How Do You Overcome The Embarrassment Of Your Mental Illness?
Someone from my husbands college sent him a message telling him, to thank me for writing my blog posts. She said she reads them and has her boyfriend read them, so he can better understand her own anxiety and depression. She then asked him 'How did she overcome the fear of being embarrassed or judged when she started to tell people and create her posts? That's something that I think about all the time.' I have never met this girl before, but I instantly felt connected to her because I was so familiar with that question. So, I messaged her back. I thought that I would share with you all how I responded to her question in case you have the same question.
I was embarrassed for a long time. I actually was not aware of what exactly was ‘wrong’ with me until this past fall even though I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for about nine years now. When I was finally diagnosed by my psychiatrist and therapist it made me feel like a crazy person. Before I was diagnosed I just thought I was a very weak person, but then I felt like a lunatic once I was diagnosed. I was beyond embarrassed. I felt so alone and disappointed in myself. One of my biggest trigger words was the word ‘failure’ because I thought I was a failure to my friends, family, and everyone. After I was done with my outpatient program, I felt stronger. I was there for a month and a half and learned a lot about myself. I also learned a lot of coping skills which I still use every day! I will make a blog post about different coping techniques you can use when you feel a lot of anxiety.
Part of my anxiety and depression comes from trying so hard to make other people happy before making myself happy. That’s when I realized I needed to start doing things for myself first. So, I started doing things I enjoyed and wanted out of life. I started volunteering at an animal shelter, became a full time nanny, decided to go back to school in the summer to go for a degree I really wanted, and etc. Once I started to make decisions for my own happiness is when I started to embrace who I was. I began to love who I was because I was following my heart. At the beginning of doing all the things I wanted to do, I felt a little selfish because I was so used to doing what others would expect from me. Then I thought to myself that it’s my life and I’m going to do what I want. I had just recovered from one of the biggest battles in my life and it was with myself.
During my anxiety/depression episode in the fall, I did try to commit suicide and was so sure that was the answer. However, I am so glad I had told my husband, my mom, my grandma, and my best friend these feelings. They saved me. If I hadn’t of told them I am so sure that I would have ended up hurting myself. So, I told my closest family and friends what I was going through for safety reasons. I suggest you do the same! I’m glad you share your feelings with your boyfriend, but maybe tell a couple other people as well. This way he doesn’t feel like he must carry all the weight of being the only one who knows and this way you can have different types of people to support you.
Most people, I know, don’t go so public about their mental illness like I have. I have had several people reach out to me personally telling me about their mental illness even though they have never shared it with other people. I decided to make a blog about it because I have always loved to write my feelings out and I suggest to you that you write about how you’re feeling if you like to write! I also decided to make my blog because I remember how lonely I felt during my lowest points and I wish I had known that other people like me suffer from the same thing.
Honestly, becoming so open about my anxiety and depression has made life a little bit easier for me. I think the reason for this is because I’m no longer scared of it. Part of anxiety is also having anxiety about having anxiety, which is so stressful! Also, I don’t feel like I have a deep and dark secret anymore. People have become more understanding of when I say I just need some space or time alone. I also feel a lot more comfortable and don’t have anxiety about so many of the little things.
I’m sorry this response is long, but I hope this helps you out a little bit. If you ever need anyone else to talk to, you can always message me! Even though we don’t know each other, just know that I am here for you as a fellow anxiety/depression warrior! Please don’t be embarrassed of your mental illness; embrace it! It makes life a lot easier!
I am so happy that my blog is helping some people out! Please don't hesitate to message me with whatever questions or comments you have because there are a lot of other people feeling the same way you are!