What comes to your mind when you think about the term “mental illness?” Perhaps you immediately default to anxiety and depression. Or maybe your mind goes to sensational movies like Pyscho, Split, or Girl, Interrupted? Mental illness seems to have morbid connotations to the world at large. But, did you know that people who struggle with mental illnesses are people, too? People that have jobs, families, and try to live the fullest lives possible, just like anyone else?
Did you know…
Did you know that mental illness reaches farther than depression, anxiety, bipolar, and dash of OCD?
Did you know that if you are sad one day you do not necessarily have clinical depression, because you like your desk organized, you do not necessarily have OCD, because you are nervous before an exam, you do not exactly have an anxiety disorder, and if you have a mood swing every now and then, you do not necessarily HAVE bipolar disorder?
These days there seems to be a lot of gray area, and I just wanted to clear that up. Generalizations like that tend to remove the validity of mental illness as a real illness.
Mental illness is not taken as seriously as physical illness. There is a lack of understanding out there about what mentally ill even means. There is a lack of understanding about what mental illness looks like and what it doesn’t look like. A lot of confused and mixed messages.
And this is where I come in. Whether you are reading this blog because you relate, or because you really, really don’t and just want to learn, I got you.
“I want to start a conversation, and in some cases, change the conversation”
I want to start a conversation, and in some cases, change the conversation around mental illness.
I am a lifetime survivor of some pretty heavy stuff. I want to use my experiences and what I have witnessed to commiserate, educate, enlighten, and inspire. I want to inspire people to keep going, to not feel alone. I also want to inspire change.
Mental health advocacy is more than good vibes only and staying positive. It means supporting those with mental illnesses, too, and supporting the spread of information about these things.
So, like I said, I’m a lifer. I have been diagnosed and misdiagnosed again and again– more times than I care to remember. I have been on medication half my life. I also have this Psychology degree. I didn’t come out of undergrad specialized, but I have a handle on the basics and the ability to write a mean research paper.
With my education combined with my experience, I hope to bring real, raw, experiential and fact-based blog posts right to your computer.
I don’t want this space to be a run-of-the-mill list of symptoms. I want you to be engaged in this conversation, be it about depression or schizophrenia.
I tried to find an easily digestible article for my husband about my illnesses and couldn’t find anything but peer reviewed studies and boring lists of symptoms with no real life to them. It was a real snooze fest, and I figured if I was going to get him to understand, I needed to catch his attention. He got some information out of it… but both of us were bored numb.
This conversation doesn’t have to be boring or scary. Media and misinformation have turned mental illness into a horror movie sub-genre. But here’s a secret: most people who struggle with mental illness are not murderers or out of control. Survivors are in your office, your class, minding our business, trying to live our best lives.
I plan to bring that to you. A place to learn and grow and be part of the conversation. I’ll take it from the lighthearted to the serious. The listicles and cold hard research.
I want to make a change. A positive one.
I am human. I am working to destigmatize mental illness. To make it an acceptable ailment. An ok thing to talk about in casual settings. I want people to see how interesting it all is.
So, for the remainder of the ride, I will be your guide. I consider myself mentally interesting. And you can call me Glory.