I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety problems. And I hate them!!!
I was officially diagnosed in October of last year, but on reflection I believe I have been struggling with them since I was 12 but was too scared to come forward for help for fear of being judged. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness and many people refuse to acknowledge or talk about it. I believe that mental illness should be discussed, because without talking about it, others wont understand and will continue to believe incorrect views about mental illness.
The brain is an organ as well. A highly complicated organ at that. It is able to become ill much like any other part of the body. There is not a stigma attached to diseases of other organs: diabetes, broken bones, heart attack. But mental illness- there is still a stigma as well as many uninformed views.
I remember being told by a housemate (a music student) last year in university that “mental illness and depression isn’t real.” That I was “making it up for attention” and that I should just “snap out of it and just be happy”. Also that there was “research showing that it isn’t real”. This conversation highly upset me – as you can imagine. Unfortunately these kind of views are not uncommon and are incorrect.
Goodness knows, if I could just “Snap Out Of It” I would. Its not like I enjoy being stuck with crippling thoughts and panic attacks, with lethargy and numbness. Unfortunately, Depression and Anxiety isn’t just being “sad” or “unhappy” as people believe – its much more multifactorial than that.
I don’t think I could explain things properly – however Allie from Hyperbole and a Half explains it in a way that I never could : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/depression-part-two.html
Sorry – that isn’t the best way to describe things…but there you go. Maybe I will end up talking more coherently on this later
- The Science of Mental Illness (visual.ly)
- Major Depressive Disorder (ocdasd.wordpress.com)
- “No one ever thinks they’ll be the 1 in 4” (sdyerblogs.wordpress.com)
- Drive to end stigma of mental illness across Scotland (scotsman.com)
- My fish are dead: the black dog ate them (an explanation?) (stilgherrian.com)