There is a stigma attached to having mental health issues. I tend not to refer to having depression or the myriad of other mental health issues one may have to deal with, as mental illness because it has that negative connotation to it. Having mental health issues is just like having a physical illness, but for some unknown reason people tend to shy away from someone who has mental health issues or tend to dismiss it as attention seeking. And many wonder why we keep our issues to our selves.
Three years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder otherwise know as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. I have had to deal with Anxiety for the better part of 30 years. The Anxiety is a symptom of BPD and I take medication for it.
Having this diagnosis doesn’t make me mad or crazy, I can function perfectly well in society and hold down a job, be involved in relationships, etc. I just learned as a child to deal with dysfunction, I learned to survive my childhood the only way I knew how. Unfortunately as an adult it doesn’t work.
I have this disorder because of what was done to me as a child. I am not defective. I was sexually abused by my own older brother and my mother may have been in my life physically, but she was unable to show me love, because of her own emotional issues. My mother was a damaged individual, who passed her pain on to me. I’m sorry that she suffered but I was not the cause of it, I was not to blame for it. I never knew if my mother loved me or was proud of me, I don’t remember her ever hugging me or telling me she loved me. I do remember the negative words that always seemed to come my way.
Shame is often a big issue for people like myself. Based on society’s idea of what is normal and also how people with mental health issues are portrayed in the media and in movies and TV shows. We are all not certifiable or psychotic.
Statistically 18 % of the population suffer from Anxiety in some form.
45 % of all people will suffer some form of mental illness at some time in their life.
So it’ s not that rare and often we are unaware of someone in our life having these issues.
Hoarding is a mental health issue, as is OCD. Hoarding can have an Obsessive Compulsive aspect to it.
Education is key. And that goes for any illness, mental or physical. It is essential that we educate ourselves about our illnesses, but more so that we speak out and educate the general population. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. We should not feel shame for having issues with coping, sometimes our life can become so overwhelming that we withdraw and develop depression. It doesn’t mean we are weak or defective in any way. It means we have been strong for far too long and we need help. We all have our breaking point.