There are moments in time when people enter our lives, and have huge impacts on us. I always strive to ignore the people who bring more negativity to me because I create enough of my own.
Sue, over at It Goes On, is writing a book about depression. She has asked if any would like to share our stories. Writing about depression has been a focus of mine because I have lived with it my entire life.
I grew up among many family members suffering from depression of various diagnoses. I know what depression looks, and feels like. I know what it does to the family dynamic.
While taking notes for my response to Sue, I discovered that my base mental illness is anxiety, which leads to depression for me.
Sue is one of those who have had an impact on my life. Who knows, I may learn to control my phobia of flying, hop in a tin tube, fly across the vast ocean, and have what she would call a cuppa.
I have much to say about anxiety, but you’ll have to read Sue’s book if interested in this aspect of mental illness.
Weeks ago, while reading another blog, I followed an ugly interaction between followers of the blogger. Actually, it was one of the worst conversations I have seen on WordPress. It was a bit Facebook-ish. A person putting in their two cents, in response to a very negative comment made by another to the author of the blog asked…ARE YOU OFF YOUR MEDS?
They didn’t use all caps, but that is how it appeared to me. In fact, if I could type this with a blinking neon light, that is seriously how I viewed it. That question had the same impact as a gut punch.
At that moment, I learned a very important lesson.
We can speak, stand upon a soapbox, shake our fists in the air, stomp our feet, or write blog post after blog post, enlightening others to what living with depression is like. It never seems to make much of an impact.
I have believed the stigma was due to a lack of information, and we should speak more about mental illness.
The stigma doesn’t come from ignorance, it comes from a lack of compassion.
We can keep talking, to inform others how real the struggle of living with depression is— maybe they’ll learn something.
However, we can’t teach others to be compassionate.
Will it stop me from talking about depression or anxiety?