So I just went on Gemma’s blog, Lost to the Dark, and saw her post about ending mental health stigma. She stated that Lusuna posted some questions and answers regarding her mental health history. While I don’t live in the UK like I believe Gemma and Lusuna do, I decided to do the same. So, I will be answering the following questions! Thank you Gemma and Lusuna for inspiring me to fill this out! I encourage all of you to do the same!
1. Have you ever been diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness? If so, which one(s) (if what you suffered from can be labelled – mental illness tends to work on a spectrum – feel free to simply note symptoms)? If not, do you suspect you may have suffered from one?
I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. I tend to obsess about irrational things.
2. Do you have any friends or family who have suffered from a diagnosed mental illness? Please don’t give their details (it’s up to them whether they wish to share), but, if so, which illness(es)?
I do know people who have relatives with mental illnesses. Personally, I don’t believe anxiety is a mental illness, I consider it a mental health issue.
3. Have you ever experienced anxiety?
4. Have you ever felt depressed? Feel free to elaborate.
Yes, but I don’t think I have depression. Sometimes I get depressed about my anxiety, how it effects me, and how I have to take medication for it. However, having depression is a whole different thing and I don’t think people should take that lightly.
5. Have you ever suffered from stress?
Yes. While stress and anxiety are two different things, I have experienced both.
6. What would you say to a friend who was suffering from some form of mental discomfort or illness?
First of all, you’re not alone. It may seem like no one struggles like you do, but that’s not true. Yes, it’s possible that no one goes through the exact same symptoms as you do, but odds are that someone struggles with the same general problem.
Also, know that there are people willing to help you. You just have to find the right people to trust. Also, talk to the people you can trust and if you need to, don’t be afraid to see a therapist.
7. Have you ever been treated differently because of your mental illness?
Again, I don’t believe anxiety is a mental illness. I think it’s a mental health issue. I’m not saying this because I’m in denial, but rather because I think that anxiety is something that you can not only get through, but learn to manage better and possibly even eliminate it all together.
To answer the question, yes. I’ve been treated differently because of my anxiety and it’s very difficult. Some people simply don’t understand and may think you’re faking it, doing it for attention, or acting a certain way because you’re immature. However, like I mentioned before, some people do understand and some people will be there for you.
8. Has your mental illness ever stopped you from doing or achieving something that would have been attainable if you weren’t mentally ill?
Unfortunately, yes. Because of my anxiety, I’ve missed out on a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do. Sometimes things that were once simple seem difficult. However, I know that if I continue to work hard, I can get through my anxiety. Whether you have a mental health issue or mental illness, you can learn to cope and get better as long as you work hard!