Mental Illness

I am introducing a new series of sorts. It is going to be a series about mental health and mental illness. 

One thing I am extremely passionate about, but haven’t really spoken about a lot, is topics surrounding mental health. So many of my loved ones and people I have grown close with over the years have struggled with mental health. Not to mention, all of the mental health concerns that are popping up all over the media as a result of shootings and homicides. I myself have struggled with mental health problems of sorts. 

Growing up I had a little bit of anxiety in certain situations and suffered from a few panic attacks, but it was never anything severe until I got to college, when it gradually got worse. But this past summer I struggled with severe anxiety and regular panic attacks. It's something that still affects me on a regular basis. I realized mental health is just as important as physical health. My mental illness affected my physical health and I was stuck feeling sick and awful most of the summer. This experience gave me the driving force to really say something about a topic I am deeply invested in. 

The most important thing to me surrounding mental illness, is the stigma against it. Mental illness has always been a taboo subject. People don't talk about it because it has a negative connotation surrounding it. People think it's weird. People think mental health problems means you are "messed up". For that reason people are extremely hesitant to speak openly about it for fear of being judged. So, the people that really need mental health care aren’t getting it because frankly they are too ashamed to talk about it. I know I was. But I want to change that. I’ve realized this past summer that I haven’t gone through a terrible time in my life in vain. It opened my eyes up to the fact I should be a voice to the voiceless. I should speak up about something I care about. 

This is a long winded way of saying I am starting a new blog series surrounding mental health. I am by NO means a mental health expert. I am a journalism major for goodness sake. I can’t exactly be a therapist or diagnose anyone with anything. But what I can do is write. What I can do, is write about my experiences with mental health and share the stories of people I know that have struggled with similar things. 

I believe the way we are going to rid society of the stigma against mental health problems, is by talking about it. And that’s what I am going to do. I don’t know what form my blogs will take on. I don’t know if they will be mainly story based or more informative. But either way, I want to start talking about it. And I want other people out there who struggle with mental health problems to know that they aren’t alone. 

So if you have any experience with mental health problems please don’t be afraid to share. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, anger, PTSD, bipolar, etc. you aren’t alone and I think it’s important to share you story if you feel compelled.