Mental Health Stigma, breaking down the walls.

Over the last few years Mental Health issues have become a common topic of discussion, as the awareness has been brought to light. For years I dealt with depression without knowing how severe yet common it is, I believe we feel depression in different stages and to different extremes. When I was younger my depression was mostly related to the lack of love in my life, my childhood traumas and it snow balled after I had kids. The many disappointments in life cause this as well, as “reality” kicks in and smacks you in the face. I wish they would’ve taught us this in high school instead of useless subjects lol it would’ve saved me a lot of heartache. 

After years of struggling with this on my own, and after a horrible domestic incident that led me to develop severe PTSD, anxiety and a depression I never felt before; I decided to start seeing a therapist. That was the best decision I could’ve made for myself, I realized years of denial and self medicating thru alcohol and drugs was masking the pain, instead of healing it. Its not easy talking to a stranger about your issues, but I notice its a lot easier than confiding in a friend because theres no judgement and oftentimes they help you see why you react they way you do. Shortly after beginning therapy I asked my therapist to prescribe me something for my anxiety and depression, it was hard for me to function anymore. I quit my job, gained weight, would stay in bed for days, holding my tears back was not possible anymore. I knew I needed help, and though I was nervous I’m so glad I made that decision to start medicating. 

Its been a year now since I started taking anti-depressants and I can say confidently that its been life changing. I had once gotten very sick from a chest cold and stopped taking them for a couple weeks and boy was that a bad idea. At first I felt a surge of confidence, more like my former self before the depression; but that was short lived. One day I had a huge anxiety attack where I wandered for hours feeling lost and helpless, I knew I needed to get back on my meds. Its normal to feel like somethings wrong with you, maybe even embarrassed that you’re on medication or that you’ve been labeled as depressed but trust me its way worst self medicating and ignoring the problems. Medication sometimes is life long and sometimes it a buffer for you to be able to work thru your issues in a healthy way. We become our own worst enemy, thinking so badly of ourselves, therapy is a great way to feel empowered and in control. 

I feel that the older generations don’t quite understand the importance we place on Mental Health now because not too long ago it was made fun of and ignored. Peoples breakdowns were criticized instead of embraced with help, and people felt like it was normal to be living with your trauma. Well, im here to say it is not, its not normal to feel so attached to your past that you cant be present in the now. We all differ, some people like to feel attached to their pain and their past because thats how they identify themselves, thru their trauma. For some its easier to hold on to the victim mentality, for some a therapist is not covered by their insurance so they cant afford it. I recommend to anyone look for a solution, find help, look for free therapy its easier to find now. Don’t live in fear or embarrassment, don’t care what others think, you cant help what others may have done to you but you are responsible to heal yourself and find peace. 

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness