so lovely that you’d read this now, as I was just thinking of you earlier and went to check your blog to see if you were back. I even scheduled to share one of your posts that I particularly liked later today. So that’s a lovely coincidence! 😄

  4. Very well said Ray! I can totally relate, as I grew up with anxiety with a family who didn’t understand it! They do now, sort of.
    My anxiety and depression has improved too since I started focusing on myself more. It’s so hard when we have work, kids, spouses and everything else taking our energy but it’s the only way or else I would lose my mind!

  5. I work with children in a school setting. It is hard to see children who have anxiety; I wish I could help them all. More schools and school districts are looking for ways to help students and their families. Thanks for sharing this much-needed topic.

    1. There is one word that you have included in your post that many people forget viz: deserve. And I would like to reiterate that. You deserve care and peace of mind. You are worthy. You are brave and strong. You deserve to be taken seriously. You deserve to find benefit in being treated. You deserve love. You deserve life.

      1. That is true, and I added that word consciously for this same reason. Many people don’t think of it that way but it is the only way you should look at it. Every one of us deserves peace. And I totally agree with all you said!

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