I posted a quote earlier today written by Alastair Campbell, and believe me I know he’s a seriously controversial figure, but I wanted to highlight another small portion of his writing that really does encapsulate the essence of why I blog about mental illness so often; and more importantly, why I try to be as open as possible with my own personal struggles:
In answering, I sought to convey that though my experience was an extreme one, it was nonetheless born in the kind of despair and negative self-doubt that all of us may know, because in this context at least, we really are all in this together.
At the time, it helped to hear of others who had been through such experiences and survived. It is partly because I know others are experiencing the same thing now, that I talk about it so freely. I hope it helps. It certainly helps me. Talking is therapy.
I feel exactly the same.
Regular readers will know that in trying to be as open as possible, I don’t tend to ramble on about my own particular diagnosis, ongoing treatment, etc, as for one I wouldn’t want to bore you to tears, and secondly, I tend to view all types of mental illness and personality disorders as one homogeneous mass; incorporating many overlapping difficulties, pressures, stigmas and so forth.
I know that I’ve touched on this issue before, but I need to get this off my chest. I have found it difficult to talk openly about this recently, because of the pernicious tactic of using my mental health issues against me.
It’s something that has been happening online with increasing frequency lately, and I’m not here to cite examples, blame folks, engender sympathy, or anything like that. Suffice it to say the general tone seems to be one of attempting to discredit me, because I have mental health problems.
I’m posting this to simply share my struggle with you – especially for you praying types – and to in a sense try to embolden myself, remind myself why I do this, and to say publicly that I will never EVER respond to such comments, emails, DM’s and so on.
Many of you have shared with me your own personal journeys and struggles and it’s for you guys – as well as for myself – that I do this.
Particular thanks goes to a much braver soul than me and that is Lisa Graas over in the States, who blogs fearlessly on the topic of her mental health struggles – even this very morn – and I do wish I had half her courage; she is an ongoing inspiration to me.
I think we have to step up to the plate and bring to light the tactics used to perpetuate mental health stigma and shame.
We’ve got to try to be as open and as brave as possible on the issue of mental illness, regardless of the consequences and loss of reputation; if we sufferer’s don’t do it, nobody’s gonna do it for us.
And I need to be a braver.