For far too long I wondered why I felt that something wasn’t right with me. I remember being told that I had “nothing to be sad about”, that I was “unnecessarily neurotic”, or that I should just “cheer up a little and things will work out”. I remember feeling defeated about the fact that things that should bring me joy just didn’t make me happy anymore.
I struggled to get out of bed. I found myself procrastinating to the point of nausea.
I had problematic relationships with my vices. I couldn’t help myself from prioritizing all the wrong things.
I felt myself drifting and demotivated to maintain relationships with people that I cared about. I often felt sad and alone even when surrounded by those I loved.
I felt full of myself and narcissistic for dwelling so much on my feelings. I was made to feel like I faked my troubles – Like my depression wasn’t good enough to be “real” depression.
I went undiagnosed for far too long. I now know that I’ve been suffering from a cocktail of mental health issues – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
With a combination of medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the deliberate practice of some good habits, you’d probably never guess that I deal with these mental health issues every day. Some days are harder than others, but after 10 years+ of therapy, I have the tools and language to really understand what’s going on in my brain, and to effectively communicate my needs.
My goal is to normalize discussion about mental health. I’d like us all to share this kind of information in the same way that we casually share when we have the flu or chronic headaches.
My goal is to ensure nobody close to me feels as lost as I felt. To any of you that can relate to my story, know that you are not alone. Know that one in every four people you know are in the same boat.
Organizations like CAMH are dedicated to help combat the stigmas surrounding our mental health, and to support those who need help. Please support us in this endeavour to make mental health just “health”.
Please donate today and help me reach my fundraising goal.
Together we will break down stigma, fund innovative research, and provide access to new and promising treatments for people living with mental illness.