I will get on with my story on Friday, but first i would like to post this video of President Obama’s speech at the National Conference on Mental Health.
I was able to watch some of the conference live, and follow other people on twitter and their conversations about mental illness and seeking help. I realized that the stigma that makes it difficult to talk about mental illness propogates itself and makes people feel alone.
We are not alone.
I appreciate the President’s acknowledgement of people who have long been fighting for mental health care and against the stigma of mental illness – and moreover i appreciate those people, who slowly broke through my mental block and allowed me to get help. Bloggers like samantha at http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/ who wrote honestly about seeking counseling (and problems with the kind of christian counseling that heaps guilt on people – the ideas behind that kind of counseling had informed my fear of seeking help).
There are people who don’t have mental illness, but are passionate about it. But I wouldn’t be writing about this now, or be informed, or be passionate about about mental health care and bipolar disorder, if i didn’t have a brain that wanted to keep me from getting help, and if i didn’t know other people do too.
Sometimes i think my brain wants to kill me, and i have come so close to deciding to end it all. But there is a bigger part of me – my brain, my soul, i’m not sure, that wants me to live a full and abundant life. With medication, therapy, and the support of friends and my husband, that part of my brain is winning right now.
And if you think you might be depressed or have a different mood or mental disorder, i speak to that part of you that desperately wants to live past the darkness: talk to someone. Get professional help if you can, and if not, call a helpline or a friend.
And watch the above video and remember:
We are not alone.
mental health series:
- mental health: from shame to seeking help – intro – bipolar
- Mental Health – from shame to seeking help – a note
- Mental Health – from Shame to Seeking Help – Part One Learning shame in childhood