Stop The Stigma

I have depression. I have had it for a long time. I’ve lived with it, tried to manage it and failed. I’ve been on many medications, some with success, some with no success. People do not realize that I have depression, as I have a “public” face and a “private” face.

My public face is smiling, telling jokes, making people happy, and ensuring that I’m there for everyone who needs it. I rarely say ‘no’ and for that reason I usually do not do things for myself, but give, give, give to others.

But my private face doesn’t often smile. It is without enthusiasm. I don’t have the desire or drive to do things with many people, I prefer to stay in the house. My private face, doesn’t cry, it doesn’t have a sad face, it’s an internal thing. I do self-doubt, I have social anxiety, and I question everything I have done, as far back as third grade at times.

But I have to stop all that. I have to try to feel better, get better, and be better. And I’m grateful I have my doctor who helps me with my medications, and I am comfortable with talking to and saying how things are working or not working. And I’m entirely grateful that she required me to get therapy.

I have been in therapy for about 4 months now and, I have noticed an improvement. I’m not cured, or fixed, and I never will be. But I have to start saying no to other people and saying yes for myself. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Don’t judge others who are going through something you know nothing about. The battle we face every day is one you do not wish to know, and one that you may not be strong enough to fight in, but we find the ability to still get up in the morning, and put on our public faces so that you don’t feel the same way we do.

Stop the stigma about mental health.

Be kind, always. ~ Robin Williams

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