Alright, ladies, it’s #MentalHealthMonday and I’m here to talk about stigmas.
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Stigma still surrounds the mental health community, making it difficult for individuals to open up about their experiences with mental illness. Maybe a loved one of yours is battling, or you, or a friend. What if you had no idea? What if something happened to this person and no one had a clue because they were too afraid to talk about it? It’s time to talk about erasing the stigma.
No matter what reason brought you here, I’m so glad you are here. I’m glad I’m here, although sometimes it’s hard to say that. I am glad that I am alive today. This is exactly what Mental Health Monday is all about. Opening up about your struggles allows others to see the reality of mental illness, the truth behind a sometimes forced smile. If you’ve never been open about your illness before, please don’t be afraid. This is a no-judgement community and anyone who breaks this rule will be banned.
The #NoStigmas movement was produced by NoStigmas. I urge you to head over to their site and sign up to be an advocate. You can get flyers to hang up in your community or school, stickers, and access to other advocate resources. They do not ask for any monetary contribution, but donations and fundraisers are welcomed.
What is a stigma?
A stigma, according to Merriam-Webster, is a mark of shame or discredit. I don’t know about you but that sounds horrible! Help me banish stigmas! #NoStigmas
As a challenge to all of you lovely ladies, I’d like you to download the NoStigmas card, and follow the instructions. You’ll print it out, cut it out, snap a selfie with the card and post it. Together we can end the stigma surrounding mental illness.
When you share your selfie, us the hashtag #NoStigmas and urge your friends to do the same.
A Glimpse Into My Journey
Since it is #MentalHealthMonday, I’m going to start a practice of sharing a short experience or story of my life with mental illness, both in my own head and around me.
I grew up in a household where alcoholism and domestic violence were prevalent. Although it was not the greatest situation, it did shape me to be the person I am today. Both inside and out.You never know how an experience is going to change a child’s mind, and I hadn’t thought much about my past until it started creeping back to me around the age of 16. I had never reached out for help or counseling, until a couple of months ago. I have since been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and moderate anxiety.
Even with this history behind me, yes I said behind me on purpose, I have been able to accomplish many things. I hold an Associates degree in Psychology, I achieve honors each semester. This past semester I made Dean’s List and was invited to be a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
I’m not saying that the journey is easy, but who is anyone to tell someone with an illness that they can’t do something. Why do people have to be belittled for being different? Normal to me is not the same as your perception of normal or the next girls. Why do we have to act a certain way to be accepted?
Help Me Erase the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
Mental illness is real and extremely powerful. The hardest part, for me, is that some days it can be almost debilitating causing me to lose my focus for the whole day or just sit in a slump for hours, but other days it’s just a whisper in the back of my mind.
I challenge you to take your #NoStigmas selfie and post it on your social media accounts for 24 hours. Be sure to use the hashtag #NoStigmas to show you are a part of the movement.
I want to see all of your lovely selfies ladies, add me on social media so we can share the love for those who suffer in silence.
Join me every Monday for #MentalHealthMonday. Is there a topic you want to be discussed? How about a story you want to hear? Sign up for my newsletter and see each weeks #MHM post. You also get the added bonus of access to my free printables.