Being diagnosed with any mental illness is, at some point, hard to digest. I was first diagnosed in November of 2009. What may seem odd or strange is that all I felt was feeling of relief. I finally knew what was wrong with me and it was not just because I was some crazy person. I had an illness, a sickness that could get better. On the other hand, it was not long before the thoughts of: "Why me?" and "Why do I have this?" began to creep in.
At first, those thoughts consumed me but, only because I let them. One day I started to write and keep
Ultimately, I wanted stigma to change. There were too many people out there who judged me for what was put on paper as my diagnosis versus the person I was. I wanted to become a part of the change. I wanted to not be alone. I wanted to see other people's knowledge about mental health to grow. I wanted to be an active member in changing stigma. So, I did. If not me, who? Not everyone can sit back and accept change if no one does anything! I chose to become part of the change that I wanted to see in the world.
I began by keeping a diary for myself. I also kept a big journal to log my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. I also started a Facebook group that grew to over 10,000 people. Most importantly, I researched my disorders
My mental health is like having asthma or diabetes. With the right therapy and/or medications I'm okay! Mental health takes time to diagnose, come to terms with, and the accurate treatment can take a while to figure out but, it's worth it. What's even more worth it? Knowing I helped others, knowing I was part of the change I wanted to see, even if it reduced the stigma of just one single person. In recalling my hardships and battles I fought, if it helped someone get through a tough spot or changed one's stigma about mental health. It was worth it. Imagine if everyone became part of the change they believed in? It would feel amazing and stigma would be reduced at the least. The outcome would most certainly outweigh the trials
Written by Lauren Meredith