Since my earlier blog post on settling mental health myths had such a great response — five total views with one of them likely coming from me — I thought I would share a few more. Every day we are bombarded with what culture promotes as truths. As I continue to write in my blog every week, my prayer is that something I say here will resonate with people who continue perpetuating the hate.
Seeking out help will lead to further bullying
We must stop this extremely harmful stigma. I suffered in silence for close to 38 years before I had my coming out. I was always afraid that (1) people would not believe me or (2) ridicule me even more. With exception of having to bury my son, coming out about my mental angst was the hardest thing I have ever done. So I know it is not easy, however, please do not let another minute go by. If you are suffering in silence with mental health issues, reach out. I promise you there is someone out there who can and will help.
Will I Always Be This Way?
A diagnosis by your doctor does not mean you will forever experience these mental health issues. Your situation may and will likely differ from mine. I have some good days where I feel “normal” — whatever normal means — and recently my good days are outweighing the not-so-good ones. I continue to draw on my iPad and continue to write weekly in this blog.
Mental Health Issues are a Sign of Weakness
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been called a “weakling”. Nor can I tell you the number of times I was verbally and physically abused by a classmate in school. Whether it was the girls behind me in English class picking up on my tick of “playing with my ear” or the band room where I was constantly ridiculed to the point that I changed instruments just to get away from them. Bullying is not a new thing. Trust me it has been around since the original sin.
However, saying that someone with a person with a mental health disorder is weak would be the same as telling a baseball pitcher with a sore elbow to just “suck it up”. Or that a person with a broken arm is just a sign of their weakness. Mental health diseases are illnesses just the same as high blood pressure or diabetes are diseases. And telling someone with a mental health disorder to just “snap out of it” actually does more harm.
So is a person who is suffering from a mental health disorder weak? Quite the opposite — a person fighting with a mental health disease is stronger than one might think. It t0ok great courage for me to come out.
I will leave you with this passage from 2 Corinthians as a word of encouragement.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.